Health Insurance

Best Cheap Health Insurance in Iowa 2020

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People who live in Iowa can find cheap health insurance through their state exchange, but the best plan for you depends on where you live and your needs.

In Iowa, the average health insurance premium for a 2020 plan is $561 per month for a 40-year-old, 13% lower than it had been in 2018. The mean cost of a policy decreased by $81.

We researched all health insurance plans in Iowa and found that in the majority of the state, either the Medica Insure Silver Copay or Inspire by Medica Silver Copay was the cheapest Silver health insurance policy. Although these plans may not be offered in every county, they offered some of the best health insurance premiums and coverage benefits in the areas of Iowa where they're available.

Cheapest health insurance coverage by metal tier

We compared Iowa health insurance plans by metal tier and identified the cheapest plan in each category to help you find the best policy for your desired level of coverage. These policies aren't offered in every county, but we recommend using the table below to compare the differences between metal tiers. For instance, the Inspire by Medica Gold Copay policy has a minimum monthly premium of $465 for a 40-year-old. The Gold health plan is $115 more expensive as compared to the Inspire by Medica Bronze Copay plan, but the Gold policy offers lower out-of-pocket costs such as deductibles, copays and coinsurance.

Metal tierCheapest planDeductibleOut-of-pocket maximumMonthly cost for 40-year-old
CatastrophicInspire by Medica Catastrophic$8,150$8,150$260
BronzeWellmark Value Bronze HMO$8,150$8,150$523
Expanded BronzeInspire by Medica Bronze Copay$7,200$8,150$350
SilverInspire by Medica Silver Copay$4,600$8,150$559
GoldInspire by Medica Gold Copay$850$7,400$465

Age and coverage tier are two important factors that affect your monthly premium. As age increases, premiums across all metal tiers increase. For higher-coverage tiers, it means higher rates but lower out-of-pocket costs if you were to use your insurance.

For example, a 40-year-old would pay $806 less a month than a 60-year-old for a Gold plan in Iowa. But a 40-year-old with a Bronze plan would pay $627 less on average than a 60-year-old.

Average Monthly Cost of Health Insurance Plans by Metal Tier in Iowa

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Finding your best health insurance coverage in Iowa

The best cheap health insurance plans for you in Iowa change depending on your county and coverage needs. For example, the Inspire by Medica Silver Copay health plans isn't available in Harrison and Pottawattamie counties.

In these regions, the Medica with CHI Health Silver Copay plan is the cheapest. Still, no matter where you live, you will be able to choose from different metal tiers that offer varying levels of coverage and rates to fit your lifestyle.

In general, higher metal tier health plans, such as Gold policies, typically have higher monthly premiums. However, they provide lower out-of-pocket expenses, such as deductibles, copays and coinsurance, than Silver or Bronze policies.

This means if you have high recurring medical costs that arise from chronic conditions or require regular medical attention, a higher metal tier health plan may be the best option for you. On the other hand, a lower metal tier policy may be the best option if you're young and healthy — and are willing to risk higher potential cost sharing in exchange for lower monthly rates.

Gold plans: Best for high expected medical costs

Gold health insurance plans are typically the best for those who expect to use their insurance often. These cover the most out-of-pocket costs, which means lower deductibles, copays and coinsurance. However, this usually means you'll pay a higher monthly premium than Silver and Bronze plans.

Ultimately, these health plans are best if you have recurring or high expected medical costs, such as prescriptions or medical equipment, or you're concerned about paying out of pocket for an unexpected condition. On average, you can expect a Gold plan to cover roughly 80% of your health care expenses, while you pay the other 20%.

Silver plans: Best for people with low income or average medical costs

Silver policies give you the option of a middle ground between Gold and Bronze health insurance plans. Silver plans offer monthly premiums that fall between Gold and Bronze plans, but that means your out-of-pocket costs, like deductibles, copays and coinsurance, also fall in between both.

If you are part of a lower-income household, you may qualify for cost-sharing reduction (CSR) subsidies with a Silver health plan, which would further lower your out-of-pocket expenses. Typical Silver plans cover about 70% of your health care costs while you pay 30%. But under CSR subsidies, you could qualify for a Silver plan that covers up to 94% of your health care costs.

Bronze and Catastrophic plans: Best for young, healthy people

Catastrophic plans provide the least coverage, but they also have the lowest monthly rates. In order to qualify for a Catastrophic policy, you must be under 30 years old or qualify for an exemption. Bronze plans, on the other hand, are open to everyone and offer cheaper monthly premiums than higher metal tier plans. The lower rates mean reduced coverage, which translates to higher out-of-pocket costs. So, if you need medical care during the year, you would have to pay more yourself before coverage kicks in.

Lastly, a tier between Silver and Bronze was introduced last year. This Expanded Bronze tier extends the coverage of a typical Bronze plan, which usually covers about 60% of your health care costs, to cover up to about 65% of your medical costs.

Best cheap health insurance companies in Iowa

Last year Wellmark joined the state exchange, and Iowa now has three insurers on its health insurance marketplace — Medica Insurance Company, Wellmark Health Plan of Iowa, Inc. and Wellmark Value Health Plan, Inc.. But Medica continues to provide a variety of great options for health plans, and offers the lowest-cost Silver policy in 74 out of 99 counties.

Cheapest health insurance plan by county

We evaluated the most affordable Silver health insurance plans that are available through the Iowa exchange by county to help you find your best-priced health insurance in your location. Below, you can find the policy with the cheapest monthly premium as well as sample rates for an individual, couple and family of three in your county.

CountyCheapest Silver planSingle adult, age 40Couple, age 40Couple, age 40, and child
AdairMedica Insure Silver Copay$750$1,500$1,949
AdamsMedica Insure Silver Copay$750$1,500$1,949
AllamakeeMedica Insure Silver Copay$726$1,451$1,886
AppanooseMedica Insure Silver Copay$722$1,445$1,877
AudubonMedica Insure Silver Copay$750$1,500$1,949
BentonInspire by Medica Silver Copay$568$1,136$1,477
Black HawkInspire by Medica Silver Copay$568$1,136$1,477
BooneInspire by Medica Silver Copay$620$1,240$1,611
BremerInspire by Medica Silver Copay$617$1,234$1,603
BuchananInspire by Medica Silver Copay$568$1,136$1,477
Buena VistaMedica Insure Silver Copay$674$1,348$1,752
ButlerInspire by Medica Silver Copay$617$1,234$1,603
CalhounMedica Insure Silver Copay$729$1,458$1,895
CarrollMedica Insure Silver Copay$729$1,458$1,895
CassMedica Insure Silver Copay$750$1,500$1,949
CedarInspire by Medica Silver Copay$568$1,136$1,477
Cerro GordoMedica Insure Silver Copay$726$1,451$1,886
CherokeeMedica Insure Silver Copay$674$1,348$1,752
ChickasawMedica Insure Silver Copay$726$1,451$1,886
ClarkeMedica Insure Silver Copay$750$1,500$1,949
ClayMedica Insure Silver Copay$674$1,348$1,752
ClaytonInspire by Medica Silver Copay$568$1,136$1,477
ClintonMedica Insure Silver Copay$669$1,337$1,737
CrawfordMedica Insure Silver Copay$674$1,348$1,752
DallasInspire by Medica Silver Copay$559$1,119$1,454
DavisMedica Insure Silver Copay$722$1,445$1,877
DecaturMedica Insure Silver Copay$750$1,500$1,949
DelawareInspire by Medica Silver Copay$568$1,136$1,477
Des MoinesMedica Insure Silver Copay$722$1,445$1,877
DickinsonMedica Insure Silver Copay$674$1,348$1,752
DubuqueInspire by Medica Silver Copay$568$1,136$1,477
EmmetMedica Insure Silver Copay$726$1,451$1,886
FayetteInspire by Medica Silver Copay$617$1,234$1,603
FloydMedica Insure Silver Copay$726$1,451$1,886
FranklinMedica Insure Silver Copay$726$1,451$1,886
FremontMedica Insure Silver Copay$750$1,500$1,949
GreeneInspire by Medica Silver Copay$620$1,240$1,611
GrundyInspire by Medica Silver Copay$620$1,240$1,611
GuthrieMedica Insure Silver Copay$750$1,500$1,949
HamiltonMedica Insure Silver Copay$729$1,458$1,895
HancockMedica Insure Silver Copay$726$1,451$1,886
HardinMedica Insure Silver Copay$729$1,458$1,895
HarrisonMedica with CHI Health Silver Copay$630$1,260$1,637
HenryMedica Insure Silver Copay$722$1,445$1,877
HowardMedica Insure Silver Copay$726$1,451$1,886
HumboldtMedica Insure Silver Copay$726$1,451$1,886
IdaMedica Insure Silver Copay$674$1,348$1,752
IowaInspire by Medica Silver Copay$568$1,136$1,477
JacksonInspire by Medica Silver Copay$568$1,136$1,477
JasperMedica Insure Silver Copay$658$1,316$1,710
JeffersonMedica Insure Silver Copay$722$1,445$1,877
JohnsonMedica Insure Silver Copay$669$1,337$1,737
JonesInspire by Medica Silver Copay$568$1,136$1,477
KeokukMedica Insure Silver Copay$722$1,445$1,877
KossuthMedica Insure Silver Copay$726$1,451$1,886
LeeMedica Insure Silver Copay$722$1,445$1,877
LinnInspire by Medica Silver Copay$568$1,136$1,477
LouisaMedica Insure Silver Copay$722$1,445$1,877
LucasMedica Insure Silver Copay$722$1,445$1,877
LyonMedica Insure Silver Copay$674$1,348$1,752
MadisonMedica Insure Silver Copay$658$1,316$1,710
MahaskaMedica Insure Silver Copay$722$1,445$1,877
MarionMedica Insure Silver Copay$658$1,316$1,710
MarshallInspire by Medica Silver Copay$620$1,240$1,611
MillsMedica Insure Silver Copay$750$1,500$1,949
MitchellMedica Insure Silver Copay$726$1,451$1,886
MononaMedica Insure Silver Copay$674$1,348$1,752
MonroeMedica Insure Silver Copay$722$1,445$1,877
MontgomeryMedica Insure Silver Copay$750$1,500$1,949
MuscatineInspire by Medica Silver Copay$614$1,228$1,595
ObrienMedica Insure Silver Copay$674$1,348$1,752
OsceolaMedica Insure Silver Copay$674$1,348$1,752
PageMedica Insure Silver Copay$750$1,500$1,949
Palo AltoMedica Insure Silver Copay$674$1,348$1,752
PlymouthMedica Insure Silver Copay$674$1,348$1,752
PocahontasMedica Insure Silver Copay$674$1,348$1,752
PolkInspire by Medica Silver Copay$559$1,119$1,454
PottawattamieMedica with CHI Health Silver Copay$630$1,260$1,637
PoweshiekMedica Insure Silver Copay$729$1,458$1,895
RinggoldMedica Insure Silver Copay$750$1,500$1,949
SacMedica Insure Silver Copay$674$1,348$1,752
ScottInspire by Medica Silver Copay$568$1,136$1,477
ShelbyMedica Insure Silver Copay$750$1,500$1,949
SiouxMedica Insure Silver Copay$674$1,348$1,752
StoryMedica Insure Silver Copay$729$1,458$1,895
TamaInspire by Medica Silver Copay$620$1,240$1,611
TaylorMedica Insure Silver Copay$750$1,500$1,949
UnionMedica Insure Silver Copay$750$1,500$1,949
Van BurenMedica Insure Silver Copay$722$1,445$1,877
WapelloMedica Insure Silver Copay$722$1,445$1,877
WarrenInspire by Medica Silver Copay$559$1,119$1,454
WashingtonMedica Insure Silver Copay$722$1,445$1,877
WayneMedica Insure Silver Copay$722$1,445$1,877
WebsterMedica Insure Silver Copay$729$1,458$1,895
WinnebagoMedica Insure Silver Copay$726$1,451$1,886
WinneshiekMedica Insure Silver Copay$726$1,451$1,886
WoodburyInspire by Medica Silver Copay$573$1,146$1,489
WorthMedica Insure Silver Copay$726$1,451$1,886
WrightMedica Insure Silver Copay$726$1,451$1,886

Average cost of health insurance by family size in Iowa

If you're looking for health insurance for your family, the size of your family and their ages will affect the cost of your policy. For children under the age of 15, the monthly rate remains flat, but once a child turns 15 years old, the monthly health plan premium will start increasing.

For example, the average cost of health insurance for a family of three, assuming two 40-year-old parents and a child, is $1,963 in Iowa with a Silver plan. For each additional child, the average cost of a Silver health plan increases by $452, so a family of four would cost an average of $2,415 per month for health coverage.

Family sizeAverage monthly cost of health plan
Individual + Child$1,208
Couple Age 40$1,511
Family of three (Adult couple and a child)$1,963
Family of four (Adult couple and two children)$2,415
Family of five (Adult couple and three children)$2,868
Adults are assumed to be 40 years old. Sample rates are based on the average cost for a Silver plan in Iowa.

Health insurance rate changes in Iowa

In Iowa, the average cost of a health insurance plan has decreased by 13% since 2018. A typical 2020 policy for a 40-year-old costs $561, $81 less than it would have two years ago.

The mean cost of a health plan has decreased across all metal tiers except Silver — a Silver plan now costs 3% more. Catastrophic health insurance plans saw the largest percentage cost decrease in Iowa, with rates dropping by 28%.

Metal Tier2018 Premium2020 Premium% Change
Expanded Bronze$632$472-25.33%
Rates are based on a 40-year-old adult.


The Iowa health insurance premium and plan information used in this analysis were sourced from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). ValuePenguin determined the average rates by metal tier, family size and region by referencing cost data from CMS's Public Use Files (PUF) on its website.

Sterling Price

Sterling Price is a research analyst at ValuePenguin specializing in health and life insurance. He graduated from Syracuse University with a bachelors degree in Finance and Accounting and has previous experience as a licensed life insurance representative.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.