Best Cheap Health Insurance in Massachusetts (2024)

WellSense Health Plan's Standard High Silver is the cheapest Silver health insurance plan in Massachusetts.

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The Standard High Silver from WellSense Health Plan is the cheapest Silver health insurance plan in Massachusetts. It's available to roughly 98% of people in the state. If you live in Dukes or Nantucket County, your cheapest option is the Mass General Brigham Health Plan Standard Silver.

For residents of Western Massachusetts in Berkshire County, Tufts Health Plan Direct is the most affordable plan.

Health insurance in Massachusetts costs $639 per month, on average, for a 40-year-old with a Silver plan.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA is the most popular health insurance company in Massachusetts, covering just over half the state's population. HealthCare.gov gave it a five out of five points quality score. These scores measure factors such as plan quality and customer satisfaction.

How much does health insurance cost in Massachusetts?

Health insurance in Massachusetts costs an average of $639 per month for a 40-year-old with a Silver plan. The plan tier you choose will influence your health insurance costs. Higher plan tiers have more expensive monthly rates compared to lower plan tiers, such as Silver, Bronze and Catastrophic plans.

However, you'll pay less when you visit the doctor or fill a prescription with a higher plan tier. Lower plan tiers usually have high costs when you get medical care.

Plan tiers don't have anything to do with the quality of care you get or the types of medical services covered by your plan. A Gold plan won't necessarily offer better coverage than a Bronze plan. The only difference between the different plan tiers is how much you pay in monthly rates versus the cost you pay when you use your health insurance.

Cost of health insurance in Massachusetts by age and coverage level

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Besides the plan tier you choose, your age is the next biggest factor that influences your health insurance quotes. In Massachusetts, the cost of a Silver plan jumps by almost 70% between the ages of 40 and 60.

Cheapest health insurance in Massachusetts

The cheapest health insurance plans in Massachusetts are all offered by WellSense. Keep in mind that plan availability varies by location.

Cheapest health insurance in MA

Tier
Cheapest plan
Monthly cost
Bronze WellSense Standard High Bronze $317
Silver WellSense Standard High Silver $389
Gold WellSense Non-Standard Low Gold $476
Platinum WellSense Standard Platinum $608

Monthly costs are for a 40-year-old.

It's important to remember that monthly rates are just one piece of the health insurance puzzle. You should also consider the costs you'll be responsible for paying out of pocket, such as your deductible, copay and coinsurance.

Whether you choose an HMO or PPO will determine which doctors you can see. HMOs are usually cheaper than PPOs, but HMOs only let you see doctors inside your network, while PPOs give you greater freedom to choose the doctors you want.

HMOs also require you to get the approval of your primary care doctor before you see a specialist. PPOs don't have this requirement.

Finally, pay attention to plan quality and customer satisfaction. Low-rated plans may get a large number of customer complaints. That could mean you'll face delays or other frustrations when you need to file a claim.

Finding your best health insurance coverage in Massachusetts

The best health insurance for you will depend on several factors, like your income, savings, health and location. Regardless of where you live in Massachusetts, you will get the chance to choose from four different plan tiers.

For example, a young, healthy person with a big rainy day fund might take advantage of a Bronze plan's low monthly rate. In this case, the customer is betting that they won't have to use their health insurance much, or at all, since Bronze plans typically have high out-of-pocket costs.

By contrast, someone in poor health may find that it's cheaper to buy a Gold plan because hospital visits and prescriptions cost less.

A Silver plan will probably suit you best if you fall somewhere between these two extremes.

Gold and Platinum plans: best for people with ongoing illnesses

You should consider a Gold or Platinum plan if you visit the hospital frequently or take expensive prescription drugs. These plans have high monthly rates which are balanced out by low deductibles , copays and coinsurance.

Gold and Platinum plans rarely make sense if you're in good health since you'll likely end up paying far more in higher monthly rates than you'll save with low out-of-pocket costs.

Silver plans: best for most people

Silver health insurance plans have modest monthly rates and affordable costs when you visit the doctor. Unlike other plan tiers, you can also apply for cost-sharing reductions (CSRs) if you have a Silver plan and a low income.

Cost-sharing reductions help you pay for the part of your medical bill that you're responsible for, such as your deductible, copay and coinsurance.

Bronze plans: best for healthy people with emergency savings

Bronze and Catastrophic plans often have the cheapest monthly health insurance rates, making them great choices for young, healthy people with low expected medical costs. We wouldn't recommend these policies unless you have the financial resources to cover the high out-of-pocket expenses in case of an emergency.

In 2024, no insurance company in Massachusetts sells Catastrophic health insurance. These plans have very cheap monthly rates and high out-of-pocket costs. In addition, they're only available to people under the age of 30 or those who qualify for a special hardship exemption because they would have a hard time affording a standard health plan.

Catastrophic health insurance plans are rarely a good idea financially, so their absence from the Massachusetts health insurance marketplace shouldn't negatively affect you. If you earn a low income, you should see if you're eligible for government subsidies like premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions. These can dramatically lower the amount you pay for health insurance.

Medicaid: best if you have a low income

Medicaid is a form of free government health insurance.

In Massachusetts, you can qualify for Medicaid if you earn roughly $20,000 as a single person or $40,000 as a family of four. You should consider applying for Medicaid if your income falls within this range since there's no monthly cost to you.

If you're over the age of 65, you should see if you dual qualify for Medicare and Medicaid, as this can increase your coverage and lower your medical costs even more.

Are health insurance rates going up in Massachusetts?

For 2024, the average cost of health insurance in Massachusetts rose by 16% for Silver plans. However, Bronze plans saw a far more modest 3% increase, and the price of Gold plans stayed flat.

The cost of a Platinum plan actually decreased by 6%.

Tier
2022
2023
2024
Change (2023 vs. 2024)
Bronze$420$464$4763%
Silver$535$553$63916%
Gold$659$706$7060%
Platinum$886$951$898-6%

Monthly costs are for a 40-year-old.


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Best cheap health insurance companies in Massachusetts

Harvard Pilgrim is the best health insurance in Massachusetts.

Harvard Pilgrim has a perfect five-star rating from HealthCare.gov and a strong four-and-a-half star rating from ValuePenguin editors. These scores take into account factors such as plan quality and customer satisfaction.

In addition to the plan's high quality, Harvard Pilgrim plans are available in every county in Massachusetts, and its Silver plans are roughly in line with the state average.

There are three other health insurance companies with a five-star rating from HealthCare.gov in Massachusetts. However, two of these companies, Health New England and Mass General Brigham Health Plan, aren't available everywhere in Massachusetts.

Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) of MA is available statewide, but its prices are much higher than the state average.

There are currently eight health insurance companies on the Massachusetts state exchange:

Best health insurance companies in MA

Company
Cost
Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan logo
UnitedHealthcare
$867
UnitedHealthcare logo
Fallon Health
$447
BlueCross BlueShield  logo
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
$809
WellSense logo
WellSense Health PlanNot yet rated$407
Tufts Health Plan Medicare logo
Tufts Health Plan DirectNot yet rated$432
Show All Rows

Average monthly cost for a 40-year old buying a Silver plan in MA. Ratings are based on editor reviews of the company.

Cheapest health insurance plans by Massachusetts county

The number and types of health insurance plans available to you will depend on which Massachusetts county you live in.

Cheapest health insurance in MA by county

County
Cheapest plan
Monthly rates
BarnstableWellSense Standard High Silver$442
BerkshireTufts Direct Standard Silver$432
BristolWellSense Standard High Silver$396
DukesMass General Brigham Standard Silver$645
EssexWellSense Standard High Silver$389
Show All Rows

Cheapest Silver plan with rates for a 40-year-old

Short-term health insurance in Massachusetts

In 2024, no health insurance companies sell short-term health insurance in Massachusetts.

If you're in need of health insurance due to a sudden loss of coverage, you should see if you have an IRS qualifying event. This lets you sign up for health insurance outside the open enrollment period.

Frequently asked questions

Does Massachusetts have free health insurance?

In Massachusetts, you can sign up for MassHealth, which is the state-specific name for Massachusetts's Medicaid program if you earn a low income. The income limit for MassHealth is roughly $20,000 for a single person and $40,000 for a family of four in 2024.

How much does health insurance cost per month in Massachusetts?

Health insurance costs $639 per month, on average, in Massachusetts for a 40-year-old with a Silver health plan. Your age, plan level and location all influence your health insurance quotes.

What is the most popular health insurance in Massachusetts?

Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) of MA is the most popular health insurance company in Massachusetts, selling more than half of the state's health insurance plans. It is well-rated for plan quality and is available throughout the state.

However, BCBS is one of the most expensive health insurance companies in MA. Harvard Pilgrim is a good alternative since it offers similar levels of quality at a lower price.

Methodology

Public use files (PUFs) provided average rates by age, county, plan tier and family size for the state of Massachusetts. Company quality ratings were sourced from HealthCare.gov and ValuePenguin editors.

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.