Health Insurance

The cheapest health insurance plan in Minnesota is often the UCare Silver HSA, as it is the cheapest policy available in 43% of the state's counties — more than any other. UCare's M Health Fairview Silver HSA is also commonly cheap, but it's only sold in 10 Minnesota counties.

In Minnesota, cheap health insurance is available to purchase through the MNsure private health insurance marketplace. Alternatively, if your household income falls below 138% of the federal poverty level, then you are eligible to receive your health insurance through Medicaid.

Cheapest health insurance by metal tier

MNsure marketplace plans are available for purchase if you currently do not receive health insurance through an employer or are self-employed.

We researched and compared all the plans offered on the Minnesota exchange to identify the most affordable health insurance option at each level of coverage. Each plan has a deductible, out-of-pocket maximum and monthly premium that differ according to metal tier. This table should be used to evaluate the plans offered in Minnesota and help you to gauge what tier may fit your financial needs.

Metal tier
Cheapest plan
Maximum out-of-pocket
Monthly cost for a 40-year-old
BronzeUCare M Health Fairview Bronze HSA$6,950$6,950$223
SilverUCare M Health Fairview Silver HSA$3,000$6,800$265
GoldBlue Plus Metro MN Gold $1400 Plan 455$1,400$7,200$344

Minnesota's health insurance exchange is broken down into three different metal tiers: Bronze, Silver and Gold. The highest tier has the most expensive premiums but lower deductibles, which allow for quicker access to coinsurance benefits. For example, the average monthly premium for the cheapest Gold plan is more expensive than the monthly premium for the Bronze policy, but the deductible is $5,575 smaller.

The premium you are required to pay for a policy is determined in large part by your age — as you get older, a higher premium is required to pay for the same level of health insurance. For example, in Minnesota, a 60-year-old would pay on average 112% more for a Silver plan than a 40-year-old, or $412 more per month. The jump in cost is smaller between 21-year-olds and 40-year-olds — $80 — since health conditions are much more prevalent among seniors.

Cheapest health insurance companies in Minnesota

Finding the best health insurance coverage in Minnesota

The best health insurance coverage will depend on your medical and financial situations along with the availability of policies in your county. Minnesota has expanded Medicaid coverage in the state. This allows anyone who has a household income that falls below 138% of the federal poverty line to receive Medicaid coverage.

When deciding on an individual plan, it is vital to evaluate your situation and then choose a plan that has premiums, deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums that will work for you. Otherwise, you may end up overpaying for unnecessary coverage or committing to pay unaffordable out-of-pocket costs.

Below we have provided a breakdown of the metal tiers and who each policy would best serve.

Gold plans: Best if you expect high medical costs

Gold plans are the most expensive health insurance policies offered in Minnesota. Although these policies cost the most, they have the most affordable deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses. For this reason, Gold plans can be great if you tend to have high medical costs during the year. In this case, you would be able to reach the low deductible very quickly and then begin to receive coinsurance benefits from the plan provider.

The cheapest Gold plan in Minnesota is the Blue Plus Metro MN Gold $1400 Plan 455. Compare all tiers in Minnesota above.

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

Silver plans are the middle-ground policies on the health insurance marketplace. We recommend beginning your health insurance search with Silver plans since these plans have affordable premiums along with an attainable deductible. Once the deductible is met, cost-sharing begins between you and the insurer.

Silver plans are also the only plans on the Minnesota marketplace that are eligible for cost-sharing reductions, which reduce copays, coinsurance and deductibles. You can become eligible for these reductions if you have a household income below 250% of the federal poverty level. Due to these reductions, Silver plans can sometimes be the most cost-effective option.

The cheapest Silver plan in Minnesota is the UCare M Health Fairview Silver HSA. Compare all tiers in Minnesota above.

Bronze: Best if you are young and healthy

Bronze health policies will have the lowest premiums but the highest deductibles and cost-sharing. This high deductible will require you to pay thousands of dollars before any coinsurance benefits will begin. For this reason, Bronze policies are best if you are healthy or young and will not incur regular medical costs like monthly prescription drugs. You should also make sure that you're financially able to pay the high deductible in the case of a medical emergency.

The cheapest Bronze plan in Minnesota is the UCare M Health Fairview Bronze HSA. Compare all tiers in Minnesota above.

Short-term health insurance in Minnesota

Short-term health insurance is available for purchase in Minnesota. Typically, short-term plans can only provide coverage for up to one year, but in Minnesota, short-term health insurance can only last six months. Additionally, plans are issued on a nonrenewable basis.

Federal regulations for short-term policies do not require these plans to cover all the essential benefits. This includes health services like prescription drugs and maternity care. If you need comprehensive coverage, you should not purchase a short-term health insurance policy and instead consider other options, such as the state marketplace.

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Health insurance companies in Minnesota

In Minnesota, there are currently five insurers that sell plans through the MNsure marketplace:

  • UCare Minnesota
  • Media
  • HealthPartners
  • Quartz
  • BlueCross BlueShield Minnesota

The availability of insurers will change by county. Therefore, your location will directly affect your coverage options. Out of all of these companies, BlueCross BlueShield Minnesota is the most widely available health insurer in the state.

Cheapest Silver plan by county

The availability and cost of individual health insurance policies will depend on the county that you live in. As you can see in the table below, the UCare Silver HSA is $31 more expensive for a 40-year-old who lives in Clearwater County than someone the same age in Benton County. It is important to note these differences so that you can find a plan that fits your level of income.

Cheapest plan
Age 40
Couple, age 40
AitkinUCare Silver HSA$316$632
AnokaUCare M Health Fairview SilverHSA$265$530
BeckerUCare Silver HSA$312$624
BeltramiUCare Silver HSA$316$632
BentonUCare Silver HSA$288$576
Big StoneBlue Plus Minnesota Value HSA Silver $4200 Plan 401$322$645
Blue EarthUCare Silver HSA$361$721
BrownBlue Plus Minnesota Value HSA Silver $4200 Plan 401$324$648
CarltonBlue Plus Minnesota Value HSA Silver $4200 Plan 401$346$692
CarverUCare M Health Fairview SilverHSA$265$530
CassUCare Silver HSA$316$632
ChippewaBlue Plus Minnesota Value HSA Silver $4200 Plan 401$322$645
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We retrieved health insurance rates for 21-, 40- and 60-year-old shoppers using Minnesota's health insurance exchange MNsure. ValuePenguin organized this data according to county, age and metal tier to allow readers to compare rates easily.

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.