Health Insurance

Best Cheap Health Insurance in Montana 2021

Best Cheap Health Insurance in Montana 2021

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In 2021, the average cost of health insurance across all metal tiers in Montana is $449 per month. This is only $1 more per month than it was in 2020.

The cheapest health insurance in Montana for most people is the Co-op Plus Silver plan. This is the most affordable plan for 88% of the state's counties. People may also find cheap health insurance with Blue Focus Silver POS℠ 206.

Select a plan tier to learn more:

Affordable health coverage is available to Montana residents through the state health insurance marketplace, which offers health plans from three insurance companies.

Cheapest health insurance by metal tier

The state exchange offers five different tiers of health insurance coverage to choose from: Catastrophic, Bronze, Expanded Bronze, Silver and Gold. We compared policies in Montana by tier to find a cheap health insurance policy at each level of coverage on the state exchange.

Metal tier
Cheapest plan
Deductible
Maximum out of pocket
Monthly cost for a 40-year-old
CatastrophicConnected Care Catastrophic$8,550$8,550$266
BronzeBlue Preferred Bronze PPO 301$8,550$8,550$388
Expanded BronzeBlue Focus Bronze POS 205$4,700$5,880$270
SilverBlue Focus Silver POS 206$4,200$8,550$356
GoldBlue Focus Gold POS 207$300$8,550$381

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The plans above may not be available in your county, but they're a good starting point to compare the costs and benefits in that given tier. The Blue Focus Silver POS 206 Silver plan, for instance, has a monthly premium that starts at $356 but a deductible of $4,200. The lowest-cost Expanded Bronze plan, Blue Focus Bronze POS 205, has higher out-of-pocket costs, with a $4,700 deductible, but comes with a cheaper minimum monthly premium of $270.

The cost of health insurance is largely driven by metal tier and the ages of the insured. A higher-tier policy would have higher monthly premiums but would also come with lower out-of-pocket costs when you use the insurance.

As you get older, the monthly cost of coverage will increase across all metal tiers. For example, a 40-year-old pays $110, or 28%, more per month than a 21-year-old for the same plan. However, the same 40-year-old pays $570 less per month than a 60-year-old for the same coverage.

Average cost of health insurance in Montana by metal tier

Finding the best health insurance coverage in Montana

Typically, higher metal tier policies have costlier monthly premiums, but they also provide lower out-of-pocket expenses, such as deductibles, copays and coinsurance. These higher metal tier plans are best if you think you may become sick or already have high recurring medical costs, such as prescriptions. On the other hand, policyholders who are young and healthy or don't expect to have high medical costs may wish to choose a lower metal tier plan to save money.

Gold plans: Best for high expected medical costs

Gold plans are the highest metal tier available in Montana, and you can expect these policies to cover roughly 80% of your health care expenses, while you pay the other 20%.

Gold health plans typically cover the greatest share of out-of-pocket costs, as the deductibles, copays and coinsurance are lower. These benefits come at the expense of a higher monthly premium. The average cost of a Gold plan in Montana is 6% greater than the average cost of a Silver health plan.

Generally, Gold health insurance policies are the most cost effective if you have ongoing medical costs; for example, if you have a chronic condition or costly prescriptions.

The cheapest Gold plan in Montana is Blue Focus Gold POS 207. Compare all tiers in Montana above.

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

For many households, in terms of monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs, Silver plans fall between Gold and Bronze metal tier plans, serving as a good middle ground. However, Silver plans are also eligible for cost-sharing reduction (CSR) subsidies that 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.

The cheapest Silver plan in Montana is Blue Focus Silver POS 206. Compare all tiers in Montana above.

Bronze and Catastrophic plans: Best for young, healthy people

Catastrophic and Bronze health insurance plans offer the cheapest monthly premiums. However, Catastrophic plans are only available to those under 30 years old or who qualify for an exemption. Bronze plans are the cheapest option available to everyone, but they come with reduced coverage. Policyholders generally pay higher out-of-pocket costs compared to higher metal tier plans. So, if you need medical care during the year, you would have to pay more money out of pocket before coverage kicks in.

On average, you can expect a Bronze plan to cover about 60% of your health costs, while you pay for the other 40%. Extended Bronze plans increase coverage to about 65%, while you pay roughly 35%. Therefore, we would only recommend these plans if you have the financial means to cover a large portion of your medical emergencies.

The cheapest Bronze plan in Montana is Blue Preferred Bronze PPO 301. The cheapest Catastrophic plan is Connected Care Catastrophic. Compare all tiers in Montana above.

Health insurance rate changes in Montana

In Montana, health insurance premiums, out-of-pocket maximums and deductibles are adjusted yearly by insurance companies. Once the premiums are set, they are sent for approval to the federal exchange regulators.

Overall, the cost of health insurance across all metal tiers in Montana remained stable from the previous year. Individually, price changes varied by metal tier. The cost of Bronze plans rose by 5%, the most of any plan. Catastrophic and Gold plans became more affordable, while Silver plans cost nearly the same as they did in 2020.

Metal tier
2020 premium
2021 premium
Change
Catastrophic$339$332-2%
Bronze$390$4115%
Expanded Bronze$372$3864%
Silver$506$5070%
Gold$547$540-1%

Premiums are for a 40-year-old adult.

Best cheap health insurance companies in Montana

The three health insurance companies on the Montana state exchange are Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana, Montana Health Cooperative and PacificSource Health Plans. All three insurers are available in every county in Montana, but the plans offered and their monthly premiums may differ.

Cheapest health insurance plan by county

The cheapest Silver health insurance policy in 88% of Montana counties is the Co-op Plus Silver plan. But the cost of a health insurance policy will differ depending on where you live, your age and the number of people covered.

The best health insurance plan in Montana will also depend on your county, as the same policy may have different rates depending on where you live. For example, the Co-op Plus Silver plan costs $462 per month for a 40-year-old in Big Horn County, but it would cost $17 more for the same 40-year-old in Silver Bow.

County
Cheapest plan
Age 40
Couple, age 40
Couple, age 40 plus child
BeaverheadCo-op Plus Silver$462$924$1,201
Big HornCo-op Plus Silver$462$924$1,201
BlaineCo-op Plus Silver$462$924$1,201
BroadwaterCo-op Plus Silver$477$953$1,238
CarbonBlue Focus Silver POS℠ 206$356$713$926
CarterCo-op Plus Silver$462$924$1,201
CascadeCo-op Plus Silver$477$953$1,238
ChouteauCo-op Plus Silver$477$953$1,238
CusterCo-op Plus Silver$462$924$1,201
DanielsCo-op Plus Silver$462$924$1,201
DawsonCo-op Plus Silver$462$924$1,201
Deer LodgeCo-op Plus Silver$477$953$1,238
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Average cost of health insurance by family size in Montana

In addition to your chosen health plan, the number of people covered and their ages will determine the cost of health insurance for your family in Montana. If you add children to your health insurance plan, the cost of coverage for each child is a flat rate until they are 15 years old. Upon reaching the age of 15, the monthly rate will increase as they grow older.

For instance, the average health insurance cost for a family of three, assuming two 40-year-old parents and a child on a Silver plan, is $1,318 in Montana. If you were to add another child to the plan, the monthly premium would increase by $304. So for a family of four, the total monthly cost of health coverage would be $1,622.

Family size
Average monthly cost of health plan
Individual plus child$811
Couple, age 40$1,015
Family of three (adult couple and a child)$1,318
Family of four (adult couple and two children)$1,622
Family of five (adult couple and three children)$1,926

Sample adults are 40 years old, while children are 14 years old or younger. Sample rates are based on the average cost for a Silver plan in Montana.

Methodology

The health insurance rate data in this analysis was sourced from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) website. ValuePenguin used the CMS public use files (PUF) to average stated premiums across a variety of factors such as metal tier, county and family size.

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.