Health Insurance

Best Cheap Health Insurance in New Jersey 2020

Best Cheap Health Insurance in New Jersey 2020

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Cheap health insurance coverage in New Jersey can be found shopping on the New Jersey health insurance marketplace or through eligibility for a Medicaid plan if your household income is low enough.

For 2020, the average cost of health insurance in the state is $500 for a 40-year-old. This is a 3% decrease since the 2018 plan year.

Among Silver plans offered on the exchange, either the IHC Silver EPO AmeriHealth Advantage $25/$50 and IHC Silver EPO HSA AmeriHealth Hospital Advantage $50/$75 will be the cheapest available options in almost all of New Jersey counties. However, residents of Hunterdon County will find that the OMNIA Silver Value offers the best rates for Silver coverage.

Cheapest health insurance coverage by metal tier

To help you compare policies, we looked at the cheapest health plans by metal tier available on the New Jersey state exchange. The cost of coverage in New Jersey will depend on the type of plan you choose and your age.

Average monthly cost of health insurance plans by metal tier in New Jersey

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Higher-tier plans will cost more, as will older individuals shopping for these plans. A 40-year-old would pay, on average, $163 more for a Gold plan in New Jersey than a 21-year-old would, but just $81 more for an Expanded Bronze plan. And a 40-year-old who chooses a Gold plan would pay $840 cheaper health insurance rates than a 60-year-old would pay for the same plan.

These plans may not be available in all areas of the state, but they're a good starting point for the types of benefits and costs you can expect.

Metal tierCheapest planDeductibleMaximum out-of-pocketMonthly cost for a 40-year-old
CatastrophicOscar Simple Secure$8,150$8,150$272
Expanded BronzeIHC Bronze EPO HSA AmeriHealth Advantage $25/$50$3,450$6,900$307
SilverIHC Silver EPO AmeriHealth Advantage $25/$50$2,500$8,150$379
GoldOscar Classic Gold Option 2$1,500$6,650$647

As you can see above, the higher-tier health plans have lower deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums but will come with a higher monthly premium.

Finding your best health insurance coverage in New Jersey

Your cheapest options for health care coverage will depend on your income level. The state of New Jersey has expanded its Medicaid coverage as part of the Affordable Care Act, meaning people with incomes under 138% of the federal poverty level may qualify for government-sponsored coverage.

If you don't qualify for Medicaid, then your best options for cheap health insurance coverage will be a Bronze or Silver plan through the New Jersey health insurance marketplace. Only plans through the exchange will allow low-income households to qualify for tax subsidies to reduce premium expenses.

When it comes to the cost of health care, you should take both premiums and out-of-pocket costs into account. Getting a cheap health plan for your situation is about finding the right balance between the two.

Plans with lower premiums will generally have higher deductibles, copays and coinsurance, meaning you will be responsible for a higher proportion of costs before the plan's benefits kick in.

Generally, for those people with higher expected medical costs, the best health insurance plans have higher premiums and lower cost sharing. Those who are healthier and rarely use medical care should look for the opposite type of plan: low premiums and high cost-sharing features.

Silver plans are best if you gave standard medical expenses

Silver plans are a good middle ground for most consumers, as they balance premiums and out-of-pocket cost sharing. They are also the only type of plan that's eligible for additional cost-sharing reduction (CSR) subsidies that kick in if you have a low income.

The CSRs can actually improve the benefits of these plans to be comparable to higher-priced Gold and Platinum plans. Consumers who qualify for subsidies are almost always better off choosing a Silver plan because it will outperform more expensive plans.

Healthier and younger consumers should consider cheap bronze plans

At the lower end of the premium spectrum are the Bronze and Catastrophic plans, which have very high cost-sharing benefits but cheaper premiums. These types of plans usually have deductibles in the $5,000 - $7,000 range, and only once you've spent this amount will the plan start covering your medical care.

Even so, there are two major economic benefits of having a higher deductible plan. In the case of emergency care or some catastrophic expense, you will be protected from bills that may range in the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. And even if you're paying for an expense out of pocket before meeting the deductible, the amount you will pay is based on the cost negotiated between the insurance company and the medical provider. This negotiated price is much lower than what the service provider usually charges.

Health insurance rate changes in New Jersey

In New Jersey, health insurance rates and policy offerings are provided by each individual health insurance provider. These are submitted yearly to the federal exchange and approved.

For 2020, all metal tiers have decreased since 2018. Silver health insurance policies decreased the most by 6% over this time period.

Metal tier2018 Premium2020 Premium% Change
Catastrophic$314$308-1.77%
Expanded Bronze$381$372-2.40%
Silver$531$499-6.06%
Gold$787$747-5.04%
2018 and 2020 premiums are for a 40-year-old adult.

Short-term health insurance in New Jersey

Due to long-standing health insurance laws, New Jersey prohibits the sale of short-term health insurance. All health policies in the state must provide full-year coverage, comprehensive benefits and be guaranteed-issue. Typically, short-term plans do not cover the essential benefits and require medical underwriting to be issued. Due to these reasons, plans of this type cannot be purchased in New Jersey.

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Best cheap health insurance companies in New Jersey

This year, there are four health insurance companies on the New Jersey state exchange: AmeriHealth HMO, AmeriHealth Insurance Company, Horizon Healthcare Services and Oscar Insurance.

Cheapest health insurance plan by county

The insurers and health plans available will vary depending on where you live. To help you get started in your search for health insurance, we compared all New Jersey policies and identified the cheapest plan in every county, along with sample rates for families of different sizes.

CountyCheapest planAge 40Couple, age 40Couple, age 40 + child
AtlanticIHC Silver EPO AmeriHealth Advantage $25/$50$379$757$984
BergenIHC Silver EPO HSA AmeriHealth Hospital Advantage $50/$75$389$778$1,011
BurlingtonIHC Silver EPO AmeriHealth Advantage $25/$50$379$757$984
CamdenIHC Silver EPO AmeriHealth Advantage $25/$50$379$757$984
Cape MayIHC Silver EPO AmeriHealth Advantage $25/$50$379$757$984
CumberlandIHC Silver EPO HSA AmeriHealth Hospital Advantage $50/$75$389$778$1,011
EssexIHC Silver EPO AmeriHealth Advantage $25/$50$379$757$984
GloucesterIHC Silver EPO AmeriHealth Advantage $25/$50$379$757$984
HudsonIHC Silver EPO AmeriHealth Advantage $25/$50$379$757$984
HunterdonOMNIA Silver Value$398$795$1,033
MercerIHC Silver EPO AmeriHealth Advantage $25/$50$379$757$984
MiddlesexIHC Silver EPO AmeriHealth Advantage $25/$50$379$757$984
MonmouthIHC Silver EPO AmeriHealth Advantage $25/$50$379$757$984
MorrisIHC Silver EPO HSA AmeriHealth Hospital Advantage $50/$75$389$778$1,011
OceanIHC Silver EPO AmeriHealth Advantage $25/$50$379$757$984
PassaicIHC Silver EPO HSA AmeriHealth Hospital Advantage $50/$75$389$778$1,011
SalemIHC Silver EPO HSA AmeriHealth Hospital Advantage $50/$75$389$778$1,011
SomersetIHC Silver EPO AmeriHealth Advantage $25/$50$379$757$984
SussexIHC Silver EPO HSA AmeriHealth Hospital Advantage $50/$75$389$778$1,011
UnionIHC Silver EPO AmeriHealth Advantage $25/$50$379$757$984
WarrenIHC Silver EPO HSA AmeriHealth Hospital Advantage $50/$75$389$778$1,011

Average cost of health insurance by family size in New Jersey

The cost of a health insurance plan will vary depending on the number of people insured and the age of each person. While children under the age of 15 are typically covered for a flat rate, older individuals, such as your spouse, will be priced based upon their age. So, larger families with older individuals will pay higher rates than younger, smaller families.

A family of four in New Jersey, for example, would pay an average of $299 more per month for a Silver health plan than a family of three — and $597 more than an adult couple.

Family sizeAverage monthly cost of health plan
Individual + child$797
Couple age 40$998
Family of three (Adult couple and a child)$1,296
Family of four (Adult couple and two children)$1,595
Family of five (Adult couple and three children)$1,893
Adults are assumed to be 40 years old. Sample rates are based on the average cost for a Silver plan in New Jersey.

Methodology

New Jersey health insurance rates, deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums were compiled from the Center of Medicaid & Medicaid Services (CMS) government database. ValuePenguin used the Public Use Files (PUF) to average premiums by metal tier, county and family size to provide a clearer view of health insurance cost in the state.

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.

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