Best Cheap Health Insurance in New Jersey 2018

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. Among Silver plans offered on the exchange, either the IHC Silver EPO AmeriHealth Advantage $15/$35 and IHC Silver EPO HSA Tier 1 Advantage $50/$75 will be the cheapest available options in most New Jersey counties. However, residents of Hunterdon County will find that the OMNIA Silver HSA 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. 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 planDeductibleOut-of-pocket maximumMonthly cost for 40-year-old
CatastrophicClassic Secure$7,350$7,350$231
Expanded BronzeIHC Bronze EPO HSA AmeriHealth Advantage $25/$50$3,000$6,550$322
SilverIHC Silver EPO AmeriHealth Advantage $15/$35$2,500$7,350$399
GoldClassic Gold$1,000$5,000$646

As you can see, the higher-tier health plans have lower deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums but will come with a higher monthly premium. The cost of coverage in New Jersey will depend on the type of plan you choose and your age. For illustrative purposes, we took a look at the average cost of plans by the different metal tiers and what they would cost at ages 21, 40 and 60.

Higher-tier plans will cost more, as will older individuals shopping for these plans. A 40-year-old would pay, an average, $171 more for a Gold plan in New Jersey than a 21-year-old would, but just $83 more for an Expanded Bronze plan. And a 40-year-old who chooses a Gold plan would pay $885 cheaper health insurance rates than a 60-year-old would pay for the same plan.

Average Monthly Cost of Health Insurance Plans by Metal Tier in New Jersey

Finding the 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 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 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 Have 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.

Best Cheap Health Insurance Companies in New Jersey

In 2018, there are four health insurance companies on the New Jersey state exchange: AmeriHealth HMO, AmeriHealth Insurance Company, Horizon Healthcare Services and Oscar Insurance. Oscar rejoined the state marketplace this year—New Jersey residents only had three insurers available to them last year—and is the only insurer not available in every county.

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 Silver planSingle adult, age 40Couple, age 40Couple, age 40, and child
AtlanticIHC Silver EPO AmeriHealth Advantage $15/$35$399$797$1,036
BergenIHC Silver EPO HSA Tier 1 Advantage $50/$75$411$821$1,067
BurlingtonIHC Silver EPO AmeriHealth Advantage $15/$35$399$797$1,036
CamdenIHC Silver EPO AmeriHealth Advantage $15/$35$399$797$1,036
Cape MayIHC Silver EPO AmeriHealth Advantage $15/$35$399$797$1,036
CumberlandIHC Silver EPO HSA Tier 1 Advantage $50/$75$411$821$1,067
EssexIHC Silver EPO AmeriHealth Advantage $15/$35$399$797$1,036
GloucesterIHC Silver EPO AmeriHealth Advantage $15/$35$399$797$1,036
HudsonIHC Silver EPO AmeriHealth Advantage $15/$35$399$797$1,036
HunterdonOMNIA Silver HSA$443$886$1,151
MercerIHC Silver EPO AmeriHealth Advantage $15/$35$399$797$1,036
MiddlesexIHC Silver EPO AmeriHealth Advantage $15/$35$399$797$1,036
MonmouthIHC Silver EPO AmeriHealth Advantage $15/$35$399$797$1,036
MorrisIHC Silver EPO HSA Tier 1 Advantage $50/$75$411$821$1,067
OceanIHC Silver EPO AmeriHealth Advantage $15/$35$399$797$1,036
PassaicIHC Silver EPO HSA Tier 1 Advantage $50/$75$411$821$1,067
SalemIHC Silver EPO HSA Tier 1 Advantage $50/$75$411$821$1,067
SomersetIHC Silver EPO AmeriHealth Advantage $15/$35$399$797$1,036
SussexIHC Silver EPO HSA Tier 1 Advantage $50/$75$411$821$1,067
UnionIHC Silver EPO AmeriHealth Advantage $15/$35$399$797$1,036
WarrenIHC Silver EPO HSA Tier 1 Advantage $50/$75$411$821$1,067

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 $318 more per month for a Silver health plan than a family of three—and $636 more than an adult couple.

Family SizeAverage Monthly Cost of Health Plan
Single adult$531
Adult couple$1,063
Family of three (adult couple and a child)$1,381
Family of four (adult couple and two children)$1,699
Family of five (adult couple and three children)$2,017
Adults are assumed to be 40 years old. Sample rates are based on the average cost for a Silver plan in New Jersey.

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