Best Cheap Health Insurance in North Carolina 2019

Cheap health insurance policies in North Carolina can be purchased through the state's health insurance marketplace or through Medicaid if your household income is low enough to be eligible. We compared all Silver plans in the North Carolina exchange and, in the majority of the state, either the Blue Select 7000 (tiered network) or Blue Value 7000 (limited network) was the best priced health insurance policy offered. However, if you live in one of the five counties where Cigna provides coverage, its Connect 5500 policy was the cheapest Silver plan available in those regions.

Cheapest Health Insurance by Metal Tier

To help you find the most affordable rates for your desired level of coverage, we compared North Carolina health insurance policies by metal tier to determine the cheapest options available. While these plans aren't available in every county in the state, we recommend using them as a starting point to determine the benefits and costs you can expect for a given tier of coverage.

Metal TierCheapest PlanDeductibleOut-of-Pocket MaximumMonthly Cost for 40-Year-Old
CatastrophicBlue Value Catastrophic (limited network)$7,350$7,350$231.32
BronzeCigna Connect 6400$6,400$7,350$413.57
SilverCigna Connect 5500$5,500$7,350$528.92
GoldBlue Local 2500 (local network with Duke Health and WakeMed)$2,500$7,350$608.90

Higher metal tier plans, such as those in the Gold tier, typically come with lower deductibles and often have a lower out-of-pocket maximum expense. However, even the cheapest of these policies will have higher premiums than the lower-level plans, so you should weigh the benefits against your actual rates when determining the best coverage. Silver plans are typically recommended as a balance between moderate premiums and out-of-pocket costs, such as deductibles and co-pays, though the best policy for you may differ depending on your income and expected medical expenses.

Within a metal tier, your actual health insurance premium will also vary according to the policy you choose, your age and the size of your family. As you can see below, a 40-year-old will have health insurance rates that are 28% higher than the cost of the same metal tier policy for a 21-year old. And a 60-year-old's health insurance premium will be 112% more expensive than the average cost for a 40-year-old.

Average Monthly Cost of Health Insurance Plans by Metal Tier in North Carolina

Finding the Best Health Insurance Coverage in North Carolina

The best cheap health insurance plan for you will depend on your income level as well as your expected expenses. North Carolina hasn't expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, so this option will be limited to those with income below the Federal Poverty Level. If your income is greater than this limit, your best health insurance options will be on the North Carolina marketplace, and you may qualify for tax subsidies for coverage depending on your income.

North Carolina exchange health insurance plans are broken into metal tiers that represent different levels of premiums and out-of-pocket expenses. Higher metal tier plans typically have higher premiums but lower deductibles, copays and coinsurance, so you'll be responsible for a lower proportion of costs in the event you need to use your coverage. These plans, such as Gold plans, are recommended for those who have higher expected medical care needs. You should balance the cheap health insurance rates that come with lower-tier plans, such as Bronze and Catastrophic policies, with the out-of-pocket costs you may need to pay if you need medical care.

Gold Plans: Best for People with High Expected Medical Costs

Higher-coverage Gold plans are typically the best health insurance option if you expect to have large medical expenses, such as routine prescription needs. Though these policies have higher premiums, the lower out-of-pocket expenses mean you'll have to pay less for each additional visit to a health care provider. When choosing the best Gold health insurance plan for yourself, make sure to consider the out-of-pocket expenses for prescriptions, as these typically have the highest routine use.

Silver Plans: Best for Average Medical Costs or People with Low Income

A Silver health insurance plan may be the cheapest option if you have a low household income, as these policies are eligible for additional cost-sharing reduction (CSR) subsidies. Silver plans are also a good middle ground option for shoppers who expect to have some medical costs and can't easily afford the higher expenses of a gold plan. These health insurance plans are cheaper but still have better benefits and lower out-of-pocket expenses than Bronze and Catastrophic plans.

Bronze and Catastrophic Plans: Best for Young, Healthy People with Low Expected Costs

Bronze and Catastrophic health insurance plans are the cheapest coverage options, but you may end up paying more if you have medical expenses, as the out-of-pocket costs are much higher. And Catastrophic plans are only available if you're under 30 or meet certain exemptions. You should carefully weigh your ability to cover an emergency medical cost before choosing one of these plans, because you'll need to meet a higher deductible before a policy's benefits will kick in. So, if you have little savings or disposable income, a Silver plan may be the better choice, even though it comes with a higher monthly premium, unless you're confident you could meet a Bronze or Catastrophic plan's deductible. We typically recommend considering these health plans only if you're young and healthy, and have emergency savings to cover the out-of-pocket expenses in the event you need medical care.

Best Cheap Health Insurance Companies in North Carolina

There are just two health insurance companies on the North Carolina state exchange: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of NC and Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc. Though both companies offer a variety of policies, you may be limited in the range of options available depending on where you live, and that can impact your rates. Cigna is only offering health insurance on the state exchange in five counties this year (Chatham, Johnston, Nash, Orange and Wake) and has the cheapest option for a Silver plan in each of those counties. Blue Cross Blue Shield is the only health insurance company available in most North Carolina counties.

Cheapest Health Insurance Plan by County

Where you live in North Carolina will determine the insurers and health insurance policies available. To help you with your search, we've found the cheapest Silver health insurance plans available on the state exchange in each county. You can see the policy with the best rates, as well as sample monthly premiums for different family sizes, below.

CountyCheapest Silver PlanSingle Adult, Age 40Couple, Age 40Couple, Age 40, and Child
AlamanceBlue Local 7000 (local network with Duke Health and WakeMed)$582$1,165$1,513
AlexanderBlue Value 7000 (limited network)$578$1,155$1,501
AlleghanyBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$642$1,285$1,669
AnsonBlue Value 7000 (limited network)$659$1,318$1,713
AsheBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$642$1,285$1,669
AveryBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$610$1,219$1,584
BeaufortBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$623$1,245$1,618
BertieBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$636$1,272$1,652
BladenBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$662$1,324$1,720
BrunswickBlue Value 7000 (limited network)$584$1,168$1,518
BuncombeBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$610$1,219$1,584
BurkeBlue Value 7000 (limited network)$578$1,155$1,501
CabarrusBlue Value 7000 (limited network)$659$1,318$1,713
CaldwellBlue Value 7000 (limited network)$578$1,155$1,501
CamdenBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$636$1,272$1,652
CarteretBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$623$1,245$1,618
CaswellBlue Local 7000 (local network with Duke Health and WakeMed)$582$1,165$1,513
CatawbaBlue Value 7000 (limited network)$578$1,155$1,501
ChathamCigna Connect 5500$533$1,066$1,385
CherokeeBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$610$1,219$1,584
ChowanBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$636$1,272$1,652
ClayBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$610$1,219$1,584
ClevelandBlue Value 7000 (limited network)$624$1,248$1,622
ColumbusBlue Value 7000 (limited network)$584$1,168$1,518
CravenBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$623$1,245$1,618
CumberlandBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$662$1,324$1,720
CurrituckBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$636$1,272$1,652
DareBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$623$1,245$1,618
DavidsonBlue Value 7000 (limited network)$595$1,190$1,546
DavieBlue Value 7000 (limited network)$595$1,190$1,546
DuplinBlue Value 7000 (limited network)$584$1,168$1,518
DurhamBlue Local 7000 (local network with Duke Health and WakeMed)$582$1,165$1,513
EdgecombeBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$642$1,285$1,669
ForsythBlue Value 7000 (limited network)$595$1,190$1,546
FranklinBlue Local 7000 (local network with Duke Health and WakeMed)$571$1,142$1,483
GastonBlue Value 7000 (limited network)$624$1,248$1,622
GatesBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$636$1,272$1,652
GrahamBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$610$1,219$1,584
GranvilleBlue Local 7000 (local network with Duke Health and WakeMed)$588$1,176$1,528
GreeneBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$642$1,285$1,669
GuilfordBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$610$1,219$1,584
HalifaxBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$636$1,272$1,652
HarnettBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$662$1,324$1,720
HaywoodBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$610$1,219$1,584
HendersonBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$610$1,219$1,584
HertfordBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$636$1,272$1,652
HokeBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$662$1,324$1,720
HydeBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$623$1,245$1,618
IredellBlue Value 7000 (limited network)$578$1,155$1,501
JacksonBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$610$1,219$1,584
JohnstonCigna Connect 5500$541$1,081$1,405
JonesBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$623$1,245$1,618
LeeBlue Local 7000 (local network with Duke Health and WakeMed)$582$1,165$1,513
LenoirBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$623$1,245$1,618
LincolnBlue Value 7000 (limited network)$624$1,248$1,622
MaconBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$610$1,219$1,584
MadisonBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$610$1,219$1,584
MartinBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$636$1,272$1,652
McdowellBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$610$1,219$1,584
MecklenburgBlue Value 7000 (limited network)$659$1,318$1,713
MitchellBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$610$1,219$1,584
MontgomeryBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$649$1,298$1,686
MooreBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$649$1,298$1,686
NashCigna Connect 5500$529$1,058$1,374
New HanoverBlue Value 7000 (limited network)$584$1,168$1,518
NorthamptonBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$636$1,272$1,652
OnslowBlue Value 7000 (limited network)$584$1,168$1,518
OrangeCigna Connect 5500$533$1,066$1,385
PamlicoBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$623$1,245$1,618
PasquotankBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$636$1,272$1,652
PenderBlue Value 7000 (limited network)$584$1,168$1,518
PerquimansBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$636$1,272$1,652
PersonBlue Local 7000 (local network with Duke Health and WakeMed)$582$1,165$1,513
PittBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$642$1,285$1,669
PolkBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$610$1,219$1,584
RandolphBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$610$1,219$1,584
RichmondBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$662$1,324$1,720
RobesonBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$662$1,324$1,720
RockinghamBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$610$1,219$1,584
RowanBlue Value 7000 (limited network)$659$1,318$1,713
RutherfordBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$610$1,219$1,584
SampsonBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$662$1,324$1,720
ScotlandBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$662$1,324$1,720
StanlyBlue Value 7000 (limited network)$659$1,318$1,713
StokesBlue Value 7000 (limited network)$595$1,190$1,546
SurryBlue Value 7000 (limited network)$595$1,190$1,546
SwainBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$610$1,219$1,584
TransylvaniaBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$610$1,219$1,584
TyrrellBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$623$1,245$1,618
UnionBlue Value 7000 (limited network)$659$1,318$1,713
VanceBlue Local 7000 (local network with Duke Health and WakeMed)$588$1,176$1,528
WakeCigna Connect 5500$541$1,081$1,405
WarrenBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$669$1,337$1,737
WashingtonBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$623$1,245$1,618
WataugaBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$642$1,285$1,669
WayneBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$642$1,285$1,669
WilkesBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$642$1,285$1,669
WilsonBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$642$1,285$1,669
YadkinBlue Value 7000 (limited network)$595$1,190$1,546
YanceyBlue Select 7000 (tiered network)$610$1,219$1,584

Average Cost of Health Insurance by Family Size in North Carolina

Families in North Carolina will pay higher premiums for health insurance based upon the number of individuals covered and their age. Any children age 14 and below will qualify for cheaper health insurance rates that remain flat until the child turns 15, after which the rates increase with age.

As you can see below, the average cost to add a child to a Silver health plan in North Carolina is $387. This is much cheaper than the average cost to add an adult to a health insurance plan, which increases premiums by an average of $646.

Family SizeAverage Monthly Cost of Health Plan
Single Adult$646
Adult Couple$1,293
Family of three (Adult couple and a child)$1,680
Family of four (Adult couple and two children)$2,066
Family of five (Adult couple and three children)$2,453
Adults are assumed to be 40 years old. Sample rates are based on the average cost for a Silver plan in North Carolina.

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