Health Insurance

Best Cheap Health Insurance in North Dakota 2021

Best Cheap Health Insurance in North Dakota 2021

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In 2021, the average cost of health insurance across all metal tiers is $410 per month, which is 6% more expensive than it was in 2020.

The cheapest health insurance in North Dakota for most people is the Sanford Simplicity $4,750 plan, which is the most affordable Silver plan for 40-year-olds in 75% of the state's counties. Alternatively, shoppers may find cheap health insurance with the Altru Prime by Medica Silver Copay and the Sanford TRUE $4,750.

Select a plan tier to learn more:

Your financial situation and health will play a large part in finding the most cost-effective plan for you. Although these are the lowest-cost plans in the state, the rates and availability of health plans will change depending on your county.

Cheapest health insurance by metal tier

We compared plans in North Dakota to find a cheap health insurance policy for each tier of coverage. In the table below, you can see the most affordable plan in the state for a given metal tier alongside its sample rates and coverage terms.

We recommend using the policy information below to compare the different costs and benefits of each metal tier. The Altru Prime by Medica Silver Copay, for instance, is the cheapest Silver plan and comes with a monthly premium of $400 for a 40-year-old. On the other hand, the cheapest Gold plan, Sanford TRUE, has a monthly premium of $375 and a much lower deductible of $1,750.

Metal tier
Cheapest plan
Deductible
Maximum out-of-pocket
Monthly cost for a 40-year-old
CatastrophicSanford TRUE $8,550$8,550$8,550$154
BronzeAltru Prime by Medica Bronze Value$7,900$8,550$312
Expanded BronzeSanford TRUE $7,000$7,000$8,400$230
SilverAltru Prime by Medica Silver Copay$6,000$8,550$400
GoldSanford TRUE$1,750$0$375
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Metal tier and age are both important factors that affect your monthly health insurance premiums. Higher metal tier policies will have a higher monthly rate, but they also have lower out-of-pocket costs, meaning you'll pay less in the event you need to use your health insurance.

Regardless of metal tier, as your age increases, your monthly premium will increase. A 40-year-old, for instance, pays 28% more than a 21-year-old but 112% less than a 60-year-old for the same health insurance coverage.

Finding your best health insurance coverage in North Dakota

Typically, higher metal tier policies, such as Gold plans, have costlier monthly premiums, but they also provide lower out-of-pocket expenses, like deductibles, copays and coinsurance. These health plans are best if you think you may become sick or already have high recurring medical costs, like prescriptions. On the other hand, those who are young and healthy or don't expect to have many 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 North Dakota, 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, which means lower deductibles, copays and coinsurance, contributing to the 20% you would expect to pay.

Generally, Gold health insurance policies are the best plans in terms of cost-effectiveness if you expect to incur high medical expenses, such as from chronic conditions, or have costly prescriptions.

The cheapest Gold plan in North Dakota is the Sanford TRUE $1,750. Compare all tiers in North Dakota above.

Silver plans: Best for those with low incomes 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 and serve as a good middle-ground option. However, Silver plans stand out for lower-income households, as these policies are 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 North Dakota is the Altru Prime by Medica Silver Copay. Compare all tiers in North Dakota 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 or those who qualify for an exemption. Also, you cannot use a premium tax credit to reduce the cost of a Catastrophic plan.

Bronze plans are the cheapest plans that are open to everyone but come with reduced coverage, meaning larger out-of-pocket costs relative to the higher metal tier plans. So, if you need medical care during the year, you 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%. Therefore, we only recommend these plans if you have the financial means to cover high costs in the case of a medical catastrophe.

The cheapest Bronze plan in North Dakota is the Altru Prime by Medica Bronze Value. The cheapest Catastrophic plan is the Sanford TRUE $8,550. Compare all tiers in North Dakota above.

Short-term health insurance in North Dakota

Short-term health insurance can be purchased in North Dakota. A short-term plan can be a useful investment if you miss the open enrollment period or lose employer-sponsored health insurance. However, in North Dakota, these plans can only provide coverage for a term of up to six months and do not cover the essential health benefits like state marketplace plans. Furthermore, North Dakota only allows short-term health insurance to be renewed up to one time — you can't maintain this coverage for more than 12 months.

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Best cheap health insurance companies in North Dakota

There are three health insurance providers in North Dakota, though the availability of each company depends on the individual's location. The three companies in North Dakota are: Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota, Medica and Sanford Health Plan.

Medica previously left the exchange because the state did not allow the addition of CSR costs to plan premiums, which means the insurer had to bear the CSR costs (required on Silver plans). However, the law has changed to allow insurers to add the CSR costs to plan premiums again. This means lower premiums for Bronze and Gold policyholders, and despite the higher premiums on Silver plans, they qualify for premium subsidies as well.

Cheapest health insurance plan by county

Finding the best health plan for you can be challenging since the selection of plans and their costs change depending on your region. For instance, the monthly cost of the Altru Prime by Medica Silver Copay plan is $16 more expensive in Benson County than the same policy in Grand Forks, for a 40-year-old. To make this process simpler, we compared rates for every Silver policy in North Dakota to find the cheapest health plan in each county, listed below.

County
Cheapest plan
Age 40
Couple, age 40
Couple, age 40 plus child
AdamsSanford Simplicity $4,750$513$1,025$1,332
BarnesSanford Simplicity $4,750$513$1,025$1,332
BensonAltru Prime by Medica Silver Copay$416$832$1,081
BillingsSanford Simplicity $4,750$513$1,025$1,332
BottineauSanford Simplicity $4,750$513$1,025$1,332
BowmanSanford Simplicity $4,750$513$1,025$1,332
BurkeSanford Simplicity $4,750$513$1,025$1,332
BurleighSanford TRUE $4,750$411$822$1,068
CassSanford TRUE $4,750$411$822$1,068
CavalierSanford Simplicity $4,750$513$1,025$1,332
DickeySanford Simplicity $4,750$513$1,025$1,332
DivideSanford Simplicity $4,750$513$1,025$1,332
Show All Rows
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Average cost of health insurance by family size in North Dakota

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 North Dakota. If you add children to your health insurance plan, each child will cost a flat rate for coverage until they are 15 years old. Upon reaching the age of 15, the monthly rate will increase every year as they grow older.

For instance, the average monthly health insurance cost for a family of three, assuming two 40-year-old parents and a child on a Silver plan, is $1,367 in North Dakota. If you were to add another child to the plan, the monthly premium would increase by $315. So for a family of four, the total monthly cost of health coverage would be $1,682.

Family size
Average cost
Individual plus child$841
Couple, age 40$1,052
Family of three (adult couple and a child)$1,367
Family of four (adult couple and two children)$1,682
Family of five (adult couple and three children)$1,997

Adults are assumed to be 40 years old, while children are 14 years old or younger. Sample rates are based on the average cost of a Silver plan in North Dakota.

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Health insurance rate changes in North Dakota

Policy premiums are set by each individual health insurance company before being sent to the North Dakota exchange for approval. Since 2020, the price of coverage has increased by 6%, from $387 to $410.

While the average cost of coverage increased from last year, each metal tier saw different rate changes. The highest increase, by far, affected Bronze policies, which are 32% more expensive this year than last. Expanded Bronze premiums fell by 5% — the largest drop.

Metal tier
2020 premium
2021 premium
Change
Catastrophic$236$227-4%
Bronze$302$39732%
Expanded Bronze$366$349-5%
Silver$453$52616%
Gold$476$4842%

Rates are based on a 40-year-old adult.

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Methodology

North Dakota health insurance rate and policy information was sourced from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) government website for this analysis. ValuePenguin referenced the CMS Public Use Files (PUF) to calculate the mean premium by metal tier, family size and county.

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.