Health Insurance

Best Cheap Health Insurance in North Dakota

Find Cheap Health Insurance Quotes in North Dakota

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North Dakotans can find affordable health insurance on the state exchange or through Medicaid, if your income qualifies. We analyzed all health insurance policies available on the state marketplace and found that either the Sanford Simplicity $4,750 or Sanford TRUE $4,750 was the cheapest Silver plan in most North Dakota counties. Although these are the lowest cost plans in the state, the rates and availability of health plans will change depending on your county. Furthermore, your financial situation and health will play a large part in finding the most cost-effective plan for you.

Cheapest health insurance by metal tier

For 2020 plans, the average health insurance premium is $387 per month in North Dakota for a 40-year-old. This is a 4% increase over the past two years, or $14 per month higher rates on average.

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 between each metal tier. The Sanford TRUE $4,750, for instance, is the cheapest Silver plan and comes with a minimum monthly premium of $320 for a 40-year-old. On the other hand, the cheapest Gold plan, Sanford TRUE $1,750, has a higher monthly premium of $351 in exchange for a much lower deductible of $1,750.

Metal tierCheapest planDeductibleOut-of-pocket maximumMonthly cost for a 40-year-old
CatastrophicSanford TRUE $8,150$8,150$8,150$174
BronzeSanford TRUE $7,000$7,000$8,150$230
Expanded BronzeSanford TRUE $6,000$6,000$8,150$232
SilverSanford TRUE $4,750$4,750$8,150$320
GoldSanford TRUE $1,750$1,750$6,250$351

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, would pay 53% lower health insurance rates than a 60-year-old in North Dakota, regardless of their plan's metal tier.

Average monthly cost of health insurance plans by metal tier in North Dakota

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 that 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.

These benefits come at the expense of a higher monthly premium—the average cost of a Gold plan in North Dakota is 5% greater than the average cost of a Silver health plan. Generally, Gold health insurance policies are the best in terms of cost-effectiveness if you expect to incur high medical expenses, such as from chronic conditions, or have costly prescriptions.

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 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.

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. 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 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%. Therefore, we would only recommend these plans if you have the financial means to cover a high amount in the case of a medical catastrophe.

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 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

Last year, Medica rejoined the North Dakota state exchange, and there are now three health insurance companies available to residents: Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota, Medica Health Plans, 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 cost changes depending on your region. For instance, the monthly cost of the Altru Prime by Medica Silver Copay plan is $16 cheaper in Grand Forks County than the same policy in Steele County, 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.

CountyCheapest silver planSingle adult, age 40Couple, age 40Couple, age 40 and Child
AdamsSanford Simplicity $4,750$397$794$1,031
BarnesSanford Simplicity $4,750$397$794$1,031
BensonSanford Simplicity $4,750$397$794$1,031
BillingsSanford Simplicity $4,750$397$794$1,031
BottineauSanford Simplicity $4,750$397$794$1,031
BowmanSanford Simplicity $4,750$397$794$1,031
BurkeSanford Simplicity $4,750$397$794$1,031
BurleighSanford TRUE $4,750$320$641$833
CassSanford TRUE $4,750$320$641$833
CavalierSanford Simplicity $4,750$397$794$1,031
DickeySanford Simplicity $4,750$397$794$1,031
DivideSanford Simplicity $4,750$397$794$1,031
DunnSanford Simplicity $4,750$397$794$1,031
EddySanford Simplicity $4,750$397$794$1,031
EmmonsSanford Simplicity $4,750$397$794$1,031
FosterSanford Simplicity $4,750$397$794$1,031
Golden ValleySanford Simplicity $4,750$397$794$1,031
Grand ForksAltru Prime by Medica Silver Copay$392$784$1,019
GrantSanford Simplicity $4,750$397$794$1,031
GriggsSanford Simplicity $4,750$397$794$1,031
HettingerSanford Simplicity $4,750$397$794$1,031
KidderSanford Simplicity $4,750$397$794$1,031
LamoureSanford Simplicity $4,750$397$794$1,031
LoganSanford Simplicity $4,750$397$794$1,031
MchenrySanford Simplicity $4,750$397$794$1,031
McintoshSanford Simplicity $4,750$397$794$1,031
MckenzieSanford Simplicity $4,750$397$794$1,031
McleanSanford Simplicity $4,750$397$794$1,031
MercerSanford Simplicity $4,750$397$794$1,031
MortonSanford TRUE $4,750$320$641$833
MountrailSanford Simplicity $4,750$397$794$1,031
NelsonSanford Simplicity $4,750$397$794$1,031
OliverSanford TRUE $4,750$320$641$833
PembinaSanford Simplicity $4,750$397$794$1,031
PierceSanford Simplicity $4,750$397$794$1,031
RamseySanford Simplicity $4,750$397$794$1,031
RansomSanford Simplicity $4,750$397$794$1,031
RenvilleSanford Simplicity $4,750$397$794$1,031
RichlandSanford Simplicity $4,750$397$794$1,031
RoletteSanford Simplicity $4,750$397$794$1,031
SargentSanford Simplicity $4,750$397$794$1,031
SheridanSanford Simplicity $4,750$397$794$1,031
SiouxSanford Simplicity $4,750$397$794$1,031
SlopeSanford Simplicity $4,750$397$794$1,031
StarkSanford Simplicity $4,750$397$794$1,031
SteeleSanford Simplicity $4,750$397$794$1,031
StutsmanSanford Simplicity $4,750$397$794$1,031
TownerSanford Simplicity $4,750$397$794$1,031
TraillSanford TRUE $4,750$320$641$833
WalshSanford Simplicity $4,750$397$794$1,031
WardSanford Simplicity $4,750$397$794$1,031
WellsSanford Simplicity $4,750$397$794$1,031
WilliamsSanford Simplicity $4,750$397$794$1,031

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 $1,178 in North Dakota. If you were to add another child to the plan, the monthly premium would increase by $271. So for a family of four, the total monthly cost of health coverage would be $1,450.

Family sizeAverage monthly cost of health plan
Individual + Child$725
Couple age 40$907
Family of three (Adult couple and a child)$1,178
Family of four (Adult couple and two children)$1,450
Family of five (Adult couple and three children)$1,721
Adults are assumed to be 40 years old. Sample rates are based on the average cost for a Silver plan in North Dakota.

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. Over the past two years, rates have increased 4% on average across the state to $387 per month for a 40-year-old.

Catastrophic health plans saw the sharpest rate increase, jumping 19% since 2018. Bronze plans, on the other hand, dropped in price by 7%, meaning a $23-per-month lower average premium.

Metal tier2018 premium2020 premium% Change
Expanded BronzeNot applicable$366Not applicable
Rates are based on a 40-year-old adult.


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 CMS's 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.