Health Insurance

Best Cheap Health Insurance in Ohio 2020

For 2020, the average health insurance cost for a 40-year-old is $456 per month. This represents an 11% increase from 2018 costs.

Residents of Ohio can find affordable health insurance on the state exchange or through Medicaid, depending on income, although your best health plan will depend on your budget and expected costs.


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We compared all the policies in the Ohio marketplace and found that, in the majority of counties, either the CareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver, Ambetter Balanced Care 12, and the Constant Care Silver 2 250 was the cheapest Silver-tiered health plan offered. However, these insurers aren't available in every county in the state, so the most affordable health coverage may differ depending on where you live.

Cheapest health insurance coverage by metal tier

We recommend using these low-cost health insurance policies as a starting point to determine the costs and benefits you can expect from a given metal tier of coverage.

Health insurance plans are categorized into metal tiers, which correspond to the benefits and out-of-pocket expenses you can expect from a policy. We analyzed affordable health insurance policies in Ohio across each tier and identified the lowest-cost option to help you find the best health insurance plan for a given level of coverage.

The policies below aren't available in every county, as no insurer offers plans statewide through the Ohio marketplace, but we recommend using these to determine the premiums you can expect.

Metal tierCheapest planDeductibleMaximum out-of-pocketMonthly cost for a 40-year-old
CatastrophicMarket HMO Young Adult Essentials - Mercy$8,150$8,150$204
BronzeAmbetter Essential Care 1 (2020)$8,150$8,150$254
Expanded BronzeCareSource Marketplace Bronze$7,700$8,150$237
SilverAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$6,500$8,150$321
GoldConfident Care Gold 1$2,925$6,000$387

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The cost of medical coverage is largely based on your chosen level of coverage as well as your age, with older individuals facing significantly higher premiums.

As you can see below, a 60-year-old in Ohio would pay 112% higher rates for health insurance than a 40-year-old, which is consistent no matter the metal tier of coverage you choose. So, for instance, a 40-year-old's cost for a Gold health plan in Ohio would be $650 cheaper, on average, than a 60-year-old's rates. But the difference drops to just $423 for an Expanded Bronze plan.

Average Monthly Cost of Health Insurance Plans by Metal Tier in Ohio


Finding your best health insurance coverage in Ohio

The health insurance policies available to you will vary depending on where you live in Ohio, but in every county you'll be able to choose from multiple metal tiers of coverage. The best cheap health plan for you will be based, in part, on your income and expected medical expenses, since these impact the rates you'll pay and the coverage you'll need.

Higher-coverage metal tiers are more expensive in terms of premiums, but their lower cost sharing makes them ideal for families that expect to have large or consistent health care expenses.

On the other hand, lower-coverage metal tier health plans have cheaper rates, but their high out-of-pocket expenses mean they're only ideal if you have emergency savings and don't expect to need costly medical care.

Gold plans: Best for families with high or consistent medical expenses

Gold health insurance plans are often the best option for families with higher expected medical costs. Gold policies have the highest monthly premiums — but can make up for this with the lowest out-of-pocket costs.

So, you'd have to pay significantly less yourself before your health insurance provides coverage. This is a great benefit if you have ongoing prescriptions, a chronic condition or simply couldn't manage a large, unexpected expense and would prefer higher, but predictable, premiums.

Silver plans: Best for low-income families or average medical costs

Ohio has expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, meaning households with an income up to 138% of the federal poverty level can qualify for Medicaid. Low-income families that don't qualify will likely get the best rates with a Silver plan.

Silver health insurance policies are the only ones that qualify for cost-sharing reduction subsidies if your household income falls below certain thresholds. Silver health plans are also a good middle ground, as they combine more affordable medical insurance rates than Gold plans, along with out-of-pocket expenses that are lower than what you'd face with a Bronze plan.

Bronze/Catastrophic plans: Best for young families with savings

If you're under the age of 30 or meet certain exemptions, you can qualify for a Catastrophic health insurance plan. These offer the lowest monthly premiums and the highest cost sharing.

We wouldn't recommend Catastrophic or Bronze health plans — which are available to everyone in Ohio — unless you're confident in your ability to cover the out-of-pocket expenses if you need healthcare. Your health insurance won't provide coverage until you meet your out-of-pocket deductibles and copays.

So, for instance, the CareSource Bronze premium can be as little as $244 per month for a 40-year-old, which is much cheaper than the $376 for the Molina Marketplace Gold Plan. But we'd recommend carefully considering whether you could cover its $7,250 deductible in case of an emergency before purchasing this policy.

Health insurance rate changes in Ohio

Health insurance rates, deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums are determined annually by healthcare providers then submitted for approval to federal regulators.

In 2020, Catastrophic health insurance was the only metal tier to become more expensive since 2018 — increasing 13%. Other tiers decreased dramatically over the same time period with Bronze declining the most by nearly 24%.

Metal tier2018 Premium2020 Premium% Change
Catastrophic$259$29313.15%
Bronze$477$363-23.83%
Silver$646$495-23.33%
Gold$686$579-15.62%
2018 and 2020 premiums are for a 40-year-old adult.


Short-term health insurance in Ohio

Ohio residents have the option of purchasing short-term health insurance plans. Coverage can last up to 12 months, which is similar to federal guidelines. However, Ohio does not allow policyholders to renew short-term health insurance after the initial coverage period has ended.

You may want to consider a short-term health policy if you miss the open enrollment period or if you lose employer-sponsored health care. It is important to note that short-term plans do not cover the same essential benefits as private health insurance policies.

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Best cheap health insurance companies in Ohio

There are currently ten health insurance companies — two more providers year-over-year — on the Ohio state exchange. However, none of these insurers offers coverage in every county. So the best insurer and policy available will differ based on your location.

  • Community Insurance Company (Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield)
  • CareSource
  • Ambetter Buckeye Community Health Plan
  • Medical Health Insuring Corp. of Ohio
  • Oscar Insurance Corporation of Ohio
  • Molina Healthcare of Ohio, Inc.
  • AultCare Insurance Company
  • Paramount Insurance Company
  • Oscar Buckeye State Insurance Corp.
  • Summa Insurance Company, Inc.

Depending on where you live, you may be able to choose from up to five insurers, though in many counties only one health insurance company is available.

For instance, if you live in Columbus, which is in Franklin County, you'd only be able to compare health plans from CareSource, Medical Health Insuring Corp. of Ohio and Molina Healthcare of Ohio, Inc.

Cheapest health insurance plan by County

To help you get started in your search for the best health insurance plan, we compared all Silver policies in Ohio and identified the cheapest plan offered in each county. The Constant Care Silver 2 250 health plan had the most affordable rates in over half of Ohio counties. However, Ambetter/Buckeye Community Health Plan, Medical Health Insuring Corp. and Molina Healthcare of Ohio, Inc. also frequently offered the cheapest plans, depending on your location.

Below, you can see the health plan with the best price for Silver coverage where you live, as well as sample rates for an individual, a couple and a family of three.

CountyCheapest PlanAge 40Couple, Age 40Couple, Age 40 + Child
AdamsCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$447$893$1,161
AllenAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$357$713$926
AshlandCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$375$749$973
AshtabulaConstant Care Silver 2 250$330$660$857
AthensConstant Care Silver 2 250$379$758$985
AuglaizeAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$357$713$926
BelmontCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$465$931$1,209
BrownCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$447$893$1,161
ButlerAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$354$708$920
CarrollAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$322$645$838
ChampaignConstant Care Silver 2 250$379$758$985
ClarkConstant Care Silver 2 250$379$758$985
ClermontAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$342$684$889
ClintonConstant Care Silver 2 250$387$774$1,005
ColumbianaAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$321$641$833
CoshoctonConstant Care Silver 2 250$432$863$1,122
CrawfordConstant Care Silver 2 250$360$720$935
CuyahogaAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$322$645$837
DarkeAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$381$761$989
DefianceCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$392$784$1,019
DelawareOscar Classic Silver Next$407$814$1,058
ErieConstant Care Silver 2 250$360$720$935
FairfieldConstant Care Silver 2 250$391$781$1,015
FayetteConstant Care Silver 2 250$391$781$1,015
FranklinConstant Care Silver 2 250$391$781$1,015
FultonCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$392$784$1,019
GalliaCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$618$1,236$1,606
GeaugaAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$322$645$837
GreeneConstant Care Silver 2 250$379$758$985
GuernseyCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$465$931$1,209
HamiltonAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$354$708$920
HancockConstant Care Silver 2 250$363$726$943
HardinAnthem Silver Pathway X HMO 0 for HSA$608$1,215$1,579
HarrisonAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$371$742$963
HenryCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$392$784$1,019
HighlandConstant Care Silver 2 250$387$774$1,005
HockingCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$444$887$1,153
HolmesConstant Care Silver 2 250$432$863$1,122
HuronConstant Care Silver 2 250$360$720$935
JacksonMarket HMO 6500 - Adena$579$1,157$1,504
JeffersonCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$465$931$1,209
KnoxMarket HMO 6500 - OhioHealth$493$986$1,280
LakeAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$322$645$837
LawrenceConstant Care Silver 2 250$386$772$1,003
LickingConstant Care Silver 2 250$391$781$1,015
LoganAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$366$732$951
LorainAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$322$645$837
LucasAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$356$711$924
MadisonConstant Care Silver 2 250$391$781$1,015
MahoningAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$321$641$833
MarionMarket HMO 6500 - OhioHealth$518$1,035$1,345
MedinaAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$343$685$890
MeigsCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$444$887$1,153
MercerAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$357$713$926
MiamiMarket HMO 6500 - Dayton$470$941$1,222
MonroeCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$465$931$1,209
MontgomeryConstant Care Silver 2 250$379$758$985
MorganCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$465$931$1,209
MorrowCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$467$933$1,213
MuskingumConstant Care Silver 2 250$432$863$1,122
NobleCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$465$931$1,209
OttawaMarket HMO 6500 - Mercy$433$865$1,124
PauldingCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$465$931$1,209
PerryCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$465$931$1,209
PickawayConstant Care Silver 2 250$391$781$1,015
PikeConstant Care Silver 2 250$386$772$1,003
PortageAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$343$685$890
PrebleAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$381$761$989
PutnamCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$465$931$1,209
RichlandConstant Care Silver 2 250$360$720$935
RossConstant Care Silver 2 250$386$772$1,003
SanduskyMarket HMO 6500 - Mercy$433$865$1,124
SciotoConstant Care Silver 2 250$386$772$1,003
SenecaMarket HMO 6500 - Mercy$433$865$1,124
ShelbyAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$381$761$989
StarkAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$322$645$838
SummitAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$343$685$890
TrumbullAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$321$641$833
TuscarawasAultCare Silver 6850 Select No Pediatric Dental$494$989$1,285
UnionCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$460$920$1,196
Van WertAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$357$713$926
VintonMarket HMO 6500 - Adena$579$1,157$1,504
WarrenAmbetter Balanced Care 12 (2020)$354$708$920
WashingtonCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$444$887$1,153
WayneCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$415$829$1,078
WilliamsMarket HMO 6500 - Mercy$460$919$1,195
WoodConstant Care Silver 2 250$361$722$939
WyandotConstant Care Silver 2 250$360$720$935

Average cost of health insurance by family size in Ohio

The cost of health insurance is based on each person covered, and the number of people on the policy will directly impact your premiums.

Children ages 14 and younger are typically covered at a flat rate, meaning the cost of coverage won't likely increase until they're older.

So, a couple in Ohio would pay double the monthly rate for the same Silver health plan that a single person would, or $991 on average assuming both people are 40 years old. However, adding a child under the age of 15 would only increase the monthly health insurance rate by an average of $296, meaning a family of three would pay $1,287 for a health plan.

Family SizeAverage monthly cost of health plan
Individual + Child$792
Couple Age 40$991
Family of three (Adult couple and a child)$1,287
Family of four (Adult couple and two children)$1,584
Family of five (Adult couple and three children)$1,880
Adults are assumed to be 40 years old. Sample rates are based on the average cost for a Silver plan in Ohio.

Methodology

Health insurance rates and plans in this report were compiled from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services government website. ValuePenguin, using the Public Use Files (PUF), calculated averages by metal tier, family size and county to understand the health insurance marketplace within Ohio.

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.