Best Cheap Health Insurance in Pennsylvania 2019

Cheap health insurance plans in Pennsylvania are available through the state exchange, though some shoppers can qualify for Medicaid depending on their household income. To help you find the best health insurance coverage, we evaluated all Pennsylvania plans and found that in most of the state, either the Geisinger Marketplace HMO 30/60/4650 or UPMC Advantage Silver $3,500/$25 was the cheapest Silver plan available. These insurers aren't available on the marketplace in every Pennsylvania county, but they consistently offered some of the best health insurance rates across different tiers of coverage in regions where they're listed.

Cheapest Health Insurance by Metal Tier

We compared Pennsylvania health insurance plans by metal tier in order to help you find the best cheap policy for your preferred level of coverage. The set of insurers and plans available is determined by the county you live in, so not all of the policies listed below are offered everywhere in the state. But we recommend using these as a starting point to assess the benefits you can expect for a given tier of coverage as compared to premiums and out of pocket costs.

Metal TierCheapest PlanDeductibleOut-of-Pocket MaximumMonthly Cost for 40-Year-Old
CatastrophicUPMC Advantage Catastrophic $7,350/$0 - Partner Network$7,350$7,350$208.29
BronzeUPMC Advantage Bronze $6,950/$35 - Partner Network$6,950$7,350$243.24
Expanded BronzeGeisinger Marketplace Select HMO 30/60/6100$6,100$7,350$328.23
SilverUPMC Advantage Silver $3,500/$25 - Partner Network$3,500$7,350$349.75
GoldUPMC Advantage Gold $800/$20 - Partner Network$800$5,000$336.79
PlatinumUPMC Advantage Platinum $250/$20 - Partner Network$250$1,500$588.71

In addition to metal tier, the actual cost of a health insurance plan in Pennsylvania will depend on the policy you choose, as well as your age and the number of people insured. So, for instance, a younger couple with no children will pay cheaper rates than an older couple with multiple children covered. As you can see below, age alone has a significant impact on health insurance premiums across every tier. For the same metal tier health plan, a 40-year-old would pay 52% cheaper rates than a 60-year-old individual. And a 21-year-old person shopping for health insurance coverage would get the same policy for a 22% lower price than a 40-year-old.

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

Finding the Best Health Insurance Coverage in Pennsylvania

Where you live in Pennsylvania and your income will determine the best cheap health insurance plan available. Pennsylvania expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, so if your household income is up to 138% of the Federal Poverty Level, you'll qualify for this coverage in the state. For those that don't qualify for Medicaid, your best health insurance options will typically be through the state marketplace, particularly if you have a low household income. Many households can qualify for tax subsidies to help lower the cost of health insurance coverage for an exchange plan.

Health insurance plans on the Pennsylvania exchange are divided into metal tiers, which indicate a plan's level of benefits, out of pocket expenses and monthly costs.

Gold and Platinum Plans: Best for High Expected Medical Costs

The higher metal tier health plans, such as Gold and Platinum tiers, come with higher premiums, but significantly lower out of pocket expenses, such as deductibles, copays and coinsurance. Therefore, they're typically a more cost-effective option if you expect to have consistent or high medical expenses. For instance, people with consistent prescription needs may want to consider Gold and Platinum plans that have cheap out-of-pocket expenses for prescription drugs.

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

If you're looking for a middle ground—health insurance with both affordable premiums and out of pocket expenses—we typically recommend looking at Silver plans. Silver health insurance plans have lower out-of-pocket costs than Bronze plans, but cheaper monthly premiums than the Gold or Platinum policies. In addition, if you have a lower income household, Silver plans are eligible for cost-sharing reduction subsidies (CSR), meaning you may qualify for an even more affordable rate.

Bronze and Catastrophic Plans: Best for Young, Healthy People with Savings

Lower-tier plans, such as Bronze and Catastrophic plans, have lower monthly premiums, but your total expenses will be much higher if you need medical care due to the high cost-sharing features. Therefore, these plans may be the best cheap option for young and healthy shoppers that have low expected medical needs and enough savings to cover the high deductibles, copays and coinsurance if necessary. But keep in mind that Catastrophic plans aren't available for everyone—you'll only qualify for these policies if you're under the age of 30 or meet certain exemptions.

Best Cheap Health Insurance Companies in Pennsylvania

There are currently nine health insurance companies on the Pennsylvania state exchange:

  • Capital Advantage Assurance Co.
  • First Priority Health
  • Geisinger Health Plan
  • Highmark Choice Co.
  • Highmark Health Insurance Co.
  • Highmark Inc.
  • Independence Blue Cross (QCC Ins. Co.)
  • Keystone Health Plan East Inc
  • UPMC Health Options Inc.

None of the insurers are available in every county in Pennsylvania, however either Geisinger Health Plan or UPMC is available in most regions of the state. These insurers offered the cheapest Silver health plans in the 61 counties where they are listed on the exchange, so we recommend starting with them when searching for the best health insurance policy for yourself. If you live in a county in Pennsylvania where Geisinger or UPMC isn't offered (Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Franklin, Montgomery or Philadelphia), you can typically find the most affordable health plan rates from either the Highmark Health Insurance Co. or Keystone.

Cheapest Health Insurance Plan By County

The insurers and health insurance plans available on the Pennsylvania Health Insurance Marketplace will vary depending on the county you live in. To help you get started finding the best cheap health insurance policy, we identified the cheapest Silver plan in each county in the state. Below, you can see sample monthly premiums for each of the plans based on your family size.

CountyCheapest Silver PlanSingle Adult, Age 40Couple, Age 40Couple, Age 40, and Child
AdamsGeisinger Marketplace HMO 30/60/4650$706$1,412$1,834
AlleghenyUPMC Advantage Silver $3,500/$25 - Partner Network$350$700$909
ArmstrongUPMC Advantage Silver $3,500/$25 - Premium Network$441$883$1,147
BeaverUPMC Advantage Silver $3,500/$25 - Select Network$368$736$956
BedfordUPMC Advantage Silver $3,500/$25 - Partner Network$350$700$909
BerksTower UPMC Advantage Silver $3,500/$25 - Tower Network$603$1,206$1,567
BlairUPMC Advantage Silver $3,500/$25 - Partner Network$350$700$909
BradfordGeisinger Marketplace HMO 30/60/4650$532$1,065$1,383
BucksKeystone HMO Silver Proactive$466$931$1,210
ButlerUPMC Advantage Silver $3,500/$25 - Select Network$368$736$956
CambriaUPMC Advantage Silver $3,500/$25 - Premium Network$441$883$1,147
CameronUPMC Advantage Silver $3,500/$25 - Premium Network$441$883$1,147
CarbonGeisinger Marketplace HMO 30/60/4650$532$1,065$1,383
CentreUPMC Advantage Silver $3,500/$25 - Premium Network$441$883$1,147
ChesterKeystone HMO Silver Proactive$466$931$1,210
ClarionUPMC Advantage Silver $3,500/$25 - Premium Network$441$883$1,147
ClearfieldUPMC Advantage Silver $3,500/$25 - Premium Network$441$883$1,147
ClintonGeisinger Marketplace Select HMO 30/60/4650$506$1,011$1,314
ColumbiaGeisinger Marketplace HMO 30/60/4650$694$1,389$1,804
CrawfordUPMC Advantage Inside Advantage for Individuals Silver HSA $2,700/20% - Premium Network$437$875$1,137
CumberlandGeisinger Marketplace HMO 30/60/4650$627$1,254$1,630
DauphinGeisinger Marketplace HMO 30/60/4650$627$1,254$1,630
DelawareKeystone HMO Silver Proactive$466$931$1,210
ElkUPMC Advantage Silver $3,500/$25 - Premium Network$441$883$1,147
ErieUPMC Advantage Silver $3,500/$25 - Partner Network$350$700$909
FayetteUPMC Advantage Silver $3,500/$25 - Select Network$368$736$956
ForestUPMC Advantage Silver $3,500/$25 - Premium Network$441$883$1,147
Franklinmy Direct Blue EPO 7150S$693$1,387$1,802
FultonGeisinger Marketplace HMO 30/60/4650$627$1,254$1,630
GreeneUPMC Advantage Silver $3,500/$25 - Premium Network$441$883$1,147
HuntingdonUPMC Advantage Silver $3,500/$25 - Premium Network$441$883$1,147
IndianaUPMC Advantage Silver $3,500/$25 - Premium Network$441$883$1,147
JeffersonUPMC Advantage Silver $3,500/$25 - Premium Network$441$883$1,147
JuniataGeisinger Marketplace HMO 30/60/4650$627$1,254$1,630
LackawannaGeisinger Marketplace HMO 30/60/4650$532$1,065$1,383
LancasterGeisinger Marketplace HMO 30/60/4650$706$1,412$1,834
LawrenceUPMC Advantage Silver $3,500/$25 - Partner Network$350$700$909
LebanonGeisinger Marketplace HMO 30/60/4650$690$1,380$1,793
LehighGeisinger Marketplace Select HMO 30/60/4650$660$1,319$1,714
LuzerneGeisinger Marketplace Select HMO 30/60/4650$506$1,011$1,314
LycomingUPMC Advantage Silver $3,500/$25 - Partner Network$442$884$1,148
MckeanUPMC Advantage Silver $3,500/$25 - Premium Network$441$883$1,147
MercerUPMC Advantage Silver $3,500/$25 - Partner Network$350$700$909
MifflinGeisinger Marketplace HMO 30/60/4650$694$1,389$1,804
MonroeGeisinger Marketplace HMO 30/60/4650$532$1,065$1,383
MontgomeryKeystone HMO Silver Proactive$466$931$1,210
MontourGeisinger Marketplace HMO 30/60/4650$694$1,389$1,804
NorthamptonGeisinger Marketplace Select HMO 30/60/4650$660$1,319$1,714
NorthumberlandGeisinger Marketplace HMO 30/60/4650$694$1,389$1,804
PerryGeisinger Marketplace HMO 30/60/4650$627$1,254$1,630
PhiladelphiaKeystone HMO Silver Proactive$466$931$1,210
PikeGeisinger Marketplace HMO 30/60/4650$532$1,065$1,383
PotterUPMC Advantage Silver $3,500/$25 - Premium Network$441$883$1,147
SchuylkillGeisinger Marketplace HMO 30/60/4650$694$1,389$1,804
SnyderGeisinger Marketplace HMO 30/60/4650$694$1,389$1,804
SomersetUPMC Advantage Silver $3,500/$25 - Premium Network$441$883$1,147
SullivanGeisinger Marketplace Select HMO 30/60/4650$506$1,011$1,314
SusquehannaGeisinger Marketplace Select HMO 30/60/4650$506$1,011$1,314
TiogaUPMC Advantage Silver $3,500/$25 - Partner Network$442$884$1,148
UnionGeisinger Marketplace HMO 30/60/4650$694$1,389$1,804
VenangoUPMC Advantage Silver $3,500/$25 - Partner Network$350$700$909
WarrenUPMC Advantage Silver $3,500/$25 - Premium Network$441$883$1,147
WashingtonUPMC Advantage Silver $3,500/$25 - Select Network$368$736$956
WayneGeisinger Marketplace Select HMO 30/60/4650$506$1,011$1,314
WestmorelandUPMC Advantage Silver $3,500/$25 - Select Network$368$736$956
WyomingGeisinger Marketplace HMO 30/60/4650$532$1,065$1,383
YorkGeisinger Marketplace HMO 30/60/4650$706$1,412$1,834

Average Cost of Health Insurance by Family Size in Pennsylvania

When you purchase a health insurance plan in Pennsylvania, you can also add your spouse and children to the policy, which will increase your premiums with each person covered. The cost of coverage for spouses and children over the age of 14 is determined by the age of the person being insured. Children ages 14 and younger can be added to your health insurance plan for a cheaper, flat rate.

Though the actual cost will vary according to the plan you choose, as you can see below, the average cost of adding a 40-year-old spouse to a Silver plan is $504. Adding a child to a Silver health insurance plan costs, on average, $302. So, a family of five in Pennsylvania, with an adult couple and three children, would pay an average health insurance cost of $1,914, or $603 more than a family of three would pay for a Silver plan.

Family SizeAverage Monthly Cost of Health Plan
Single Adult$504
Adult Couple$1,009
Family of three (Adult couple and a child)$1,311
Family of four (Adult couple and two children)$1,612
Family of five (Adult couple and three children)$1,914
Adults are assumed to be 40 years old. Sample rates are based on the average cost for a Silver plan in Pennsylvania.

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