Health Insurance

Best Cheap Health Insurance in Pennsylvania in 2023

Best Cheap Health Insurance in Pennsylvania in 2023

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The cheapest Silver health insurance policy in Pennsylvania for most people is the Ambetter Clear Silver, which is the most affordable Silver plan in 21% of the state's counties. The cheapest Silver plan in the state is the Together Blue EPO Silver 5900 from Highmark Inc. However, this plan is only available in 7% of the state's counties.

For a 40-year-old, the average cost of health insurance in Pennsylvania is $532 per month for a Silver plan.

Affordable health insurance plans in Pennsylvania are available through the state exchange, though some shoppers can qualify for Medicaid depending on their household income. For 2023, the average cost of health insurance in the state is $473 per month, increasing by 7% compared to 2022.

Cheapest health insurance by metal tier

We compared Pennsylvania plans by metal tier in order to help you find a cheap health insurance policy for your preferred level of coverage.

The cheapest Silver plan in Pennsylvania costs $349 per month for a 40-year-old.

In addition to the metal tier, the actual cost of a health insurance plan in Pennsylvania depends on the policy you choose, as well as your age and the number of people insured. 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 big impact on health insurance premiums across every tier.

Average cost of health insurance in Pennsylvania by metal tier

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For a Silver-tier health plan, a 40-year-old would pay 28% more than a 21-year-old. The same 40-year-old would pay less than half of what a 60-year-old would pay for a Silver plan.

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 tier
Cheapest plan
Out-of-pocket maximum
BronzeTogether Blue EPO Bronze 8900$226$8,900$8,900
SilverTogether Blue EPO Silver 5900$349$5,900$9,100
GoldTogether Blue EPO Gold 1700 HSA$303$1,700$5,700

Monthly rates are for a 40-year-old.

Finding your best health insurance coverage in Pennsylvania

Where you live in Pennsylvania and your income will determine the best health insurance plan available to you. Pennsylvania expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), so if your household income is up to 138% of the federal poverty level, you'll qualify for this coverage in the state.

If you don't qualify for Medicaid, your best health insurance options will typically be through the state marketplace, particularly if you have a low to moderate household income.

Many households can qualify for tax subsidies to help lower the cost of health insurance coverage for an eligible exchange plan.

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

Gold plans: Best for high expected medical costs

Gold is the highest metal tier offered in Pennsylvania, and Gold plans tend to come with higher premiums but much lower out-of-pocket expenses, such as deductibles, copays and coinsurance.

They're typically a more cost-effective option if you expect to have high medical expenses or ongoing health needs.

For instance, people who regularly take medication may want to consider Gold plans that have cheap out-of-pocket expenses for prescription drugs.

Silver plans: Best for average medical costs or people with low incomes

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. Generally, Silver health insurance plans have lower out-of-pocket costs than Bronze plans but cheaper monthly premiums than Gold or Platinum policies.

In addition, if you have a lower-income household, Silver plans are eligible for cost-sharing reduction (CSR) subsidies, meaning you may qualify for even more affordable deductibles, copays and coinsurance.

Bronze and Catastrophic plans: Best for young, healthy people with savings

Lower-tier plans, such as Bronze and Catastrophic plans, often have lower monthly premiums, but your expenses will be much higher if you need medical care due to the high cost-sharing features.

Bronze plans may be the best cheap option for young and healthy shoppers who have low expected medical needs and enough savings to cover the high deductibles, copays and coinsurance if necessary.

We haven't included Catastrophic plans in our cost analysis because these plans aren't available to everyone and they're not eligible for premium tax credits. You'll only qualify for these policies if you're under the age of 30 or you're eligible for certain exemptions.

Health insurance rate changes in Pennsylvania

Health insurance rates are determined by each health insurance provider and then submitted for approval to the federal exchange. For 2023, the cost of Bronze plans in Pennsylvania increased by 9%. The cost of Silver and Gold plans increased by 7% — that's about $34 more per month for a Silver plan.

Metal tier

Monthly costs are for a 40-year-old.

Short-term health insurance in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania residents can buy short-term health insurance directly through providers outside of the health exchange. You can buy these policies at any time during the year. That makes them a good option if you missed the open enrollment period or lost employer-sponsored coverage.

Pennsylvania follows federal guidelines when it comes to short-term health insurance. Initial coverage is limited to one year, and policies can be renewed for up to 36 months.

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Health insurance companies in Pennsylvania

There are currently eight health insurance companies on the Pennsylvania state exchange. Available plans vary by county, but policies from Highmark Inc. or UPMC Health Plan are offered in most of the state's 67 counties.

  • Ambetter from PA Health & Wellness
  • Capital Blue Cross
  • Cigna
  • Geisinger Health Plan
  • Highmark Inc.
  • Independence Blue Cross
  • Oscar
  • UPMC Health Plan

Among these insurers, Highmark Inc. offers the absolute cheapest plan in the state for each metal tier, making it a great choice for affordable health insurance.

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 where you live. For example, the cheapest Silver plan in Philadelphia is the Keystone HMO Silver Proactive Essential, which costs $389 per month for a 40-year-old in the county. However, in Pittsburgh, residents would pay $349 for their cheapest option, which comes from Highmark Inc.

To help you get started finding your 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 for an individual and a couple.

Cheapest Silver plan
Adamsmy Direct Blue EPO Silver 5900$561$1,122
AlleghenyTogether Blue EPO Silver 5900$349$699
Armstrongmy Direct Blue EPO Silver 5900$463$926
BeaverUPMC VirtualCare Silver $4,400/$40 - Select Network$372$744
BedfordUPMC Advantage Silver $3,900/$50 - Partner Network$377$754
Show All Rows

Monthly rates are based on a 40-year-old.

Frequently asked questions

Is there a penalty for not having health insurance in Pennsylvania?

No, there is no penalty if you don't have health insurance in Pennsylvania. While you must report whether you have coverage on your federal tax return, you are not charged a penalty if you are uninsured.

Who is eligible for Pennie?

All Pennsylvania residents who are citizens or U.S. nationals or have a qualified immigration status may use Pennie, the state health insurance exchange, to review ACA plans and apply for coverage. Pennie will also help you determine if you're eligible for lower monthly payments.

Does Pennsylvania have free health care?

Pennsylvania has free or low-cost health care through the Pennsylvania Medicaid program. You can get info on cost, eligibility and how to apply through the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services.


Health insurance rates and plans in Pennsylvania were compiled from the Pennsylvania Health Insurance Exchange Authority (PHIEA). Average insurance costs are based on metal tier, county and age to provide an overall view of the cost of health insurance for the state of Pennsylvania.

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.


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