Health Insurance

Best Cheap Health Insurance in Pennsylvania 2020

Best Cheap Health Insurance in Pennsylvania 2020

Cheap health insurance plans in Pennsylvania are available through the state exchange, though some shoppers can qualify for Medicaid depending on their household income. For 2020, the average cost of health insurance in the state is $471, down less than 1% from the 2018 average.

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To help you find your best health insurance coverage, we evaluated all Pennsylvania plans and found that in most of the state, either the my Priority Blue Flex EPO Silver 3950 HSA or UPMC Advantage Silver $2,000/$80 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 plans by metal tier in order to help you find a cheap health insurance policy for your preferred level of coverage.

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. 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.

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

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For the same metal tier health plan, a 40-year-old would pay 53% less in 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.

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 planDeductibleMaximum out-of-pocketMonthly cost for a 40-year-old
CatastrophicTogether Blue Major Events EPO 8150 - 3 Free PCP Visits$8,150$8,150$200
BronzeTogether Blue EPO Bronze 7900$7,900$7,900$239
Expanded BronzeTogether Blue EPO Bronze 3900$3,900$7,900$250
SilverTogether Blue EPO Silver 3950 HSA$3,950$6,750$329
GoldTogether Blue EPO Gold 0-2 Free PCP Visits$0$7,500$343
PlatinumKeystone HMO Platinum$0$5,000$861

Finding your best health insurance coverage in Pennsylvania

Where you live in Pennsylvania and your income will determine your best 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 (CSR) subsidies, 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 who 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.

Health insurance rate changes in Pennsylvania

Health insurance rates are determined by each health provider and then submitted for approval to the federal exchange. For 2020, Platinum policies have seen the largest increase of 22.5% since the 2018 plan year. Additionally, Silver plans have only seen a slight uptick, increasing $14 per month over the time period.

Metal tier2018 Premium2020 Premium% Change
Expanded Bronze$390$4187.06%
2018 and 2020 premiums are for a 40-year-old adult.

Short-term health insurance in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania residents can purchase short-term health insurance through providers outside of the health exchange. These policies, which can be purchased at any time during the year, are 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 up to 36 months.

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Best cheap health insurance companies in Pennsylvania

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

  • UPMC Health Options, Inc.
  • Geisinger Health Plan
  • Highmark Inc.
  • Capital Advantage Assurance Company
  • Geisinger Quality Options
  • Highmark Choice Company
  • Highmark Coverage Advantage Inc.
  • Highmark Benefits Group Inc.
  • Independence Blue Cross (QCC Ins. Co.)
  • Keystone Health Plan East, Inc
  • Pennsylvania Health & Wellness, Inc.
  • Oscar Health Plan of Pennsylvania, Inc.

None of the insurers are available in every county in Pennsylvania, however UPMC is available in most regions of the state.

These insurers offered the cheapest Silver health plans in the 67 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 UPMC isn't offered, you can typically find the most affordable health plan rates from the Highmark Health Insurance Co.

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 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 based on your family size.

CountyCheapest PlanAge 40Couple, Age 40Couple, Age 40 + Child
AdamsUPMC Advantage Silver $3,500/$25 - Premium Network$602$1,204$1,565
AlleghenyTogether Blue EPO Silver 3950 HSA$329$657$854
ArmstrongUPMC Advantage Silver $2,000/$80 - Premium Network$440$880$1,144
BeaverUPMC Advantage Silver $2,000/$80 - Select Network$353$706$918
BedfordUPMC Advantage Silver $2,000/$80 - Partner Network$334$669$869
Berksmy Direct Blue EPO Silver 3950 HSA$507$1,015$1,319
BlairUPMC Advantage Silver $2,000/$80 - Partner Network$334$669$869
Bradfordmy Priority Blue Flex EPO Silver 3950 HSA$434$867$1,127
BucksOscar Classic Silver Next$461$921$1,197
ButlerUPMC Advantage Silver $2,000/$80 - Select Network$353$706$918
CambriaUPMC Advantage Silver $2,000/$80 - Premium Network$440$880$1,144
CameronUPMC Advantage Silver $2,000/$80 - Premium Network$483$965$1,254
Carbonmy Priority Blue Flex EPO Silver 3950 HSA$434$867$1,127
CentreSilver PPO 6000/20/40$577$1,154$1,500
ChesterOscar Classic Silver Next$461$921$1,197
ClarionUPMC Advantage Silver $2,000/$80 - Premium Network$440$880$1,144
ClearfieldUPMC Advantage Silver $2,000/$80 - Premium Network$440$880$1,144
ClintonUPMC Advantage Silver $2,000/$80 - Partner Network$422$844$1,096
ColumbiaSilver PPO 6000/20/40$577$1,154$1,500
CrawfordUPMC Advantage Silver $2,000/$80 - Premium Network$440$880$1,144
Cumberlandmy Direct Blue EPO Silver 3950 HSA$498$995$1,293
Dauphinmy Direct Blue EPO Silver 3950 HSA$498$995$1,293
DelawareOscar Classic Silver Next$461$921$1,197
ElkUPMC Advantage Silver $2,000/$80 - Premium Network$483$965$1,254
ErieTogether Blue EPO Silver 3950 HSA$329$657$854
FayetteUPMC Advantage Silver $2,000/$80 - Select Network$353$706$918
ForestUPMC Advantage Silver $2,000/$80 - Premium Network$440$880$1,144
Franklinmy Direct Blue EPO Silver 3950 HSA$498$995$1,293
FultonSilver PPO 6000/20/40$583$1,166$1,515
GreeneUPMC Advantage Silver $2,000/$80 - Premium Network$440$880$1,144
HuntingdonUPMC Advantage Silver $2,000/$80 - Premium Network$440$880$1,144
IndianaUPMC Advantage Silver $2,000/$80 - Premium Network$440$880$1,144
JeffersonUPMC Advantage Silver $2,000/$80 - Premium Network$440$880$1,144
JuniataSilver PPO 6000/20/40$583$1,166$1,515
Lackawannamy Priority Blue Flex EPO Silver 3950 HSA$434$867$1,127
Lancastermy Direct Blue EPO Silver 3950 HSA$507$1,015$1,319
LawrenceUPMC Advantage Silver $2,000/$80 - Partner Network$334$669$869
Lebanonmy Direct Blue EPO Silver 3950 HSA$498$995$1,293
Lehighmy Direct Blue Lehigh Valley EPO Silver 3950 HSA$515$1,031$1,340
Luzernemy Priority Blue Flex EPO Silver 3950 HSA$434$867$1,127
LycomingUPMC Advantage Silver $2,000/$80 - Partner Network$422$844$1,096
McKeanUPMC Advantage Silver $2,000/$80 - Premium Network$440$880$1,144
MercerUPMC Advantage Silver $2,000/$80 - Partner Network$334$669$869
MifflinSilver PPO 6000/20/40$577$1,154$1,500
Monroemy Priority Blue Flex EPO Silver 3950 HSA$434$867$1,127
MontgomeryOscar Classic Silver Next$461$921$1,197
MontourSilver PPO 6000/20/40$577$1,154$1,500
Northamptonmy Direct Blue Lehigh Valley EPO Silver 3950 HSA$515$1,031$1,340
NorthumberlandSilver PPO 6000/20/40$577$1,154$1,500
Perrymy Direct Blue EPO Silver 3950 HSA$498$995$1,293
PhiladelphiaOscar Classic Silver Next$461$921$1,197
Pikemy Priority Blue Flex EPO Silver 3950 HSA$434$867$1,127
PotterUPMC Advantage Silver $2,000/$80 - Premium Network$483$965$1,254
Schuylkillmy Direct Blue Lehigh Valley EPO Silver 3950 HSA$515$1,031$1,340
SnyderSilver PPO 6000/20/40$577$1,154$1,500
SomersetUPMC Advantage Silver $2,000/$80 - Premium Network$440$880$1,144
Sullivanmy Priority Blue Flex EPO Silver 3950 HSA$434$867$1,127
Susquehannamy Priority Blue Flex EPO Silver 3950 HSA$434$867$1,127
TiogaUPMC Advantage Silver $2,000/$80 - Partner Network$422$844$1,096
UnionSilver PPO 6000/20/40$577$1,154$1,500
VenangoUPMC Advantage Silver $2,000/$80 - Partner Network$334$669$869
WarrenUPMC Advantage Silver $2,000/$80 - Premium Network$440$880$1,144
WashingtonTogether Blue EPO Silver 3950 HSA$329$657$854
Waynemy Priority Blue Flex EPO Silver 3950 HSA$434$867$1,127
WestmorelandUPMC Advantage Silver $2,000/$80 - Select Network$353$706$918
Wyomingmy Priority Blue Flex EPO Silver 3950 HSA$434$867$1,127
YorkUPMC Advantage Silver $3,500/$25 - Premium Network$602$1,204$1,565

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 $518. Adding a child to a Silver health insurance plan costs $310 on average.

So, a family of five in Pennsylvania, with an adult couple and three children, would pay an average health insurance cost of $1,966, or $620 more than a family of three would pay for a Silver plan.
Family SizeAverage monthly cost of health plan
Individual + Child$828
Couple Age 40$1,036
Family of three (Adult couple and a child)$1,346
Family of four (Adult couple and two children)$1,656
Family of five (Adult couple and three children)$1,966
Adults are assumed to be 40 years old. Sample rates are based on the average cost for a Silver plan in Pennsylvania.


Health insurance rates and plans in Pennsylvania were compiled from the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS) government website. ValuePenguin used the Public Use Files (PUF) to average premiums by metal tier, county and family size to provide an overall view of health insurance cost for the state of Pennsylvania.

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.


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