Best Cheap Health Insurance in South Carolina 2019

Find the Cheapest Health Insurance Quotes in Your Area

Currently insured?
{"id":10,"isAgeFieldVisible":true,"isInsuranceTypeFieldVisible":true,"isInsuredStatusFieldVisible":true,"buttonText":"Find Insurers","customEventLabel":"","defaultZip":"","defaultProduct":"health","quoteWizardEndpoint":"https:\/\/","trackingKey":"_best-cheap-health-insurance-south-c","title":"Find the Cheapest Health Insurance Quotes in Your Area","vendor":"vp"}

South Carolinians can go to their state exchange to find affordable health insurance, but the best plans available depends on the coverage you choose to fit your budget and needs. We analyzed all health insurance plans in South Carolina and found that the BlueEssentials Silver 10 was the cheapest Silver health insurance policy in every county. Although this is the cheapest option, depending on your budget and coverage needs, there may be better options for you.

Cheapest Health Insurance by Metal Tier

We compared health insurance plans in South Carolina by metal tier to find the best policy at the different levels of coverage you may encounter. The table below can be a good starting point in comparing the costs and benefits you can expect from a plan of that metal tier. For example, for the BlueEssentials Bronze 1 policy, the average monthly premium across the state for a 40-year-old is $320, which is roughly $130 less than the monthly premium for the BlueEssentials Silver 10. However, the Bronze plan would mean higher out-of-pocket costs in the form of deductibles, co-pays and coinsurance.

Metal TierCheapest PlanDeductibleOut-of-Pocket MaximumMonthly Cost for a 40-Year-Old
CatastrophicBlueEssentials Catastrophic 1$7,350$7,350$231.41
BronzeBlueEssentials Bronze 1$7,000$7,350$319.84
Expanded BronzeBlueEssentials Bronze 4$6,200$7,150$336.71
SilverBlueEssentials Silver 10$7,150$7,150$456.53
GoldBlueEssentials Gold 4$2,700$5,600$479.47

The monthly health insurance premium is largely based on two factors—coverage tier and the ages of those covered by the plan. A higher metal tier would mean lower out-of-pocket costs but higher monthly premiums. On the other hand, as age increases, premiums across all metal tiers increase. For example, a 40-year-old would pay 53% less than a 60-year-old for health insurance premiums in South Carolina. This would mean paying $633 more on average every month as a 60-year-old with a Gold plan than a 40-year-old would pay. But if you had a Silver plan, you would only pay $591 more on average as a 60-year-old.

Average Monthly Cost of Health Insurance Plans by Metal Tier in South Carolina

Find the Cheapest Health Insurance Quotes in Your Area

Currently insured?
{"id":4,"isAgeFieldVisible":true,"isInsuranceTypeFieldVisible":true,"isInsuredStatusFieldVisible":true,"buttonText":"Find Insurers","customEventLabel":"","defaultZip":"","defaultProduct":"health","quoteWizardEndpoint":"https:\/\/","trackingKey":"_best-cheap-health-insurance-south-c","title":"Find the Cheapest Health Insurance Quotes in Your Area","vendor":"vp"}

Finding the Best Health Insurance Coverage in South Carolina

The best cheap health insurance plans in South Carolina change by county, because depending on where you live, the cost of a policy changes. For example, the BlueEssentials Silver 10 has a monthly premium of $389 for a 40-year-old in the county of Charleston, but a $439 monthly premium in Richland County. No matter where you live, you will be able to choose from different metal tiers that offer varying levels of coverage and rates to fit your lifestyle.

Higher metal tier health plans, like Gold policies, have monthly premiums that are typically more expensive than Silver policies, but offer significantly lower out-of-pocket expenses, like deductibles, co-pays and coinsurance. This means if you have high recurring medical costs like prescriptions or think you may become sick, a higher metal tier plan may be the best option for you. On the other hand, if you are young, healthy and have no expected medical costs—and would prefer a lower monthly premium—a lower metal tier policy may be the choice for you.

Gold Plans: Best for High Expected Medical Costs

If you use or expect to use your insurance often, Gold plans would typically offer you the lowest costs, since they tend to offer lower deductibles and co-pays. However, the monthly premium you can expect to pay for a Gold plan will generally be higher. Ultimately, these health plans are best if you have high expected medical costs, such as chronic conditions that may require constant medical attention, or are concerned about being able to pay out of pocket for an unexpected condition.

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

Silver plans are a good balance between between the higher monthly premiums provided in a Gold plan, but they offer lower deductibles, co-pay and coinsurance options than Bronze plans. If you are part of a lower-income household, you may qualify for cost-sharing reduction (CSR) subsidies, which 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 plans offer lower monthly premiums compared to Silver and Gold plans. However, you must be under 30 or qualify for an exemption to purchase a Catastrophic plan. Bronze plans are open to everyone and offer lower monthly premiums than higher metal tier plans. However, this comes at lower coverage, meaning higher out-of-pocket costs. So, if you need medical care during the year, you would have to pay more money out of pocket before coverage kicks in. We wouldn't recommend these policies unless you can afford the higher deductibles, co-pays and coinsurance in the case of a medical emergency.

Extended Bronze plans are a new plan tier that was introduced this year. This tier extends a typical Bronze plan, which may cover about 60% of your health care costs, to cover up to about 65% of your costs.

Best Cheap Health Insurance Companies in South Carolina

There is only one health insurance company on the South Carolina state exchange: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Carolina, which is available in every county. South Carolina is one of nine states to only have one insurer on the state exchange. However, just two years ago, people could select plans from additional health insurance companies such as: UnitedHealthcare, Coventry (Aetna) and BlueChoice.

Cheapest Health Insurance Plan By County

We analyzed the most affordable Silver health insurance policies available on the state exchange by county to help you get started on your search for the best health insurance plan in South Carolina. Below, you can see which policy has the best rate for your county, as well as sample monthly premiums for an individual, couple and family of three.

CountyCheapest Silver PlanSingle Adult, Age 40Couple, Age 40Couple, Age 40, and Child
AbbevilleBlueEssentials Silver 10$500$1,001$1,301
AikenBlueEssentials Silver 10$561$1,122$1,457
AllendaleBlueEssentials Silver 10$515$1,030$1,338
AndersonBlueEssentials Silver 10$567$1,135$1,474
BambergBlueEssentials Silver 10$511$1,022$1,328
BarnwellBlueEssentials Silver 10$568$1,136$1,475
BeaufortBlueEssentials Silver 10$500$1000$1,299
BerkeleyBlueEssentials Silver 10$512$1,024$1,331
CalhounBlueEssentials Silver 10$498$997$1,295
CharlestonBlueEssentials Silver 10$497$995$1,292
CherokeeBlueEssentials Silver 10$504$1,008$1,310
ChesterBlueEssentials Silver 10$524$1,048$1,362
ChesterfieldBlueEssentials Silver 10$512$1,024$1,331
ClarendonBlueEssentials Silver 10$497$993$1,290
ColletonBlueEssentials Silver 10$532$1,065$1,384
DarlingtonBlueEssentials Silver 10$513$1,026$1,333
DillonBlueEssentials Silver 10$531$1,063$1,381
DorchesterBlueEssentials Silver 10$512$1,024$1,331
EdgefieldBlueEssentials Silver 10$548$1,097$1,425
FairfieldBlueEssentials Silver 10$505$1,011$1,313
FlorenceBlueEssentials Silver 10$513$1,026$1,333
GeorgetownBlueEssentials Silver 10$521$1,042$1,353
GreenvilleBlueEssentials Silver 10$499$997$1,296
GreenwoodBlueEssentials Silver 10$543$1,085$1,410
HamptonBlueEssentials Silver 10$466$933$1,212
HorryBlueEssentials Silver 10$493$986$1,282
JasperBlueEssentials Silver 10$457$913$1,186
KershawBlueEssentials Silver 10$525$1,051$1,365
LancasterBlueEssentials Silver 10$568$1,136$1,475
LaurensBlueEssentials Silver 10$499$997$1,296
LeeBlueEssentials Silver 10$513$1,026$1,333
LexingtonBlueEssentials Silver 10$558$1,117$1,451
MarionBlueEssentials Silver 10$531$1,063$1,381
MarlboroBlueEssentials Silver 10$538$1,075$1,397
MccormickBlueEssentials Silver 10$528$1,056$1,372
NewberryBlueEssentials Silver 10$505$1,011$1,313
OconeeBlueEssentials Silver 10$548$1,095$1,423
OrangeburgBlueEssentials Silver 10$489$977$1,269
PickensBlueEssentials Silver 10$538$1,075$1,397
RichlandBlueEssentials Silver 10$562$1,123$1,459
SaludaBlueEssentials Silver 10$500$1,001$1,301
SpartanburgBlueEssentials Silver 10$487$974$1,266
SumterBlueEssentials Silver 10$558$1,116$1,450
UnionBlueEssentials Silver 10$494$987$1,283
WilliamsburgBlueEssentials Silver 10$540$1,079$1,403
YorkBlueEssentials Silver 10$568$1,137$1,477

Average Cost of Health Insurance by Family Size in South Carolina

The size of your family will influence the cost of your monthly premium based on the number of people that need coverage and their age. Children 14 and below and those that qualify for cheaper health insurance premiums that remain flat. However, once a child turns 15 years old, the monthly health plan premium will increase as they get older.

For example, the average cost of health insurance for a family of three, assuming two 40-year-old parents and a child, is $1,368 in South Carolina. For each additional child, the average cost of a Silver health plan increases by $315, so a family of four, assuming two 40-year-olds and two children, would cost an average of $1,683 per month to insure.

Family SizeAverage Monthly Cost of Health Plan
Single Adult$527
Adult Couple$1,053
Family of three (Adult couple and a child)$1,368
Family of four (Adult couple and two children)$1,683
Family of five (Adult couple and three children)$1,999
Adults are assumed to be 40 years old. Sample rates are based on the average cost for a Silver plan in South Carolina.

Comments and Questions

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.