Health Insurance

Best Cheap Health Insurance in South Dakota 2020

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Residents can purchase cheap health insurance in South Dakota on the federally run state insurance exchange. South Dakota currently has two insurers that provide coverage for the state: Avera Health Plans Inc. and Sanford Health Plan.

In South Dakota, the average premium for 2020 health plans is $556 per month, representing a 7% increase over the past two years. For a 40-year-old, this is $35 more expensive than in 2018.

We conducted research and found that the Avera 2750 was the cheapest Silver health plan available in the majority of counties in South Dakota. However, the Sanford Simplicity $4,750 or Avera Preferred 2750 policy was the most affordable Silver plan in approximately one-third of the state.

Cheapest health insurance by metal tier

We researched all of the policies available in the state and identified the lowest cost health insurance options by metal tier to help you compare the different costs and benefits among the levels. For example, the Avera Preferred 2750 is the cheapest Silver plan, which has a monthly premium of $463 and a deductible of $2,750. However, the cheapest Gold plan, Sanford TRUE $1,750, costs $67 more per month, but has a much lower deductible of $1,750.

In the table below are listed the cheapest health insurance plans by metal tier for South Dakota, along with the deductible, out-of-pocket maximums and monthly cost for a 40-year-old.

Metal tierCheapest planDeductibleOut-of-pocket maximumMonthly cost for a 40-year-old
CatastrophicSanford TRUE $8,150$8,150$8,150$249
BronzeAvera Preferred 6000$6,000$8,150$345
Expanded BronzeSanford TRUE $6,000$6,000$8,150$368
SilverAvera Preferred 2750$2,750$7,500$463
GoldSanford TRUE $1,750$1,750$6,250$530

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There are currently five different metal tiers available to purchase in South Dakota: Catastrophic, Bronze, Expanded Bronze, Silver and Gold. These plans differ in the costs and benefits that they provide. Generally, the higher the metal tier, the higher the monthly premium. Age is another key factor that will affect your monthly premium: As you grow older, your monthly health insurance costs will increase regardless of metal tier.

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

Finding your best health insurance coverage in South Dakota

The best health insurance for you depends on where you live, your health care needs and your financial situation. Here are some general guidelines to follow when looking through the state health insurance marketplace. Typically, policies in the higher metal tiers (Silver and Gold) have more expensive monthly premiums in exchange for lower out-of-pocket expenses, like deductibles, copays and coinsurance.

These plans are best if you think you may become sick or already have high recurring medical costs that arise from chronic conditions. On the other hand, those who are young and healthy or don't expect to have many medical costs may wish to choose a plan in a lower metal tier (Bronze, Expanded Bronze and Catastrophic) to save money.

Gold plans: best for high expected medical costs

Gold plans are the highest metal tier available in South Dakota and typically cover the greatest share of out-of-pocket costs, which means you'll pay lower deductibles, copays and coinsurance. Generally, Gold health insurance policies are the best in terms of cost-effectiveness if you expect to incur high medical expenses, such as from chronic conditions, or you have costly prescriptions. You can expect these plans to cover about 80% of your medical costs, while you pay for the remaining 20%.

Silver plans: best for those with low income or average medical costs

Silver plans are a good health insurance option for those looking for a balance between costs and benefits. For example, the Avera 2750 has a deductible of $2,750, which means you would need to pay this amount for your medical costs before the plan begins to cover your expenses. The $2,750 deductible is higher than the $1,500 deductible on the Avera 1500 Gold plan, but it is much lower than the $6,000 deductible on the Avera 6000 Bronze plan. However, Silver health plans can still be quite costly if you don't qualify for premium subsidies, because the cost-sharing reduction (CSR) subsidies are no longer funded by the federal government.

If you are part of a lower-income household, you may qualify for CSR subsidies with a Silver health plan, 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 plans may offer the lowest monthly rates, but they're limited to people younger than 30 or those who qualify for an exemption. Furthermore, these health plans provide the least coverage and are only recommended if you have the financial means to cover a large portion of your health care expenses in case of an emergency.

Bronze plans are open to everyone and similarly offer cheaper monthly premiums than higher metal tier plans alongside reduced coverage and higher out-of-pocket costs. So, if you need medical care during the year, you would have to pay more out of pocket before coverage kicks in. On average, you can expect a Bronze plan to cover about 60% of your health costs, while you pay for the other 40%. Expanded Bronze plans increase coverage to about 65%, while you pay roughly 35%.

Best cheap health insurance companies in South Dakota

There are currently only two health insurance companies on the South Dakota state exchange: Avera Health Plans Inc. and Sanford Health Plan. Both of these insurers were on the exchange for the past few years, and no change to the number of insurers in South Dakota is expected next year. All counties have access to both insurance companies, but the monthly rates for their health plans will be different depending on where you live.

Cheapest health insurance plan by county

Finding the best health plan for your family can be challenging, since the plans offered and their monthly premiums may change depending on the region you're in. For instance, the monthly cost of the Avera 2750 plan, the cheapest Silver health plan in Jackson County, is $164 more expensive for a 40-year-old than the same policy would cost in Clay County. To make this process simpler, we compared rates for every policy in South Dakota to find the cheapest Silver health plan in each county, listed in the table below.

CountyCheapest Silver planSingle adult, Age 40Couple, age 40Couple, age 40, plus child
AuroraAvera 2750$576$1,152$1,497
BeadleAvera 2750$581$1,163$1,511
BennettSanford Simplicity $4,750$738$1,475$1,917
Bon HommeAvera 2750$576$1,152$1,497
BrookingsAvera 2750$581$1,163$1,511
BrownAvera Preferred 2750$466$931$1,210
BruleAvera 2750$576$1,152$1,497
BuffaloAvera 2750$576$1,152$1,497
ButteSanford Simplicity $4,750$738$1,475$1,917
CampbellAvera 2750$581$1,163$1,511
Charles MixAvera 2750$576$1,152$1,497
ClarkAvera 2750$581$1,163$1,511
ClayAvera 2750$578$1,157$1,503
CodingtonAvera 2750$581$1,163$1,511
CorsonAvera 2750$581$1,163$1,511
CusterSanford Simplicity $4,750$738$1,475$1,917
DavisonAvera 2750$576$1,152$1,497
DayAvera 2750$581$1,163$1,511
DeuelAvera 2750$581$1,163$1,511
DeweyAvera 2750$581$1,163$1,511
DouglasAvera 2750$576$1,152$1,497
EdmundsAvera 2750$581$1,163$1,511
Fall RiverSanford Simplicity $4,750$738$1,475$1,917
FaulkAvera 2750$581$1,163$1,511
GrantAvera 2750$581$1,163$1,511
GregoryAvera 2750$576$1,152$1,497
HaakonSanford Simplicity $4,750$738$1,475$1,917
HamlinAvera 2750$581$1,163$1,511
HandAvera 2750$576$1,152$1,497
HansonAvera 2750$576$1,152$1,497
HardingSanford Simplicity $4,750$738$1,475$1,917
HughesAvera 2750$576$1,152$1,497
HutchinsonAvera 2750$576$1,152$1,497
HydeAvera 2750$576$1,152$1,497
JacksonSanford Simplicity $4,750$738$1,475$1,917
JerauldAvera 2750$576$1,152$1,497
JonesSanford Simplicity $4,750$738$1,475$1,917
KingsburyAvera 2750$581$1,163$1,511
LakeAvera 2750$578$1,157$1,503
LawrenceSanford Simplicity $4,750$738$1,475$1,917
LincolnAvera Preferred 2750$463$926$1,203
LymanAvera 2750$576$1,152$1,497
MarshallAvera 2750$581$1,163$1,511
McCookAvera 2750$578$1,157$1,503
McPhersonAvera 2750$581$1,163$1,511
MeadeSanford Simplicity $4,750$738$1,475$1,917
MelletteSanford Simplicity $4,750$738$1,475$1,917
MinerAvera 2750$576$1,152$1,497
MinnehahaAvera Preferred 2750$463$926$1,203
MoodyAvera 2750$578$1,157$1,503
Oglala LakotaSanford Simplicity $4,750$738$1,475$1,917
PenningtonSanford Simplicity $4,750$738$1,475$1,917
PerkinsSanford Simplicity $4,750$738$1,475$1,917
PotterAvera 2750$581$1,163$1,511
RobertsAvera 2750$581$1,163$1,511
SanbornAvera 2750$576$1,152$1,497
SpinkAvera 2750$581$1,163$1,511
StanleyAvera 2750$576$1,152$1,497
SullyAvera 2750$576$1,152$1,497
ToddSanford Simplicity $4,750$738$1,475$1,917
TrippAvera 2750$576$1,152$1,497
TurnerAvera 2750$578$1,157$1,503
UnionAvera 2750$578$1,157$1,503
WalworthAvera 2750$581$1,163$1,511
YanktonAvera 2750$576$1,152$1,497
ZiebachSanford Simplicity $4,750$738$1,475$1,917

Average cost of health insurance by family size in South Dakota

When considering health insurance plans for your family, keep in mind that factors like the number of people who need coverage and their ages will affect the monthly premium. If you add children to your health insurance plan, each child will cost a flat rate for coverage until they are 15 years old. Upon reaching the age of 15, the monthly rate will increase as they grow older.

For instance, the average monthly health insurance cost for a family of three, assuming two 40-year-old parents and a child on a Silver plan, is $1,668 in South Dakota. If you were to add another child to the plan, the monthly premium would increase by $384. So for a family of four, the total monthly cost of health coverage would be $2,052.

Family sizeAverage monthly cost of health plan
Individual + child$1,026
Couple age 40$1,284
Family of three (Adult couple and a child)$1,668
Family of four (Adult couple and two children)$2,052
Family of five (Adult couple and three children)$2,436
Adults are assumed to be 40 years old. Sample rates are based on the average cost for a Silver plan in South Dakota.

Health insurance rate changes in South Dakota

The average cost of health insurance for a 40-year-old in South Dakota has increased by 7%, or $35 per month, since 2018. Premiums across all metal tiers are higher on average, with Silver policies experiencing the largest cost increase—10% higher rates for 2020 plans.

Catastrophic health insurance policies had the smallest average price increase, at 1%, meaning a 40-year-old in South Dakota would only pay $5 more per month. However, these plans aren't available for the majority of adults.

Metal tier2018 Premium2020 Premium% Change
Expanded Bronze$469$4955.63%
Rates are based on a 40-year-old adult.


South Dakota health insurance premium and plan details for this analysis were taken from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) government website. We then calculated the average cost of a policy by metal tier, county and family size within the state using CMS's Public Use Files (PUF).

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.