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Best Cheap Health Insurance in Virginia 2022

Best Cheap Health Insurance in Virginia 2022

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Consumers seeking health insurance in the state of Virginia can find affordable options by looking at the plans offered on the health insurance marketplace. Overall, the companies offering the cheapest health insurance plans for most people are Anthem HealthKeepers and Optimum Choice UnitedHealthcare. These two providers offer the most affordable Silver plans in 77% of Virginia's counties.

In 2022, the average cost of health insurance in Virginia is $441 a month for a 40-year-old.

Choosing the right provider is the first step to getting the best deal on health insurance. For example, in most of the counties where Optimum Choice operates, its UHC Value Base Silver is the cheapest plan available in the county.

Cheapest health insurance by metal tier

We compared Virginia health plans by metal tier to help you find the best health insurance rates for your chosen level of coverage. No insurer offers coverage in every Virginia county, so the plans listed below may not be available where you live. But we recommend using these as a starting point to compare health care costs across tiers.

Metal tier
Cheapest plan
Cost
Deductible
Out-of-pocket maximum
CatastrophicCareFirst BlueChoice HMO Young Adult 8700$195$8,700$8,700
BronzeKaiser KP VA Bronze 7500, 40%/Vision$335$8,600$8,700
Expanded BronzeOptimum Choice UHC Value Base Bronze$344$6,900$8,700
SilverPiedmont Silver 6000$450$6,100$8,700
GoldOptimum Choice UHC Value Gold$430$750$8,700
PlatinumKaiser KP VA Platinum 0/15/Vision$523$500$4,000

Monthly costs for a 40-year-old.

Within a given tier of coverage, your actual health insurance costs will depend on your age and income. In general, those who are older will pay more for a health insurance plan, and those who have low to moderate incomes will qualify for premium tax credits, which reduce the monthly cost of health insurance.

As you can see below, a 60-year-old in Virginia would pay more than twice the price for a Silver plan as a 40-year-old.

Average monthly cost of health insurance in Virginia by plan tier

Finding your best health insurance coverage in Virginia

The overall best cheap health insurance plan for you in Virginia will depend on your level of coverage and health status. Individuals who expect to have a lot of medical costs may pay less overall if they choose a health plan with higher premiums — such as a Gold policy — and lower out-of-pocket costs. This is especially true if you select a Silver plan and you qualify for cost-sharing reductions, which further reduce your copays, coinsurance and deductibles.

Start by browsing Silver plans

For all but the healthiest consumers, we suggest you begin your search by looking at Silver plans. When compared to Bronze or Expanded Bronze health plans, a Silver plan will generally cost more each month, but the plans come with substantially lower costs for medical care. Furthermore, they are the only plans eligible for additional subsidies for cost-sharing reductions. If your income is less than 250% of the federal poverty level, your copays, coinsurance and deductibles will be more affordable.

Consumers with recurring medical bills will see the benefits of lower out-of-pocket expenses immediately. The cheaper out-of-pocket maximums and deductibles will limit the risk of large payments should you need urgent medical care. Silver plans are generally the best health insurance plans, as they strike a good balance between what you pay for premiums versus out-of-pocket costs.

Cheap Bronze plans are best for the healthy

While Bronze plans have lower premiums, this is only part of the cost of health care. Bronze plans will typically have much higher deductibles and out-of-pocket costs, so if you need treatment, your total costs will increase. The Bronze and Expanded Bronze plans will generally be cheaper overall options for consumers who are healthier and need less-frequent medical care. In such cases, the lower premiums combined with the lower likelihood of out-of-pocket expenses make these health insurance plans best for young, healthy applicants.

Gold or Platinum plans are best for those who need costly medical care

The highest-tier plans, Gold and Platinum, are also the most expensive health insurance plans. However, for those who need ongoing or costly health care, it can be worth it to pay the high monthly rates in order to get the better benefits these plans offer. With these plans, you'll generally have lower out-of-pocket costs for medical treatments. However, for those with moderate health care needs, a Silver plan may be more cost effective.

Short-term health insurance in Virginia

Virginia residents can purchase short-term health coverage directly through insurers. However, Virginia state regulations regarding short-term policies are stricter when compared to federal laws.

Based on changes made in 2021, initial coverage from a short-term plan is limited to three months, and the total length of coverage including renewals cannot exceed six months. Plus, short-term policies are not available for purchase during the Affordable Care Act (ACA) open enrollment period.

A short-term policy can be a good option if you do not have employer-sponsored coverage or qualify for Medicaid, or if you’ve missed open enrollment. However, a short-term plan will not cover some of the essential health benefits such as maternity care, mental health services or prescription drugs. Therefore, you should evaluate your health care needs before purchasing one of these policies.

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Best cheap health insurance companies in Virginia

Currently, nine health insurance companies offer ACA-compliant plans in Virginia. That's one more than last year with the addition of Group Hospitalization and Medical Services, a subsidiary of CareFirst BCBS. The companies offering plans in Virginia this year are:

  • Anthem HealthKeepers
  • CareFirst BlueChoice
  • Cigna Health and Life Insurance Co.
  • Group Hospitalization and Medical Services Inc.
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • Optima Health Plan
  • Optimum Choice UnitedHealthcare
  • Oscar Insurance Company
  • Piedmont Community HealthCare HMO, Inc.

Cheapest health insurance plan by county

To help with your search, the following table outlines which insurer offers the cheapest Silver plan in each county in Virginia.

For shoppers with incomes under 400% of the federal poverty level, plans purchased through the exchanges will be eligible for premium assistance through tax subsidies. The prices listed here are before any subsidies are applied. Those who qualify for a subsidy will have lower monthly insurance costs.

County name
Cheapest plan
Adult
Couple
AccomackAnthem HealthKeepers Silver X 6250$513$1,027
AlbemarleAnthem HealthKeepers Silver X 5300$484$967
Alexandria CityOptimum Choice UHC Value Base Silver$450$900
AlleghanyAnthem HealthKeepers Silver X 6250$513$1,027
AmeliaCigna Connect 6500 ($0 Telehealth)$469$938
Show All Rows

Rates based on a 40-year-old.

This county-by-county table shows how much of an impact location can have on how much you pay for health insurance. For example, a resident of Staunton can get a Silver insurance plan for $450 per month. In Richmond, the cheapest option is $469 per month, and residents in Roanoke pay $513 per month for their cheapest plan.

Average cost of health insurance by family size in Virginia

The size of your family, as well as the age of each person insured by the policy, will directly impact the cost of a health insurance plan. Children ages 14 and under typically have a flat cost of coverage, but those 15 and older will face increasing premiums based on their age.

For instance, if you get married and add your 40-year-old spouse to your Silver health insurance plan, your premiums will increase by an average of $512 per month in Virginia. But if you add your 12-year-old child to a policy, the average increase in monthly premiums will be $306. So a family of five (with three children under 15) would pay $612 more per month for a Silver health plan, on average, than a family of three, assuming two adults are covered.

Family size
Average cost
Adult & child$818
Couple$1,023
Family of 3 (couple & child)$1,330
Family of 4 (couple & 2 children)$1,636
Family of 5 (couple & 3 children)$1,942

Sample rates are based on the average cost of a Silver plan in Virginia for 40-year-old adults and children age 14 or younger.

Health insurance rate changes in Virginia

In Virginia, the average cost of health insurance in 2022 is about 3% cheaper than last year, based on the average cost of Bronze through Platinum tiers.

The largest decrease was for the cost of a Platinum plan, which is 14% cheaper this year. On the other hand, the cost for Bronze and Expanded Bronze plans increased about 4%. That adds an extra cost of $15 to $16 per month for these plans.

Metal tier
2020
2021
2022
Change (2022 vs. 2021)
Bronze$389$370$3864%
Expanded Bronze$400$393$4084%
Silver$547$512$5124%
Gold$556$510$501-2%
Platinum$710$611$523-14%

Rates are based on a 40-year-old adult.

This is the second consecutive year that the average cost of health insurance in Virginia has decreased. Those with Platinum plans see the largest savings, spending about $187 less per month on insurance in 2022 than in 2020. However, even the more popular Silver plans have lower costs, and policyholders will spend about $35 less per month now than in 2020.

Frequently asked questions

Does Virginia have affordable health care coverage?

The cost of health insurance for a Silver plan in Virginia is 5% more affordable than the national average of $541 per month. Virginia maintained the same average monthly rate for a Silver plan between 2021 and 2022, with no year-to-year increase.

What is the cheapest type of health insurance in Virginia?

The cheapest type of health insurance in Virginia is Medicaid, which offers free or low-cost coverage according to family size, income and other factors. If you don't qualify for Medicaid, Catastrophic and Bronze plans are the lowest-cost plans available through the exchange to residents. The cheapest Catastrophic plan costs $195 per month and is available if you are under 30 years old or qualify for a hardship exemption, whereas Bronze plans are available to everyone and cost $386 per month on average.

How do I sign up for health insurance in Virginia?

Virginia residents can sign up for health insurance via the federal health insurance exchange at healthcare.gov. You'll need to create an online account, then you can let the site guide you through the selection process. Virginia offers six plan tiers and three plan types — HMO, EPO or PPO — to help you find the option that fits your needs.

What is the best health insurance in Virginia?

The best health insurance in Virginia depends on your finances and how often you use insurance. Virginia offers plan tiers ranging from basic Catastrophic to Platinum. If you have ongoing health care needs or costly prescriptions, the best option is usually a higher-tier plan. Although premiums are higher, frequent health care users pay lower deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs with a Gold or Platinum plan, making them a cheaper option.

Methodology

The health insurance rates and plan information used in this analysis were sourced from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) website. In our analysis, ValuePenguin determined the average rates by metal tier, family size and region by referencing cost data from the CMS Public Use Files (PUF). Plans and providers for which county-level data was included in the CMS Crosswalk file were used in our analysis; those excluded from this dataset may not appear.

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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Get personalized advice. Narrow down choices based on your unique situation.


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Compare rates to maximize your savings. Get free quotes in an instant.


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Find a provider you can trust. Our experts do the hard work for you.