Health Insurance

Best Cheap Health Insurance in Washington 2022

Best Cheap Health Insurance in Washington 2022

Find Cheap Health Insurance Quotes in Washington

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The average cost of health insurance in Washington state for a Silver plan is $443 per month for a 40-year-old.

In Washington, individual health insurance is available for purchase through the Washington Healthplanfinder marketplace. Health coverage is also available through Medicaid if your household income is equal to or below 138% of the federal poverty level.

After reviewing policies from every county in Washington, we found that the Ambetter Balanced Care 1 is the cheapest Silver plan available in 15 of the counties.

Cheapest health insurance by metal tier

Washington state's individual health insurance is broken down into three different metal tiers: Bronze, Silver and Gold. We researched and compared policies offered in all counties to identify the most affordable health plan at each metal tier.

These are the cheapest policies overall, but plan availability depends on the county in which you live. Therefore, the table below should be used as an initial starting point to identify a metal tier that fits your needs and income.

Metal tier
Cheapest plan
Cost for a 40-year-old
Deductible
Out-of-pocket maximum
BronzeAmbetter Essential Care 1$265$8,600$8,600
SilverAmbetter Balanced Care 1$355$5,650$7,500
GoldAmbetter Secure Care 20$372$750$7,500

As you can see, the higher metal tiers have higher premiums but lower deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums. For example, the Ambetter Secure Care 20 has a premium that costs $107 more per month than the Ambetter Essential Care 1, but the deductible is $7,850 less expensive.

The health insurance quote you receive will be determined by your age as well. Since you are more likely to use more health services when you are older, health coverage and premiums will become more expensive as you age. For example, for a Silver tier policy in Washington, a 40-year-old would pay on average 28% more than a 21-year-old — or $96 more per month on average.

cost of health insurance in Washington state
Metal tier
Age 21
Age 40
Age 60
Bronze$260$332$569
Silver$347$443$810
Gold$377$482$892

Health insurance rate changes in Washington

Insurance providers set their own rates and then send the rates to state regulators for approval. For 2022, the average cost of health insurance in Washington across all three tiers increased by 2% compared to 2021 rates.

Gold is the only metal tier to not see an increase from 2021 to 2022.

Metal tier
2021
2022
Change
Bronze$317$3325%
Silver$431$4433%
Gold$482$4820%

Monthly premiums are for a 40-year-old adult.

Finding the best health insurance coverage in Washington

The best health insurance coverage for you will depend on your level of income and medical needs. Besides individual health insurance, Washington offers Medicaid coverage through its Apple Health program. Furthermore, the state has passed legislation that expands Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Households with incomes that are below 138% of the federal poverty level can enroll in federally funded health care.

Before choosing a plan, you should analyze the premiums and deductibles for each metal tier and decide on affordability based on your income and savings. Below, we have provided an in-depth look at each metal tier and broken down situations in which they make the most sense.

Start with Silver plans

We recommend starting your search with Silver plans, as these policies have moderate premiums and deductibles.

This policy would work best in most situations unless you are very healthy or expect a number of expensive medical costs. In that case, Bronze or Gold coverage may work better for you.

Silver policies are the only health insurance plans that offer cost-sharing reductions if your income is below 250% of the federal poverty level.

A cost-sharing reduction is an added benefit that decreases the amount you pay for copays, coinsurance and deductibles. For this reason, Silver tier policies can sometimes be the most cost-effective plan offered on the health insurance exchange.

Bronze: Best for young, healthy individuals

Bronze plans are the cheapest plans offered on the Washington Healthplanfinder marketplace. Although these plans have a low premium, they have high deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums, which makes reaching the coinsurance level difficult.

For this reason, Bronze tier policies are best if you are healthy and want coverage in case of an extremely costly, unexpected medical expense.

Bronze plans are available to anyone in Washington.

Gold plans: Best if you have high medical expenses

The top and most expensive tier offered in Washington is Gold. These plans are often the best if you expect to have high medical costs during the plan year. In this case, since the deductible is the lowest available, you would be able to reach it quickly and then have access to coinsurance with your health plan provider.

Short-term health insurance in Washington

Historically, Washington has banned the sale of short-term health insurance. However, the state adopted new rules in 2019 allowing insurers to sell short-term health insurance with a maximum coverage length of three months. Renewals are not permitted.

Currently, LifeMap Assurance Company is the only insurer offering short-term health insurance plans in Washington.

Find Cheap Health Insurance Quotes in Your Area

Currently insured?

Best cheap health insurance companies in Washington

There are currently 10 health insurance providers on the Washington state marketplace:

  • BridgeSpan
  • Community Health Network of Washington
  • Coordinated Care
  • Kaiser
  • LifeWise
  • Molina
  • PacificSource
  • Premera
  • Regence
  • UnitedHealthcare of Oregon

Although all of these insurance companies sell policies in the state, they may not offer plans in your county. For example, Garfield County residents only have access to policies offered by LifeWise and Coordinated Care.

Cheapest Silver plan by county

The cost of your health insurance and the available policies will vary depending on the county in which you live. For example, the Ambetter Balanced Care 1 has a monthly premium of $433 for a 40-year-old in Adams County, but it costs only $355 per month for the same person in Klickitat County. Below, we have identified the cheapest Silver policy available for the 39 counties in Washington state.

County
Cheapest plan
Cheapest cost
Average cost
AdamsAmbetter Balanced Care 1$433$456
AsotinAmbetter Balanced Care 1$392$422
BentonCommunity Health Network of Washington Cascade Select Silver$372$422
ChelanCommunity Health Network of Washington Cascade Select Silver$394$452
ClallamUHC Silver Value+$454$501
ClarkMolina Cascade Silver$436$494
ColumbiaAmbetter Balanced Care 1$392$437
CowlitzMolina Cascade Silver$424$499
DouglasCommunity Health Network of Washington Cascade Select Silver$394$452
FerryAmbetter Balanced Care 1$360$389
FranklinCommunity Health Network of Washington Cascade Select Silver$372$439
GarfieldAmbetter Balanced Care 1$392$420
Show All Rows

Sample rates are monthly premiums.

Frequently asked questions

What is the average cost of health insurance in Washington state?

On average, the cost of health insurance in Washington for a Silver plan is $443 per month, which is 18% lower than the national average of $541 per month.

How do I get health insurance in Washington state?

Washington residents can get health insurance via the state's health insurance exchange. You can browse plan offerings, or create an account to renew or apply for coverage. The site also helps to determine if you qualify for Apple Health, the state's Medicaid program.

What is the best health insurance in Washington state?

To find the best health insurance in Washington, begin by comparing plans among the 10 insurers offering coverage in the state. While no company has plans in every county, we recommend starting with the Ambetter Balanced Care 1, which is the cheapest Silver policy in 15 of the state's 39 counties. If you're looking for basic coverage at a lower cost, the Ambetter Essential Care 1 is the cheapest Bronze plan with an average premium of $265.

Methodology

ValuePenguin pulled health insurance rates and plans from the Washington Healthplanfinder state insurance exchange. Averages were determined from the premiums across a variety of variables including metal tier, age and county.

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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