Best Cheap Health Insurance in Washington (2024)

Ambetter Cascade Select Silver is the cheapest Silver health insurance plan in Washington.

Find Cheap Health Insurance Quotes in Washington

Currently insured?
icon
No spam. No hassle. No hidden costs.

The cheapest Silver health insurance plan in Washington is the Ambetter Cascade Select Silver. It costs as little as $356 per month, which is 29% cheaper than the state average. This plan is only available to a small number of Washingtonians, mostly on the Olympic Peninsula or along the border with Oregon.

Community Health Plan of Washington Cascade Select Silver is the best choice for most people in Washington. It's available to roughly three-quarters of the Washington state population, and it's available in big cities, such as Seattle, Tacoma, Everett and Spokane.

For a 40-year-old, the average cost of health insurance in Washington is $503 per month for a Silver plan.

Kaiser Permanente is the best health insurance company in Washington state. It has a rating of five out of five stars from Washington Healthplanfinder. This reflects a high level of plan quality and customer satisfaction.

Kaiser Permanente is also the most popular health insurance company in Washington. It sells more than one-third of all health plans in the state.

How much does health insurance cost in Washington?

Health insurance costs $503 per month on average in Washington state, for a 40-year-old with a Silver plan. Keep in mind that you might spend more if you choose a higher plan tier. Gold plans typically have the highest monthly rates, although you'll pay less when you visit the doctor or get a prescription filled.

Cheapest health insurance in Washington

Compare Health Insurance Quotes in Washington

Currently insured?
icon
No spam. No hassle. No hidden costs.

Your age is another big factor that influences your health insurance costs. In Washington state, a 40-year-old will pay 28% more than a 21-year-old on average for the same level of coverage.

The gap grows wider as you move into middle age. A 60-year-old Washingtonian will pay 85% more than a 40-year-old for the same health plan.

Once you turn 65, you can sign up for Medicare, a common type of low-cost government health insurance. You can choose between Original Medicare, which offers less coverage but greater freedom when choosing your doctor, and Medicare Advantage, which typically has better coverage but comes with more restrictions about which doctors you can see.

Cheapest health insurance in Washington

The cheapest health insurance plan in Washington is Ambetter Cascade Select Silver, which can cost as little as $356 per month (before subsidies). However, this plan is not widely available.

For most Washington residents, your best option is Community Health Plan of Washington's Cascade Select Silver plan. It costs as little as $379, and you can buy it in most major cities including Seattle, Bellevue, Tacoma, Everett, Spokane and Yakima.

Cheapest health insurance in WA

Tier
Cheapest plan
Monthly cost
Bronze Ambetter from Coordinated Care Ambetter Essential Care 1 $254
Silver Ambetter from Coordinated Care Ambetter Cascade Select Silver $356
Gold Ambetter from Coordinated Care Ambetter Clear Gold $347

Monthly costs are for a 40-year-old.

The best cheap health insurance for you will depend on where you live. Washington state has six different cheapest Silver plans across its 39 counties.

Finding your best health insurance coverage in Washington

Finding the best health insurance coverage for you will depend on your financial circumstances and physical health. In Washington state, you can choose from three health insurance plan tiers: Bronze, Silver and Gold.

Out-of-pocket costs

  • Deductible: The amount you pay before your health insurance kicks in.
  • Copay: A flat fee that you have to pay when you visit the doctor.
  • Coinsurance: The percentage of your medical bill that you're responsible for paying.

Bronze plans typically have the cheapest monthly rates. However, you'll pay more when you visit the doctor or get a prescription filled. Bronze plans are usually only a good idea if you're healthy and you can afford to pay thousands of dollars in unexpected medical fees.

Silver plans strike a balance with affordable monthly rates and moderate out-of-pocket costs. By contrast, Gold plans typically have the most expensive monthly rates. However, you'll pay the least when you get medical services.

A Gold plan doesn't necessarily pay for more medical services compared to a Bronze plan.

Plan tiers only relate to how much you pay in monthly rates versus how much you pay out of pocket for care.

Gold plans: Best for people with chronic diseases

Gold plans typically have the highest monthly costs. However, you'll pay the least when you visit the doctor or get a prescription filled. For most people, Gold plans don't make sense financially.

However, a Gold plan might save you money in the long run if you have a chronic disease or if you need frequent medical attention.

Silver plans: Best for most people

You should consider a Silver plan if you want a good balance between moderate monthly rates and affordable out-of-pocket costs, such as your deductible, copays and coinsurance.

If you choose a Silver plan, you could qualify for cost-sharing reduction (CSR) subsidies if you earn a low income. Cost-sharing reductions help you pay your out-of-pocket costs.

Bronze plans: Best for healthy people with emergency savings

You should only buy a Bronze plan if you're in good health and you can afford to pay the high deductible.

Bronze plans typically have the cheapest monthly rates and the highest out-of-pocket costs. A Bronze plan in Washington state may have a deductible that's several thousand dollars higher than a Silver plan.

For example, the cheapest Bronze plan in Washington state, the Ambetter Essential Care 1, has a $9,000 deductible. By comparison, the cheapest Silver plan in Washington state, the Ambetter Cascade Select Silver, has a $2,500 deductible.

You'll have to pay an extra $6,500 before your Bronze plan kicks in. It's also important to remember that this plan will only save you an average of $1,224 per year on your monthly rates.

That means if you get seriously ill or suffer a bad accident, a Bronze plan would leave you significantly worse off financially compared to a Silver plan.

Medicaid: Best if you have a low income

You can qualify for Medicaid, a type of free government health insurance, in Washington state if you make about $20,000 per year (roughly $41,000 for a family of four).

You may dual qualify for Medicare and Medicaid if you're 65 or older and you have a low income.

In Washington state, no insurance company sells Platinum health insurance. Platinum plans are similar to Gold in that they have expensive monthly rates and low out-of-pocket costs.

You also can't buy a Catastrophic plan in Washington. Catastrophic health plans are typically cheaper than Bronze plans, but they have very high out-of-pocket costs. In states where Catastrophic plans are available, only people under 30 or those who qualify for a hardship exemption can buy a Catastrophic plan.

Are health insurance rates going up in Washington?

Between 2023 and 2024, the average cost of health insurance in Washington rose for all plan tiers.

Bronze and Silver plans both increased by 7%, while Gold plans are 6% more expensive on average.

Tier
2022
2023
2024
Change (2023 to 2024)
Bronze$332$363$3887%
Silver$443$470$5037%
Gold$482$522$5546%

Monthly costs are for a 40-year-old.

Compare Health Insurance Quotes in Washington

Currently insured?
icon
No spam. No hassle. No hidden costs.

Best cheap health insurance companies in Washington

Kaiser Permanente has the best quality health plans in Washington state. It's the only company in Washington to hold a perfect five out of five score from Washington Healthplanfinder. This rating measures factors like customer satisfaction and plan quality.

However, Kaiser Permanente tends to be more expensive than average prices. If cost is your No. 1 priority, you should consider Community Health Plan of Washington or Ambetter from Coordinated Care. They have some of the lowest average prices of any Washington state health insurance company.

There are currently 10 health insurance companies on the Washington state exchange.

Best health insurance companies in WA

Company
Cost
Kaiser Permanente logo
Kaiser WA
$551
UnitedHealthcare logo
UnitedHealthcare
$488
Ambetter logo
Ambetter from Coordinated Care
$401
Community Health Plan of Washington logo
Community Health Plan of WashingtonNot yet rated$396
Molina logo
MolinaNot yet rated$467
Show All Rows

Average monthly cost for a 40-year-old buying a Silver plan in WA. Ratings are based on editor reviews of the company.

Cheapest health insurance plan by Washington county

The cheapest health insurance plan for you will be dictated by where you live. As you shop for health insurance, it's important to remember that some plans and companies aren't available in every county in Washington.

Cheapest health insurance by WA county

County
Cheapest Silver plan
Monthly rate
Adams CountyCommunity Health Plan of Washington Cascade Select Silver$416
Asotin CountyAmbetter Cascade Select Silver$380
Benton CountyCommunity Health Plan of Washington Cascade Select Silver$380
Chelan CountyCommunity Health Plan of Washington Cascade Select Silver$416
Clallam CountyAmbetter Cascade Select Silver$387
Show All Rows

Cheapest Silver plan with rates for a 40-year-old

Short-term health insurance in Washington

You cannot buy short-term health insurance in Washington. No health insurance company currently offers this product because of strict regulations that make the product unprofitable.

COBRA is one option to consider if you need temporary coverage because of job loss.

Frequently asked questions

How much does health insurance cost per month in Washington state?

Health insurance costs $503 per month in Washington state on average for a 40-year-old with a Silver health plan. Factors like your age and the plan tier you choose will influence your health insurance quotes.

Younger people tend to pay less for health insurance compared to older people, and lower plan tiers are typically cheaper than higher plan tiers.

Does Washington state have free health insurance?

You can qualify for Medicaid, a type of free government health insurance, if you're a Washington state resident and you earn roughly $20,000 or less (about $41,000 for a family of four).

If you earn a low income but you're not eligible for Medicaid, you may qualify for premium tax credits. These government subsidies can significantly lower the cost of a health insurance plan bought through Washington Healthplanfinder, the state health care exchange.

What is the best medical insurance in Washington state?

Kaiser Permanente is the best medical insurance in Washington state because it consistently ranks high on plan quality and customer satisfaction scores. However, if you're looking for cheaper options, you'll likely be better served by either Community Health Plan or Ambetter.

Methodology

ValuePenguin used public use files (PUFs) from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to compile average costs according to age, county and plan tier for the state of Washington. Plan quality information came from Washington Healthplanfinder.

Information relating to short-term health insurance came from healthinsurance.org.

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.