Health Insurance

Best Cheap Health Insurance in West Virginia 2020

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Affordable health insurance in West Virginia can be purchased through the state insurance exchange or acquired through Medicaid if your household income falls below 138% of the federal poverty level.

The average monthly health insurance premium is $666 in West Virginia for a 40-year-old — this represents an 18% increase over the past two years.

After comparing Silver health insurance policies, we concluded that the CareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver and my Blue Access WV EPO Silver 3950 HSA are the cheapest plans in the state. Policies are available from two major insurers: CareSource West Virginia Co. and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia. Both companies offer a variety of health insurance policies across all metal tiers.

Cheapest health insurance by metal tier

To help you find your best policy, we compared all health plans on the West Virginia exchange and identified a cheap health insurance policy depending on your desired level of coverage. The table below shows the cheapest health insurance policies for each metal tier, along with each plan's deductible, out-of-pocket maximums and premiums. These plans should be used as an initial point for evaluating your health insurance needs and the coverage you can expect from a given metal tier.

Metal tierCheapest planDeductibleOut-of-pocket maximumMonthly cost for a 40-year-old
Catastrophicmy Blue Access WV Major Events EPO 8150 - 3 Free PCP Visits$8,150$8,150$422
Bronzemy Blue Access WV EPO Bronze 7900$7,900$7,900$515
Expanded BronzeCareSource Marketplace Bronze$7,700$8,150$435
SilverCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$6,800$7,300$471
GoldCareSource Marketplace Gold$2,000$6,500$635

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As you can see in the table above, health insurance in West Virginia is divided into five different metal tiers: Catastrophic, Bronze, Expanded Bronze, Silver and Gold. The higher tiers have the most expensive premiums along with the smallest deductibles, while tiers like Catastrophic have high deductibles with cheap monthly premiums. For example, the CareSource Marketplace Gold policy has a premium that is 50% more expensive than that of the my Blue Access WV Major Events EPO 8150, a Catastrophic tier policy.

One of the key factors in determining the price of a health insurance policy is age. The graph below shows the average costs of health insurance depending on the metal tier of the policy and the age of the insured. For example, for an Expanded Bronze health plan, a 40-year-old will pay 28% more on average per month in premiums for the same coverage as a 21-year-old. This jump in monthly costs becomes even larger for a 60-year-old who will pay 112% more than a 40-year-old for Expanded Bronze coverage.

Average Monthly Cost of Health Insurance Plans by Metal Tier in West Virginia

Finding your best health insurance coverage in West Virginia

The best health insurance coverage for you in West Virginia should be determined by taking into account your county, level of income and expected medical expenses. West Virginia has opted to expand their Medicaid plan under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This allows individuals with household incomes below 138% of the federal poverty level to be eligible for Medicaid coverage.

If you do not fall into this category, you can buy health insurance on the West Virginia exchange. The plans offered to you will be dependent on your county, but all residents can choose among policies at all metal tiers. The tiers vary by their typical premium amounts, deductibles and other out-of-pocket expenses.

Start by shopping for Silver plans

Silver plans are typically middle-ground policies that fall in between Gold and Expanded Bronze plans with regard to premiums and deductibles. For example, in West Virginia, the monthly health insurance cost of a Silver plan for a 40-year-old would be $658 on average. This is $187 less than a Gold plan, whose premium is $845 per month. So, unless you believe you are very healthy or know you will have large medical expenses, we would recommend considering a Silver health plan.

All metal tiers except Catastrophic offer premium tax credits, but Silver plans are eligible for extra cost-sharing reductions if you fall below 250% of the federal poverty line. In this case, you would be eligible to receive discounts on the amount you would need to pay for deductibles, copayments and coinsurance.

Gold plans: Best if you expect high medical costs

Gold plans are the highest tier plan available in West Virginia. A Gold health plan has the most expensive monthly premiums but also the lowest level deductible. Gold plans work well if you expect to have high medical costs throughout the year. For example, if you need prescription drugs, a Gold plan with a low deductible would allow you to save money.

Bronze and Catastrophic plans

Bronze and Catastrophic metal plans are health insurance policies with lower premiums and higher deductibles. These types of health plans are best suited for healthy and young people who expect to not have many medical expenses throughout the year. Both of these policies only provide coverage if you have surpassed the high deductible level, such as in the case of an extreme medical emergency where there are very large medical costs.

Bronze plans are available to anyone, but Catastrophic health plans are only available if you are under 30 years old or are eligible for an exemption that would allow you to purchase the policy.

Best cheap health insurance companies in West Virginia

West Virginia residents can choose between two insurance providers on the state marketplace: CareSource West Virginia Co. and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia. Both companies offer a variety of policies, but you could be limited to certain health plans depending on the county you live in. For example, CareSource West Virginia Co. only offers health insurance in 44 counties, while Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield is available everywhere in West Virginia.

Cheapest health insurance plan by county

Depending on where you live, you may pay a different cost for a particular health insurance policy, since prices are determined by county. The CareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver plan, for instance, costs 49% more for a 40-year-old in Logan County than it would for the same person in Brooke County. To help you find the best-priced coverage, below we have provided a list of the cheapest Silver health insurance policies available in West Virginia by county, as well as sample rates depending on the size of your family.

CountyCheapest Silver planSingle adult, age 40Couple, age 40Couple, age 40 plus child
BarbourCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$656$1,311$1,704
Berkeleymy Blue Access WV EPO Silver 3950 HSA$612$1,225$1,592
BooneCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$702$1,403$1,823
BraxtonCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$603$1,205$1,566
BrookeCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$471$942$1,224
CabellCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$627$1,254$1,629
CalhounCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$603$1,205$1,566
ClayCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$603$1,205$1,566
DoddridgeCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$583$1,165$1,514
FayetteCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$603$1,205$1,566
GilmerCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$583$1,165$1,514
GrantCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$507$1,014$1,318
Greenbriermy Blue Access WV EPO Silver 3950 HSA$747$1,494$1,941
Hampshiremy Blue Access WV EPO Silver 3950 HSA$612$1,225$1,592
HancockCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$471$942$1,224
Hardymy Blue Access WV EPO Silver 3950 HSA$612$1,225$1,592
HarrisonCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$656$1,311$1,704
JacksonCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$529$1,058$1,374
Jeffersonmy Blue Access WV EPO Silver 3950 HSA$612$1,225$1,592
KanawhaCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$653$1,306$1,696
LewisCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$583$1,165$1,514
LincolnCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$702$1,403$1,823
LoganCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$702$1,403$1,823
MarionCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$583$1,165$1,514
MarshallCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$471$942$1,224
MasonCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$627$1,254$1,629
McdowellCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$702$1,403$1,823
Mercermy Blue Access WV EPO Silver 3950 HSA$747$1,494$1,941
Mineralmy Blue Access WV EPO Silver 3950 HSA$612$1,225$1,592
MingoCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$702$1,403$1,823
MonongaliaCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$583$1,165$1,514
Monroemy Blue Access WV EPO Silver 3950 HSA$747$1,494$1,941
Morganmy Blue Access WV EPO Silver 3950 HSA$612$1,225$1,592
NicholasCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$603$1,205$1,566
OhioCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$471$942$1,224
Pendletonmy Blue Access WV EPO Silver 3950 HSA$612$1,225$1,592
PleasantsCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$529$1,058$1,374
PocahontasCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$656$1,311$1,704
PrestonCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$656$1,311$1,704
PutnamCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$627$1,254$1,629
RaleighCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$580$1,160$1,508
RandolphCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$656$1,311$1,704
RitchieCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$529$1,058$1,374
RoaneCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$603$1,205$1,566
SummersCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$580$1,160$1,508
TaylorCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$656$1,311$1,704
TuckerCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$656$1,311$1,704
TylerCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$529$1,058$1,374
UpshurCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$656$1,311$1,704
WayneCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$627$1,254$1,629
Webstermy Blue Access WV EPO Silver 3950 HSA$680$1,359$1,766
WetzelCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$583$1,165$1,514
WirtCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$529$1,058$1,374
WoodCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$529$1,058$1,374
WyomingCareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver$702$1,403$1,823

Average cost of health insurance by family size in West Virginia

Along with age and your county of residence, the size of your family will directly impact health insurance costs. For example, the average Silver health insurance policy that covers a family of three, with a couple and one child, would be 30% more expensive in West Virginia than a policy designed to supply coverage for just a couple.

The table below shows the average monthly premium costs for families based on the number of people covered. As you can see, the average cost to add a child under the age of 15 is $394. This is much lower than the average cost of adding an adult to your health insurance policy, which is $658.

Family sizeAverage monthly cost of health plan
Individual + child$1,052
Couple age 40$1,316
Family of three (adult couple and a child)$1,710
Family of four (adult couple and two children)$2,104
Family of five (adult couple and three children)$2,498
Adults are assumed to be 40 years old. Sample rates are based on the average cost for a Silver plan in West Virginia.

Health insurance rate changes in West Virginia

The cost of health insurance plans are set by each insurer offering coverage in West Virginia, though rate schedules are given to the state exchange for approval.

Across all policies, the average cost of a health plan in West Virginia increased by 18% since 2018. Bronze policies saw the largest percentage premium increase of 21%, or an average of $101 per month. Catastrophic policies, which had the lowest rate change, cost $36 more on average in 2020.

Metal tier2018 premium2020 premium% Change
Catastrophic$441$4778.26%
Bronze$482$58320.91%
Expanded Bronze$514$59415.62%
Silver$583$65812.88%
Gold$723$84516.92%
Rates are based on a 40-year-old adult.

Methodology

West Virginia health insurance policy data was aggregated from filings on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) government website. ValuePenguin calculated average rates across metal tier, county and family size 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.