Best Cheap Health Insurance in Wisconsin 2020

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Affordable health insurance is available in Wisconsin through the state's marketplace. Finding your best health insurance can be difficult. So to help you get started, we analyzed all Silver policies available on the state exchange. We found that in the majority of Wisconsin, either the Envision - Silver 6500/75, Dean Silver HSA-E 4000X or Together Silver was the cheapest health plan. However, availability and costs vary across counties. For example, the Together Silver plan is only available in 14 counties, with the monthly premium ranging from $436 to $503.

Cheapest health insurance by metal tier

For 2020 plans, the average health insurance premium is $486 in Wisconsin for a 40-year-old. This represents an 8% decrease, or $40 per month lower rates on average.

We compared policies in Wisconsin by metal tier to find the most affordable health insurance policy at each level of coverage you may see on the state exchange. Although availability depends on the county you live in, the table provides a good starting point to compare the costs and benefits you may expect from a given metal tier. As you can see below, health plans with higher monthly rates would mean lower out-of-pocket expenses. The Dean Focus Network Silver HSA-E 4000X, for instance, costs at least $396 per month, and is $119 more expensive than the MercyCare HMO Bronze Option D. However, the Silver health plan's deductible is $3,900 lower.

Metal tierCheapest planDeductibleOut-of-pocket maximumMonthly cost for a 40-year-old
CatastrophicDean Catastrophic Safety Net$8,150$8,150$226
BronzeMercyCare HMO Bronze Option D$7,900$7,900$277
Expanded BronzeDean Focus Network Bronze HSA-E 6700X$6,700$6,700$282
SilverDean Focus Network Silver HSA-E 4000X$4,000$6,750$396
GoldMercyCare HMO Gold Option B$2,250$7,900$350
PlatinumSelect Platinum 500 Ded/1500 MOOP$500$1,500$511

In addition to a policy's metal tier, your age is an important factor in determining the cost of a health insurance plan. As age increases, health insurance premiums across all metal tiers rise. For example, the average price difference between a 21-year-old and 40-year-old ranges from $63 to $127 in Wisconsin, depending on the metal tier of health plan you choose. A 40-year-old would pay $124 more per month than a 21-year-old for a Silver plan, but only $85 more on average with a Bronze plan.

Average Monthly Cost of Health Insurance Plans by Metal Tier in Wisconsin

Finding your best health insurance coverage in Wisconsin

The best cheap health insurance plan for you in Wisconsin will depend on the county you live in, as even the same policy may have different monthly premiums based on where you live. For example, the Atlas $3000 HSA Silver plan has a monthly premium of $499 in Polk County, but costs $58 more per month in Douglas County.

Typically, higher metal tier policies have costlier monthly premiums, but they also provide lower out-of-pocket expenses, like deductibles, copays and coinsurance. If you think you may become sick or already have high recurring medical costs, like prescriptions, a higher metal tier policy may be the best choice for you. Alternatively, if you're young and healthy, a lower metal tier may help you to save money.

Gold and Platinum plans: Best for high expected medical costs

Platinum and Gold plans are considered higher metal tier health plans. They typically cover the greatest share of out-of-pocket costs, which means lower deductibles, copays and coinsurance. But these benefits come at the expense of a higher monthly premium.

Generally, these health insurance plans are the best in terms of cost-effectiveness if you expect to incur high medical expenses, such as from chronic conditions, or have costly prescriptions. For example, on average, you can expect a Gold plan to cover roughly 80% of your health care expenses, while you pay the other 20%.

Silver Plans: Best for those with low income or average medical costs

Silver policies offer a middle ground between higher metal tier plans, like Platinum or Gold, and lower metal tier plans, like Bronze or Expanded Bronze. For middle and higher-income households, in terms of monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs, Silver plans fall between higher and lower metal tier plans.

But lower-income households can qualify for cost-sharing reduction (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 are limited to those under 30 or those who qualify for an exemption. Furthermore, these 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. For example, in Adams County, the Dean Catastrophic Safety Net has a deductible of $8,150, which is over $4,000 greater than the deductible on the Dean Gold Value Copay 3700X plan in Adams County.

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 money 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%.

Short-term health insurance in Wisconsin

Wisconsin residents may purchase short-term health insurance through private health insurance companies, though the state imposes stricter guidelines on this type of plan when compared to federal guidelines. Initial coverage is limited to one year and may be renewed for up to 18 months.

You should consider a short-term health insurance plan if you need temporary coverage or lost coverage through your employer. These policies do not cover the essential health benefits including maternity care, mental health services or prescription drugs.

Find Cheap Health Insurance Quotes in Your Area

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Best cheap health insurance companies in Wisconsin

With 13 health insurance companies, the health insurance marketplace in Wisconsin has one of the country's largest selection of insurers.

Wisconsin Health Insurance Companies

  • Aspirus Arise Health Plan of Wisconsin, Inc.
  • Children's Community Health Plan
  • Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative
  • Dean Health Plan
  • Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin
  • HealthPartners Insurance Company
  • Medica Community Health Plan
  • MercyCare HMO, Inc.
  • Molina Healthcare of Wisconsin, Inc.
  • Network Health Plan
  • Quartz Health Benefit Plans Corporation
  • Security Health Plan of Wisconsin, Inc.
  • WPS Health Plan, Inc.

Although there are 13 companies across the state, most counties only have two or three health insurers to choose from, and no health insurance company is available in every county. When possible, we recommend starting your search with either Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative or Dean Health Plan, as they usually offer the cheapest Silver Plans in a given county.

Cheapest health insurance plan by county

Because the county you live in determines the availability of health insurers, policies available and their rates, finding the best health plan for you may be difficult. To make this process simpler, in the table below we compared rates for every policy in Wisconsin to find the cheapest Silver health plan in each county.

CountyCheapest silver planSingle adult, age 40Couple, age 40Couple, age 40, and child
AdamsDean Silver HSA-E 4000X$445$890$1,156
AshlandMedica Individual Choice Silver Copay$569$1,139$1,479
BarronEngage by Medica Silver Copay$681$1,363$1,771
BayfieldMedica Individual Choice Silver Copay$569$1,139$1,479
BrownTogether Silver$436$871$1,132
BuffaloQuartz One Silver I303$537$1,073$1,394
BurnettAtlas $3000 HSA Silver$557$1,113$1,446
CalumetEnvision - Silver 6500/75$443$886$1,151
ChippewaEngage by Medica Silver Copay$683$1,367$1,776
ClarkHMO HDHP Silver 5500$655$1,311$1,703
ColumbiaQuartz Prime Silver I303$475$950$1,234
CrawfordDean Silver HSA-E 4000X$443$887$1,152
DaneDean Focus Network Silver HSA-E 4000X$396$792$1,030
DodgeConstant Care Silver 2$452$904$1,174
DoorTogether Silver$436$871$1,132
DouglasAtlas $3000 HSA Silver$557$1,113$1,446
DunnEngage by Medica Silver Copay$683$1,367$1,776
Eau ClaireEngage by Medica Silver Copay$683$1,367$1,776
FlorenceSelect $7,100 - 30%$647$1,295$1,682
Fond Du LacEnvision - Silver 6500/75$443$886$1,151
ForestSelect $7,100 - 30%$647$1,295$1,682
GrantDean Silver HSA-E 4000X$443$887$1,152
GreenDean Focus Network Silver HSA-E 4000X$434$868$1,128
Green LakeDean Silver HSA-E 4000X$445$890$1,156
IowaDean Silver HSA-E 4000X$443$887$1,152
IronSelect $7,100 - 30%$647$1,295$1,682
JacksonQuartz One Silver I303$537$1,073$1,394
JeffersonQuartz Prime Silver I303$475$950$1,234
JuneauDean Silver HSA-E 4000X$445$890$1,156
KenoshaTogether Silver$468$935$1,215
KewauneeTogether Silver$436$871$1,132
La CrosseQuartz One Silver I303$537$1,073$1,394
LafayetteDean Silver HSA-E 4000X$443$887$1,152
LangladeConstant Care Silver 2$462$923$1,199
LincolnConstant Care Silver 2$457$914$1,187
ManitowocTogether Silver$436$871$1,132
MarathonConstant Care Silver 2$457$914$1,187
MarinetteEnvision - Silver 6500/75$437$873$1,135
MarquetteDean Silver HSA-E 4000X$445$890$1,156
MenomineeSelect $7,100 - 30%$654$1,308$1,700
MilwaukeeEnvision - Silver 6500/75$434$869$1,129
MonroeQuartz One Silver I303$537$1,073$1,394
OcontoTogether Silver$436$871$1,132
OneidaConstant Care Silver 2$462$923$1,199
OutagamieEnvision - Silver 6500/75$443$886$1,151
OzaukeeEnvision - Silver 6500/75$443$886$1,151
PepinEngage by Medica Silver Copay$683$1,367$1,776
PierceAtlas $3000 HSA Silver$499$998$1,297
PolkAtlas $3000 HSA Silver$499$998$1,297
PortageConstant Care Silver 2$457$914$1,187
PriceHMO HDHP Silver 5500$655$1,311$1,703
RacineTogether Silver$468$935$1,215
RichlandDean Silver HSA-E 4000X$445$890$1,156
RockMercyCare HMO Silver Option B$413$825$1,072
RuskSelect $7,100 - 30%$701$1,402$1,821
Saint CroixAtlas $3000 HSA Silver$499$998$1,297
SaukDean Focus Network Silver HSA-E 4000X$421$842$1,094
SawyerMedica Individual Choice Silver Copay$569$1,139$1,479
ShawanoEnvision - Silver 6500/75$437$873$1,135
SheboyganEnvision - Silver 6500/75$443$886$1,151
TaylorHMO HDHP Silver 5500$655$1,311$1,703
TrempealeauQuartz One Silver I303$537$1,073$1,394
VernonDean Silver HSA-E 4000X$443$887$1,152
VilasSelect $7,100 - 30%$647$1,295$1,682
WalworthMercyCare HMO Silver Option B$413$825$1,072
WashburnMedica Individual Choice Silver Copay$569$1,139$1,479
WashingtonEnvision - Silver 6500/75$443$886$1,151
WaukeshaEnvision - Silver 6500/75$443$886$1,151
WaupacaEnvision - Silver 6500/75$443$886$1,151
WausharaEnvision - Silver 6500/75$443$886$1,151
WinnebagoEnvision - Silver 6500/75$443$886$1,151
WoodHMO HDHP Silver 5500$601$1,201$1,560

Average cost of health insurance by family size in Wisconsin

Metal tier and age play an important role in determining the cost for individual monthly premiums, but in addition to these, family size will affect your monthly health insurance rates. In Wisconsin, the average cost of health insurance for a family of three, assuming two 40-year-old parents and a child, is $1,481.

For each additional child, the average cost of a Silver health plan increases by $341, so a family of four, assuming two parents and two children, would pay an average of $1,823 per month for health coverage. Note that the cost of insuring children through age 14 remains flat, but once they turn 15, the monthly premium will increase as they get older.

Family sizeAverage monthly cost of health plan
Individual + Child$911
Couple age 40$1,140
Family of three (Adult couple and a child)$1,481
Family of four (Adult couple and two children)$1,823
Family of five (Adult couple and three children)$2,164
Adults are assumed to be 40 years old. Sample rates are based on the average cost for a Silver plan in Wisconsin.

Health insurance rate changes in Wisconsin

Policy premiums are set by individual health companies. Then, once the rates have been determined by an insurer, they are sent to the federal health insurance exchange for approval.

In Wisconsin, the average cost of a health plan is 8% cheaper in 2020 than in 2018. The typical rate for all policy-types has decreased except for Platinum plans, which are 3% more expensive than two years ago.

Metal tier2018 premium2020 premium% change
Catastrophic$311$290-6.62%
Bronze$428$391-8.54%
Expanded Bronze$438$408-6.86%
Silver$593$570-3.87%
Gold$596$536-10.13%
Platinum$569$5852.89%
Rates are based on a 40-year-old adult.

Methodology

The health insurance premiums and plan information used in this analysis were sourced from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) government website. ValuePenguin determined the average rates by metal tier, family size and region by reference cost data from CMS's Public Use Files (PUF).

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.