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Cheap Health Insurance Plans in 2024

Kaiser Permanente has the cheapest health insurance plans in 2024, and its Bronze plans cost an average of $373 per month.

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Cheapest private health insurance companies

Kaiser Permanente is the cheapest company overall for Bronze plans. Blue Cross Blue Shield is also a good deal. It has the cheapest Bronze health insurance plans in 24 states. The average cost for a Bronze plan is $462 per month.

Bronze plans have low rates, which makes them a good choice if you need cheap coverage. Silver plans cost an average of $584 per month. They're more expensive than Bronze plans, but they give you more coverage.

Pivot Health has the cheapest plans, at an average of $114 per month. But benefits aren't nearly as good as marketplace health insurance, making them only good for temporary coverage.

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Cheapest health insurance companies

Company
Editor's rating
Rate
Kaiser Permanente logo
Kaiser
$373
Aetna logo
Aetna
$394
Ambetter logo
Ambetter
$449
UnitedHealthcare logo
UHC
$452
BlueCross BlueShield  logo
BCBS
$471
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Average monthly costs of a private health insurance plan for a 40-year-old with a Bronze plan.

Finding cheap health insurance is important, but you should look at other features of a plan, too. For example, Kaiser Permanente is the cheapest health insurance company overall. But you usually have to use a Kaiser Permanente hospital or doctor's office to be covered. To find the cheapest and best health insurance, make sure you review a plan's network and coverage.

Company
Pros
Cons
Kaiser PermanenteCheapest rates and good customer serviceOnly covers a small set of doctors
AetnaCheap ratesPoor customer satisfaction
AmbetterAffordable and includes perksCan be hard to find covered doctors
UHCHigh customer satisfaction and extra perksMedical claims are often denied
BCBSCheapest plans in about half the countryPlan quality varies by state

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Cheapest health insurance by state

Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) has the cheapest Bronze plan for most people in 24 states.

Where you live has a big impact on your health insurance costs. For example, Blue Cross Blue Shield is a cheap option in Arizona. But in Kentucky, Aetna has the cheapest rates.

Cheapest Bronze

Cheapest Silver

State
Cheapest Bronze plan
Rate
AlabamaUnitedHealthcare Bronze Essential$379
AlaskaModa Pioneer Alaska Standard Bronze$512
ArizonaBlue AdvanceHealth Bronze - PimaFocus Network$287
ArkansasAmbetter Standard Expanded Bronze$381
CaliforniaLA Care Bronze 60 HMO$282
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Monthly rates are based on a 40-year-old nonsmoker.

Cheapest Bronze

State
Cheapest Bronze plan
Rate
AlabamaUnitedHealthcare Bronze Essential$379
AlaskaModa Pioneer Alaska Standard Bronze$512
ArizonaBlue AdvanceHealth Bronze - PimaFocus Network$287
ArkansasAmbetter Standard Expanded Bronze$381
CaliforniaLA Care Bronze 60 HMO$282
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Monthly rates are based on a 40-year-old nonsmoker.

Cheapest Silver

State
Cheapest Silver plan
Rate
AlabamaAmbetter Standard Silver$496
AlaskaModa Pioneer Alaska Standard Silver$840
ArizonaBannerAetna Silver S$342
ArkansasAmbetter Standard Silver$424
CaliforniaLA Care Silver 70 HMO$335
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Monthly rates are based on a 40-year-old nonsmoker.

Blue Cross Blue Shield has the cheapest Bronze plan in about half the states and the cheapest Silver plan in 16 states. Ambetter also has low-cost options, with the cheapest Silver plans in 12 states.

On average, New Hampshire and Maryland have the cheapest health insurance costs, at less than $400 per month for a Silver plan. Health insurance is most expensive in Vermont and Alaska, where average rates are more than $900 per month.


Health insurance rates by income

In most cases, you'll get cheaper health insurance when you use your income level to qualify for health insurance subsidies.

Subsidies can be applied to any company or plan you choose, except Catastrophic coverage. Even if the full price of a plan costs $300 to $500 per month, your portion of the cost could be less than $100.

For example, if you earn $30,000 per year, you would pay an average of $56 per month for a typical health insurance plan.

Individual

Couple

Family of four

Cheap health insurance for individuals by income

Individual

Cheap health insurance for individuals by income

Couple

Cheap health insurance for couples by income

Family of four

Cheap health insurance for families by income

A health insurance subsidy lets you pay a lower rate each month, so you can get cheap health insurance with good coverage.

To qualify, you'll estimate your annual income when you shop for insurance on HealthCare.gov or your state marketplace. When you file your taxes, you'll find out if you should have been getting more or less money based on how much you actually earned.


How to choose the most affordable health insurance plan

Focus on choosing the right type of plan before you focus on getting cheap health insurance. Getting the right coverage will have a bigger impact on your total costs than the company you pick. The cheapest health insurance for you depends on your household income and your medical needs.

4 types of cheap health insurance

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Bronze health insurance plan


  • Typically the cheapest rates
  • Free preventive care
  • How much you pay depends on your income

Bronze plans are usually the cheapest health insurance option if you don't have coverage through a job. Plans cover essential health benefits like prescription drugs, mental health services and preventive care. About 80% of people can find a Bronze health insurance plan for $10 per month after tax credits. That's because there are extra discounts you can get until 2025.

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Silver health insurance plan


  • More expensive than Bronze but has better medical benefits
  • Can get lower rates based on your income
  • Only plan eligible for "cost-sharing reduction" discounts to lower the cost of medical care

A Silver plan is a better option if you need more than a basic level of medical care or want better coverage. These plans cost a little more each month than Bronze plans, but they're still an affordable health insurance option. Plus, the better benefits can help you save on health care.

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Medicaid


  • Free or low-cost health insurance
  • Only available if you have a low income

Medicaid is the cheapest health insurance if you have a low income. Eligibility varies by state. In most states, you have to make less than about $20,782 per year as a single person to qualify. A family of four has to make less than $43,056 per year.

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Short-term health insurance


  • Covers you when you're in between other plans
  • May not cover essential medical services
  • Usually has restrictions on who can be covered and for how long

Another option for affordable health insurance is a short-term plan. Plans can have rates as low as $100 to $200 per month, but coverage often has restrictions. Plans could have high deductibles or not cover prescriptions or preexisting conditions. This makes them best for situations when you need stopgap coverage or benefits that begin immediately.


Cheapest Bronze health insurance plans

The cheapest health insurance companies for Bronze plans are Kaiser Permanente, Aetna and Ambetter.

A Bronze plan is typically the cheapest health insurance with full medical benefits. The average cost of a Bronze plan for 2024 is $462 per month. These plans follow Affordable Care Act (ACA) guidelines. That means they have to include free preventive care as well as coverage for the following benefits:

  • Outpatient services
  • Emergency services
  • Hospitalization
  • Maternity and newborn care
  • Pediatric services
  • Mental health and substance abuse care
  • Prescription drugs
  • Rehabilitative services
  • Laboratory services

The amount you pay for a Bronze plan will depend on the plan you choose and your income. There are two ways you can save on your coverage.

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Choose a cheap plan within the Bronze tier: The cheapest Bronze plans in each state cost an average of $348 per month. That's a typical savings of about $100 per month by shopping around for the best deal.

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Sign up for tax credits: If you have a low- to mid-level income, you can use premium tax credits, also called subsidies, to reduce the cost of a Bronze plan. For example, if you earn $40,000 per year, you might only pay $37 per month for a health insurance plan that costs a total of $348 per month. That's because you could get a $311 monthly tax credit.

Bronze plans can be a good option for cheap health insurance if you are young and generally healthy. You should also make sure you have the money in the bank to pay the high deductible or out-of-pocket maximum if you have an emergency.

If you go to the doctor often or need expensive medical care, a Bronze plan isn't the best option. It might give you cheap health insurance, but you'll have to pay for more of your medical costs yourself. If you need medical care often, it's usually more affordable overall to buy a higher-tier plan like Silver, Gold or Platinum.

Cheapest Silver health insurance plans

$500/mo
Online resources like a cost estimator
Molina
Online resources like a cost estimator

The cheapest health insurance companies for Silver plans are Kaiser Permanente, Molina and Aetna.

A Silver plan is the cheapest option for those who expect to need moderate amounts of medical care. Even though Silver plans cost more each month, they lower the amount you spend on medical services, treatment and prescriptions.

Two ways to save on a Silver plan:

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Sign up for tax credits to reduce monthly costs: Like Bronze plans, Silver plans may qualify for cheaper monthly rates through tax credits. The amount of the discount that you get from tax credits is based on your income and family size.

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See if you qualify to reduce your medical costs: If you have a low income, you could pay less for each doctor visit or medical treatment, and you'll also pay less overall before the plan's full benefits begin. That's because you might qualify for cost-sharing reductions, which lower the coinsurance and deductible on a Silver plan. Cost-sharing reductions are only available if you choose a Silver health insurance plan and have a household income of less than $36,450 for an individual or $75,000 for a family of four.

If you have some medical needs, the stronger benefits of a Silver plan can make it a better deal than a Bronze plan. That's because the extra amount you pay each month for a Silver plan is offset by savings on medical care.

To choose the best plan, think about the tipping point between the cost for a Bronze plan and a Silver plan. For example, if a Silver plan costs $100 more per month, it would need to save you $1,200 per year in medical care to be worth it.

Medicaid: Cheapest health insurance for those with low incomes

For low-income households, Medicaid will be the cheapest health insurance plan offering good benefits that are free or low cost.

Medicaid eligibility is based on how much you make and the size of your household, as well as factors like disability and family status.

Where you live determines the income limits for Medicaid eligibility:

  • Those living in one of the states with expanded Medicaid can qualify for coverage with incomes less than about $20,782 as an individual or less than about $43,056 as a family of four.
  • In Alaska and Hawaii, you can earn more money and still qualify because the poverty threshold is higher.
  • States that have not expanded their Medicaid programs will have lower income caps for Medicaid.

The Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is another government health insurance program. It offers coverage to children and, sometimes, pregnant women. CHIP is geared toward families who have a low income but earn too much to qualify for Medicaid.


Cheapest short-term health insurance

Short-term health insurance is usually more affordable than a full-price health insurance plan on the marketplace, and these plans may be best if you need temporary coverage.

For example, a short-term plan could be a cheap option if you have a gap between jobs.

Coverage may only last a few months — up to one year at most, depending on short-term health insurance laws in your state. And plans don't cover the same essential health benefits that you'd get with a Bronze or Silver plan. This could mean a plan may not cover preexisting conditions, maternity care or prescription drugs.

If you recently lost your health insurance, including Medicaid, or had a life event like moving or getting married, you'll qualify for a special enrollment period to sign up for a cheap health insurance plan through the marketplace.

  • This gives you a 30-to-60-day window to access traditional coverage, including Bronze and Silver options.
  • You may qualify for discounts such as subsidies and cost reductions.
  • You can have a marketplace insurance plan for any length of time. You should cancel the plan if you become eligible for other health insurance.

Frequently asked questions

How can I get affordable health insurance?

First, check to see if you qualify for Medicaid coverage, which will always be the cheapest health insurance option. If you are not eligible, see if you qualify for subsidies. These can lower the cost for individual health insurance plans.

When can I buy cheap health coverage?

You can buy health insurance between Nov. 1 through Jan. 15, during the annual open enrollment period. During this time, you can shop for cheap health insurance from private companies on HealthCare.gov or your state marketplace.

If you need a plan but it's not open enrollment, check to see if you qualify for a special enrollment period (SEP). You could qualify if you have lost a job, had a child, recently gotten married or had another big life change.

How do I choose the most affordable health insurance company?

Start by finding the available companies in your region. Companies vary the plans that they offer by state. Then, get quotes and compare monthly rates, deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums to choose the best cheap health insurance for you.


Methodology

Health insurance rates for 2024 Bronze and Silver plans are from the public use files (PUFs) on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) website and state marketplaces. Costs are based on a 40-year-old nonsmoker. Plan availability and cost vary by county.

Rates for short-term insurance are for a 40-year-old male nonsmoker in Austin, Texas, choosing a minimal coverage plan with a deductible between $10,000 and $25,000 and benefits up to $1 million.

Average subsidy rates are based on KFF's Health Insurance Marketplace Calculator, which uses 2024 plan data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

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.