Find Cheap Health Insurance Quotes in Your Area
Health insurance is available for purchase through many different services and providers. From private care to public options, there are many different types of health insurance to choose from.
The cheapest health insurance option is to enroll in the federal Medicaid program, but eligibility depends on the state you live in, as well as your income level. For many individuals, the best deal is individual health insurance, which can be found through your state marketplace. On this exchange, you can search for and compare affordable health insurance plans from multiple companies.
What is Medicaid?
For individuals who are eligible, the cheapest health insurance option is Medicaid. In order to be eligible in the federal insurance program, your household income must be less than either 133% or 138% of the federal poverty level (FPL). The exact eligibility level depends on the state that you live in, since some states have passed legislation to expand their Medicaid programs to more low-income adults.
What is the best cheap individual health insurance?
For those who are not eligible for Medicaid coverage, the cheapest health insurance with full medical benefits is individual coverage, which can be purchased through your state marketplace. Full benefits mean that these health insurance plans provide comprehensive coverage for all 10 of the essential health benefits required to be covered under the Affordable Care Act. The 10 essential health benefits are:
The cheapest health insurance policy is not always the plan with the lowest premium. Instead, the most affordable option is the policy that provides the right amount of health insurance coverage — depending on your medical needs and health — at your best rate.
We compared individual health insurance plans offered on all state health insurance marketplaces to identify the lowest-cost option at each level of coverage. A marketplace policy is available if you do not currently receive coverage through an employer or the federal government.
Bronze: lowest rates, high out-of-pocket expenses
Bronze metal tier health insurance policies are the cheapest available on state health insurance marketplaces. Although they have the lowest premiums, the deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums are higher than for the other tiers. For this reason, if you expect to have large medical expenses in the coming year, we do not recommend a Bronze policy.
You may notice that your state has a catastrophic health insurance policy. This is an even lower-cost marketplace health insurance option that is only available if you are under 30 years old or have a hardship exemption.
Silver: cheap rates for low-income households
Silver health insurance policies are middle-ground plans that have modest premiums, deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums. For many low-income families, a Silver plan is the most affordable medical insurance due to cost-sharing reductions, which allow eligible individuals to receive reductions on the amount they pay in premiums, deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums.
You are eligible for reductions if your household income is less than 250% of the federal poverty level. This can reduce premiums significantly and make the Silver plan an excellent choice for many families.
Gold: high premiums, but low out-of-pocket expenses
Gold health insurance plans are often the most expensive that you can purchase on your state marketplace. However, Gold plans have the most affordable deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums. For this reason, a Gold health insurance policy can help you save money if you expect high medical expenses during the plan year.
For example, if you need to refill an expensive drug prescription on a monthly basis, then you should consider Gold health insurance.
If you expect high medical bills, you may also want to consider Platinum health insurance. Platinum policies have relatively expensive premiums, but also the cheapest deductibles — frequently $0. However, these plans are not available in all states.
What is the cheapest individual health insurance in my state?
The best affordable health insurance policy for you is a plan that provides adequate health coverage for you and your family. In most situations, this means that it covers the basics, but is also there if there is a serious medical emergency that ends up being expensive during the plan year.
We recommend beginning your search by looking at a Silver health insurance policy if you are buying coverage from your health insurance marketplace. As mentioned above, these plans have modest premiums with minimal out-of-pocket expenses in case you or a loved one gets sick or injured. Furthermore, the Silver policy deductibles are usually lower and easier to reach.
|State||Cheapest company||Cheapest Silver plan||Monthly cost for a 40-year-old|
|Alabama||Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama||Blue Cross Select Silver||$452|
|Alaska||Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska||Premera Blue Cross Preferred Silver 3000 HSA||$658|
|Arizona||Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona||Blue AdvanceHealth Silver - PimaFocus Network||$330|
|Arkansas||Ambetter from Arkansas Health & Wellness||Ambetter Balanced Care 12 (2021)||$387|
|California||Kaiser Permanente||Silver 70 HMO||$325|
|Colorado||Kaiser Permanente||KP CO Silver 2500/25||$278|
|Connecticut||ConnectiCare||Choice Silver Standard POS||$479|
|Delaware||Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware||Health Savings Embedded Blue EPO Silver 3450 HSA||$522|
|Florida||Oscar||Oscar Silver Saver||$408|
|Georgia||CareSource||CareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver||$416|
|Hawaii||Kaiser Permanente||KP HI Silver 4000/45||$467|
|Idaho||Blue Cross of Idaho||CPN North Central Silver 6000||$467|
|Illinois||Bright Health||Silver 5000||$337|
|Indiana||Ambetter from MHS||Ambetter Balanced Care 29 (2021)||$329|
|Iowa||Oscar||Oscar Silver Saver||$457|
|Kansas||Ambetter from Sunflower Health Plan||Ambetter Balanced Care 12 (2021)||$441|
|Kentucky||Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield||Anthem Silver Pathway X Transition HMO 4650 for HSA||$406|
|Louisiana||CHRISTUS Health Plan||CHP LA Basic Silver - Two Free PCP Visits||$407|
|Maine||Harvard Pilgrim Health Care||Maine's Choice Plus HMO Silver 6500||$392|
|Maryland||Kaiser Permanente||KP MD Silver 3200/20%/HSA/Vision||$339|
|Massachusetts||BMC HealthNet Plan||Standard Silver: BMC HealthNet Plan Silver A II||$344|
|Michigan||Ambetter from Meridian||Ambetter Balanced Care 12 (2021)||$292|
|Minnesota||UCare||UCare M Health Fairview Silver HSA||$265|
|Mississippi||Ambetter from Magnolia Health||Ambetter Balanced Care 12 (2021)||$419|
|Missouri||Cigna Healthcare||Cigna Connect 5500||$413|
|Montana||Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana||Blue Focus Silver POS℠ 206||$356|
|Nebraska||Medica||Medica with CHI Health Silver Copay||$527|
|Nevada||Friday Health Plans||Friday Silver||$352|
|New Hampshire||Ambetter from New Hampshire Healthy Families||Ambetter Balanced Care 11 (2021)||$325|
|New Jersey||Horizon||OMNIA Silver Value||$388|
|New Mexico||Molina Healthcare||Constant Care Silver 1||$313|
|New York||Fidelis Care||Fidelis Care, Silver, ST, INN, Fidelis Care HBX Network, Pediatric Dental, Dep25, Free Telemedicine||$473|
|North Carolina||Bright Health||Silver 5000||$373|
|North Dakota||Medica||Altru Prime by Medica Silver Copay||$400|
|Ohio||Ambetter from Buckeye Health||Ambetter Balanced Care 29 (2021)||$311|
|Oklahoma||Bright Health||Silver 5000||$476|
|Oregon||Providence Health Plan||Connect 4500 Silver||$402|
|Pennsylvania||Highmark Coverage Advantage Inc||Together Blue EPO Silver 3450 HSA||$343|
|Rhode Island||Neighborhood Health Plan||Neighborhood COMMUNITY||$328|
|South Carolina||Ambetter from Absolute Total Care||Ambetter Balanced Care 29 (2021)||$391|
|South Dakota||Sanford Health Plan||Sanford TRUE $4,750||$473|
|Tennessee||Cigna Healthcare||Cigna Connect 7300||$428|
|Texas||Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas||MyBlue Health Silver℠ 405||$381|
|Utah||SelectHealth||Value Benchmark Silver 6500 - no deductible for office visits||$443|
|Vermont||MVP Health Care||MVP VT Plus Reflective Silver 1||$574|
|Virginia||Cigna Healthcare||Cigna Connect 6500||$392|
|Washington||Coordinated Care||Ambetter Balanced Care 1 (2021)||$344|
|West Virginia||CareSource||CareSource Marketplace Low Premium Silver||$508|
|Wisconsin||Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative||Envision - Silver 7000/75||$343|
|Wyoming||Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming||BlueSelect Silver Balance||$647|
How do I choose the most affordable medical insurance?
The most affordable health insurance depends on your household income. The cheapest option is to enroll in Medicaid if your income falls below 138% of the federal poverty level. This is a federally funded health insurance program that provides health benefits to low-income individuals. For those not eligible for this option, the most affordable solution may be through your state marketplace, as well as off-exchange plans, including short-term health insurance policies.
It's important to note that the cheapest health insurance plan may not always be the right policy for you. Therefore, to find the best value coverage, you should evaluate your medical needs before buying a health insurance policy.
Short-term health insurance
Short-term health insurance is cheaper than marketplace health care. These plans have low-cost monthly premiums, but the policies may only extend a few months — up to one year at most, depending on short-term health insurance laws in your state.
Another reason for the reduced cost is that short-term health insurance is not required to cover the same health benefits as individual medical plans. These health policies typically will not cover all of the essential health benefits covered under the Affordable Care Act insurance found on your state marketplace.
Cheap health insurance for students
Students often have additional health insurance options. Many universities and colleges provide free health insurance to students through a school-sponsored plan. These policies typically provide health insurance for most on-campus medical services, but you may lose the coverage if you become a part-time student or transfer schools.
Another option for some students is to purchase a student health plan. These health insurance policies are designed for full-time students between the ages of 17 and 29. Plans can be bought through most large health insurance companies and are paid either by an annual or semiannual premium. A student health plan can be a great cheap medical insurance option because you will not lose your coverage if you decide to transfer to a different school.
Cheapest health insurance companies
When evaluating affordable health insurance policies, you will find that there are some companies that consistently offer cheaper rates than others. However, these providers may not offer policies with as many benefits as other plans. This is an important factor to evaluate when searching for the best policy for your family.
For example, our analysis found that in nine states, the cheapest health insurance company that offers Silver marketplace health insurance is Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS).
|Health insurance provider||Number of states with cheapest Silver plan|
|Blue Cross Blue Shield||9|
|Cigna Health and Life Company||3|
|CHRISTUS Health Plan||1|
|Harvard Pilgrim Health Care||1|
|BMC HealthNet Plan||1|
|Friday Health Plans||1|
|Providence Health Plan||1|
|Highmark Coverage Advantage Inc||1|
|Neighborhood Health Plan||1|
|Sanford Health Plan||1|
|MVP Health Care||1|
|Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative||1|
Health insurance premiums and plans found in this report were aggregated from Public Use Files (PUF) on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) website.