How to Get Cheap Health Insurance in 2020

Find the Cheapest Health Insurance Quotes in Your Area

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Health insurance in the United States is available through many different providers. The cheapest option is to enroll in the federal Medicaid program, but you will only be eligible if your income falls below 133% or 138% of the federal poverty level depending on the state you live in. For most people, the best deal on individual health insurance can be found through your state marketplace. Here you can search and compare health insurance policies from multiple companies to find the most affordable plan available.

Where can I find cheap health insurance with full benefits?

The best cheap health insurance with full medical benefits can be purchased through state health insurance marketplaces. Full benefits mean that these health insurance plans will provide comprehensive coverage for all 10 of the essential health benefits required to be covered under the Affordable Care Act. The essential health benefits include:

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

Important Note

The cheapest health insurance policy is not always the plan with the lowest premiums. 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 the 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 currently do not receive coverage through an employer or 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 recommend you do not select 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 will 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 do expect high medical bills, you may also want to consider Platinum health insurance. Platinum policies have relatively expensive premiums, but also the cheapest deductible — Platinum policies frequently have a $0 deductible. However, these plans are not available in all states.

What is the cheapest individual health insurance in my state?

The best health insurance policy for you is a plan that is affordable and provides enough health coverage for you and your family. In most situations, we recommend purchasing a Silver health insurance policy if 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. Further, the Silver policy has attainable deductibles which will allow you to gain access to coinsurance benefits.

StateNumber of ProvidersCheapest Silver PlanMonthly Cost for a 40-Year-Old
Alaska1Premera Blue Cross Preferred Plus Silver 4500$681.00
Alabama2Blue Cross Select Silver$471.33
Arkansas4Ambetter Balanced Care 4$318.00
Arizona2Ambetter Balanced Care 4$332.11
California12Silver 70 HMO$362.31
Colorado6KP Select Co Silver 4000/30/HSA$311.51
Connecticut2Choice Silver Alternative POS$398.10
Delaware1Shared Cost Blue EPO 7150$572.79
Florida6Ambetter Balanced Care 5$405.00
Georgia4Ambetter Balanced Care 4$372.55
Hawaii2KP Silver III $40 - Fit$437.00
Iowa1Inspire by Medica Silver Copay$653.28
Idaho4Select Silver 3500$478.67
Illinois4Blue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203$402.98
Indiana2CareSource Low Premium Silver$267.68
Kansas3BlueCare EPO SImple Silver HDHP$459.00
Kentucky2CareSource Low Premium Silver$298.83
Louisiana4Blue Connect 80/60 $3,200$396.00
Massachusetts9Tufts Health Direct Silver 2000 II$311.93
Maryland2KP MD Silver 6000/35/Dental$404.17
Maine2Maine's Choice Pemaquid Silver HMO$489.00
Michigan8Totally You - Value$298.08
Minnesota4Peak Individual $3,000 HSA Silver$327.22
Missouri3Cigna Connect 4500$420.99
Mississippi1Ambetter Balanced Care 2$441.00
Montana3Connected Care Silver Option 2$476.00
North Carolina2Cigna Connect 5500$528.92
North Dakota2Sanford TRUE $4,750$280.35
Nebraska1Medica with CHI Health Silver Copay$618.00
New Hampshire3Anthem Silver Pathway X Enhanced HMO 6300 30$456.57
New Jersey4IHC Silver EPO AmeriHealth Advantage $15/$35$399.00
New Mexico4New Mexico Silver HD$380.71
Nevada2Ambetter Balanced Care 4$364.70
New York19Fidelis Care Silver Dep 25$562.00
Ohio8Ambetter Balanced Care 5$296.88
Oklahoma1Blue Advantage Silver PPO 204$499.63
Oregon7KP OR Silver 3500/30$375.00
Pennsylvania9UPMC Advantage Silver $3,500/$25$349.75
Rhode Island2Neighborhood PLUS$299.51
South Carolina1BlueEssentials Silver 10$456.53
South Dakota2Sanford TRUE $4,750$426.32
Tennessee3Cigna Connect 4750$524.40
Texas8Ambetter Balanced Care 5$295.00
Utah2Select Value Silver 1800$498.95
Virginia7Cigna Connect 6500$439.00
Vermont2[MVP VT Plus] Silver 1$474.08
Washington5Ambetter Balanced Care 4$343.14
Wisconsin11MercyCare HMO Silver Option C$384.51
West Virginia2CareSource Low Premium Silver$444.55
Wyoming1BlueSelect Silver Classic$795.44

How do I choose the most affordable medical insurance?

The most inexpensive 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 option 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 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 health insurance policies, you will find 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 10 states, the cheapest health insurance company that offers Silver marketplace health insurance was Ambetter. Ambetter has affordable medical insurance policies, but these do not include additional benefits like gym membership discounts or exclusive offers like gift cards if you participate in healthy activities.

Health Insurance ProviderNumber of States with Cheapest Silver Plan
Blue Cross Blue Shield9
Kaiser Permanente5
Cigna Health and Life Company4
Medica Insurance Company2
Sanford Health Plan2
Tufts Health1
Maine Community Health Options1
Total Health Care1
Group Health Plan1
Health CO-OP1
AmeriHealth Insurance Company1
Health Connections1
Fidelis Care1
UPMC Health Options1
Neighborhood Community1
MVP VT Plus1

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