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Obamacare costs an average of $560 per month, based on a 40-year-old with a Silver-level plan.
Several factors affect the cost of Obamacare, including your age, the level of coverage you buy, your state and the company you choose. You might also qualify for a premium tax credit that makes your policy cheaper.
How much is Obamacare?
Obamacare insurance, also called Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance, costs an average of $560 per month. The average cost of health insurance is based on a 40-year-old with a Silver plan. Your health insurance premium will change based on your circumstances.
Most people don't pay full price for Obamacare. Over 90% of people who buy an Obamacare plan get premium credits that lower the cost of coverage. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reports that 4 out of 5 shoppers have access to a plan that costs less than $10 per month after the credits are applied.
Obamacare cost by plan tier
Obamacare policies come in different coverage levels, called tiers. Higher tiers, like Gold and Platinum, cost more per month but cover more of your medical costs. Lower tiers, like Catastrophic and Bronze, have cheaper rates but give you less coverage.
Silver plans can be a good choice. You'll pay a bit more for a Silver plan than you would for a Bronze or Catastrophic plan, but the better coverage can make the higher cost worth it if you have moderate health care needs. No matter what plan level you choose, your policy will cover at least 10 different health situations. The plan level determines how much of your medical costs are covered.
Monthly cost of Obamacare by plan tier
*Average monthly cost for a 40-year-old
Silver plans have the added perk of cost-sharing reductions if you meet certain income requirements. This feature can help lower your out-of-pocket medical costs, like your deductible, copay and coinsurance amounts.
Obamacare cost by age
Your age has a large impact on the cost of health insurance. Older individuals pay more for health insurance because they tend to need more medical care.
Monthly cost of Obamacare by age
*Average monthly cost of a Silver plan
The following states and Washington, D.C. calculate rates for different age groups differently than the rest of the country.
If you live in New York or Vermont, your age won't affect your health insurance rates at all.
Obamacare cost by company
Aetna and Kaiser Permanente have the lowest average rates for health insurance.
If you're looking for cheap health insurance, get quotes from these companies if they're available in your area. Most of the largest health insurance companies have average rates below the national average.
Getting health insurance quotes from a marketplace site lets you compare different companies in one place. You also have to get your policy from the federal marketplace or a state marketplace site to qualify for premium subsidies. If you buy coverage directly from a health insurance company, you won't get a discounted rate based on your income.
Find Cheap Health Insurance in Your Area
Health insurance companies can set their own rates. This means the cost of the same plan tier will vary between companies. Comparing companies and quotes is the best way to find a policy that fits your budget.
Monthly cost of Obamacare by company
Obamacare cost by state
New Hampshire is the cheapest state for Obamacare, and Wyoming is the most expensive.
The state you live in affects the cost of Obamacare in several ways. State and local laws can affect how the health insurance industry works. Additionally, the cost of medical care in each state can change how much a health insurance policy costs. The more expensive it is to get care, the higher your Obamacare rate is likely to be.
Find Cheap Health Insurance in Your Area
Monthly cost of Obamacare by state
*Average monthly cost for a 40-year-old with a Silver plan
Obamacare cost by network type
A health insurance provider network defines where you can get covered medical care. The most common network types are health maintenance organizations (HMOs) and preferred provider organizations (PPOs). Other plan types, like point of service (POS) and exclusive provider organization (EPO) plans, are less common.
HMO plans will only pay if you go to in-network doctors and hospitals. If you go outside the network, you won't have any coverage, except in emergencies. Because they restrict where you get care, HMOs have the lowest monthly cost. PPOs cost more because they allow you to get care at any location, although you'll usually pay more for visits to out-of-network providers.
*Average monthly cost for a 40-year-old. POS plans are not included because of a lack of state-level data.
What affects Obamacare insurance costs?
Obamacare limits the factors that health insurance companies can consider when setting your rates. Under the law, only five things can affect your monthly rate.
- Plan tier: Plans with less coverage have a lower monthly rate, but you'll pay more when you go to a doctor.
- Age: The older you are, the more you'll pay for health insurance. Younger people usually need less medical attention, so they pay less for coverage.
- Location: The cost of living and the cost of medical care in your state and city affects your health insurance rate. The number of companies selling plans in your area can also be a factor.
- Number of people insured: It costs more to insure more people. A family of four will pay more than a single person.
- Tobacco use: Tobacco use can result in health problems, so health insurance companies charge more if you smoke or use tobacco in another way.
How to get cheaper Obamacare
If you buy your Obamacare policy from the federal marketplace or a state marketplace, you may qualify for a premium tax credit based on your income. These credits, also called subsidies, are designed to help low-income individuals get health insurance coverage.
To qualify, your annual income has to be at least $13,590, which is the federal poverty level for a single individual. The more people you have in your household, the more you can make and still qualify for a subsidy. If you make more than four times the federal poverty level, you usually won't qualify for a subsidy.
Minimum income to qualify for Obamacare subsidies
People in household
Federal poverty level
If your household has more than eight people, add $4,720 per year for each additional person.
If you make between 100% and 150% of the federal poverty level, a federal subsidy will make your Obamacare free. For a single person, that means making between $13,590 and $20,385 per year. A family of four can make between $27,750 and $41,625 and get Obamacare for free.
Even if you don't qualify for free Obamacare, a subsidy can still save you money.
Frequently asked questions
What is Obamacare?
Obamacare is another name for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which is a law that helps make it easier to get health insurance coverage. Although most health insurance plans have to follow the law, "Obamacare" usually refers to a health insurance plan that you buy on the federal marketplace or a state marketplace.
How do I sign up for Obamacare?
To sign up for Obamacare, go to HealthCare.gov. You'll need to enter some basic information, including your date of birth and your ZIP code, to see the plans available in your area. Most people can only sign up for Obamacare during open enrollment in the fall and early winter. You might qualify for special enrollment, which means you can sign up any time if you meet certain requirements, like recently moving, losing coverage through your job or getting married.
How much does the average person pay for Obamacare?
Obamacare costs an average of $560 per month for a 40-year-old with a Silver plan. Your age affects how much you pay. A 20-year-old pays an average of $425 per month for a Silver plan, while a 60-year-old pays an average of $1,189 per month.
How much is Obamacare per month?
A Silver plan costs an average of $560 per month for a 40-year old. Your premium changes based on the plan tier you choose. A Bronze plan costs $440 per month, on average, while a Platinum plan is $737 per month. Your age, state, family size and tobacco use will also impact how much you pay monthly.
What is the lowest income to qualify for Obamacare?
You can qualify for Obamacare coverage at any income level. But you have to make at least 100% and typically no more than 400% of the federal poverty level to qualify for the premium subsidies that reduce your rate. A single person has to make between $13,590 and $20,385 per year to qualify for subsidies. For a family of four, the range is $27,750 to $41,625 per year.
Methodology and sources
Average health insurance rates were calculated using public use files (PUF) data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) government website and from state-run marketplace sites. Plans and providers for which county-level data was included in the CMS Crosswalk file were used in our analysis; those excluded from this data set may not appear.
Average rates for each plan tier, company, state and network type are for a 40-year-old individual. We calculated average rates for different ages based on the age curve variations published by CMS.
Company-specific rates include only states that use the federal marketplace. States that use their own health insurance marketplace instead of HealthCare.gov were excluded from the analysis.
The percentage of marketplace plans with federal subsidies was sourced from Kaiser Family Foundation.