Get Health Insurance Quotes & Compare Plans
Use ValuePenguin's tool to get health insurance quotes, compare personalized rates and find health insurance plans near you.
Compare Health Insurance Rates
Let's begin with your zip code.
We'll find you a health insurance quote based on your needs.
By comparing health insurance quotes, you can get a better deal on coverage.
- Save hundreds of dollars per month
- Scale your coverage based on your medical needs
- Find out if you qualify for subsidies
Health insurance plans that you do not get through work or a government program like Medicaid are called individual health insurance policies or private health insurance.
Getting a personalized quote is important because the price can change widely based on age, location, coverage, insurance company and other factors. For example, a 60-year-old typically pays twice as much as a 30-year-old, and you can save more than $200 per month for the same level of benefits by choosing a cheaper health insurance company.
While you can go directly to an insurer's website to buy health insurance online, requesting quotes from an independent agent or marketplace can help you shop around for the best deal.
Find Cheap Health Insurance Quotes in Your Area
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How to compare health insurance quotes and plans
When looking for the right health insurance plan, you must understand and compare policy components and then choose a policy that provides health coverage at an affordable cost.
This involves looking at the different plan benefits, coverage levels (also called metal tiers), provider networks (PPO, EPO, HMO and POS) and insurance companies.
Comparing the basics of your health insurance quote
All marketplace health insurance policies will have three costs to compare: monthly premium, deductible and out-of-pocket maximum. These three basic terms will tell you how much you'll pay for a plan and how much you'll pay for medical care.
The premium is the price of a health insurance plan. In other words, it's the monthly bill from your insurance company. When comparing health insurance plans, start by considering what's affordable based on your income.
The deductible is the amount of medical care you must pay for in full before your plan's benefits kick in. After your spending reaches the plan's deductible amount, you'll pay a portion of your medical costs called the coinsurance or copayment. For example, you could pay the full cost of an X-ray before you reach the deductible. Some services, such as preventive care, are excluded from a plan's deductible, but typically, your medical care is more expensive at the beginning of the policy year before your spending reaches the deductible.
The out-of-pocket maximum is the limit on how much you could spend on medical care in a year, after which the insurance company pays for 100% of the cost of covered health services. The out-of-pocket maximum protects you from very high costs if you need expensive or ongoing medical care, such as cancer treatment or pregnancy costs. Remember that the calculations are based on medical spending. This means what you spend toward your deductible, as well as copayments and coinsurance, will count toward reaching your out-of-pocket maximum. However, the monthly bills you pay for the insurance plan are not included.
Both the out-of-pocket maximum and deductible are essential to consider when evaluating a policy’s affordability. Since you are responsible for all expenses before the deductible, if you choose a deductible that is too high and you have a large medical expense, you may not be able to cover the cost of treatment. You should try to predict your medical expenses for the next year and choose a plan that will provide you with the most benefits possible combined with a deductible that you could afford to reach.
How to compare metal tiers of health insurance
When looking at your health insurance quotes, tiers can help you understand how the cost of a plan relates to the level of medical benefits you get.
In most state health insurance exchanges, there are five coverage levels available for purchase: Catastrophic, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. These levels can help you identify which quote is best for your current health and financial situation.
Catastrophic and Bronze health plans have the cheapest monthly costs, but you'll pay a larger portion of your medical expenses because plans have high deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums. For this reason, Bronze and Catastrophic plans are best for individuals in great health and do not expect to have large medical expenses during the year. Keep in mind that Catastrophic plans are not eligible for premium tax credits.
Silver metal tier plans are middle-ground policies with modest premiums and deductibles. These plans are best for individuals or families with average health insurance needs and household income. The federal government also allows Silver health insurance policyholders to receive cost-sharing reductions if their household income falls below 250% of the federal poverty level — for example, earning less than $69,375 per year for a family of four. This benefit will allow you to pay less in coinsurance, copays and deductibles.
Gold and Platinum health insurance plans have the most expensive rates but the lowest deductibles available on the federal marketplace. When comparing these health insurance policies to those in other tiers, you should consider your family's health insurance needs for the upcoming plan period. If you expect a large number of medical expenses, like prescription drugs or surgeries, choosing a Gold or Platinum plan with a low deductible could be a cost-effective and cheaper option, despite the higher premiums.
How to compare health insurance networks
A key aspect of health insurance that you should consider when comparing quotes is the type of provider network each one offers.
The type of network will determine which doctors you can use, the flexibility of your coverage and how you access specialist care.
Each health policy will be classified into one of four different network types: health maintenance organization (HMO), preferred provider organization (PPO), exclusive provider organization (EPO) or point of service (POS). The main factors you need to consider when comparing networks are whether the insurer needs a primary care physician (PCP) for referrals and the level of expenses you are responsible for if you receive out-of-network coverage.
A primary care physician is typically a family doctor or general practitioner who provides you with basic care services and recommendations to see specialist doctors if needed. If you choose a provider network that does not require a primary care physician, you can seek out care from specialists on your own instead of getting referrals.
Health insurance network comparison
Specialist without referral
Policy costs are the national average for a 40-year-old.
Find ACA plans in your state
Every type of health insurance network has access to groups of doctors and providers. When choosing a plan, it's important to check that your preferred doctors and medical facilities are in the network because going out-of-network can either cost more or not be covered. For example, if you currently visit a specialist chiropractor, make sure the plan that you buy would cover their services. Similarly, if you previously had health insurance and had a primary care physician that you liked, make sure they are in the new plan's network before purchasing the policy.
Compare private health insurance plans to short-term plans
A private health insurance plan is best for those who don't have other coverage through an employer or government program such as Medicaid or Medicare.
These plans cover both essential health services and prescription drugs, and policies have the same cost structures as an employer plan with a deductible, copays and an out-of-pocket maximum to cap your medical expenses. You can purchase plans through a broker, an agent, the government marketplace or directly from an insurance company.
Alternatively, if you have a coverage gap between two health insurance plans, we recommend a short-term health insurance policy.
Short-term plans are cheap, costing $100 per month in some cases, but plans are not regulated in the same way as private or individual health insurance, so the benefits can vary widely. For example, some plans could have deductibles as high as $5,000 or $10,000 before the policy would start covering your care. Other policies could exclude coverage for pregnancy, mental health or prescriptions. Each plan will have a different set of limitations, and because these policies typically have less coverage, you should only consider short-term plans as an option if you miss open enrollment or are between jobs and need health insurance coverage.
Frequently asked questions
How much does individual health insurance cost?
Health insurance costs $541 per month, on average, for an adult in the United States. However, the cost of plans will vary depending on your age, location and the level of coverage you choose.
What are the cheapest health insurance quotes I can get?
The most affordable health insurance is Medicaid, but to qualify, you must have a low income of less than $18,754 per year, in most states. If you don't qualify, you can choose the cheapest health insurer in your state, which could save you more than $100 per month compared to typical rates.
What are the best health insurance companies?
The overall best health insurance company is Blue Cross Blue Shield. However, health insurance plans vary widely, making it important to compare plan options based on your location, age, preferred doctors and medical needs.
Health Insurance Research & Advice
Sources and methodology
The average cost of health insurance is aggregated using quotes for a 40-year-old individual sourced from Public Use Files (PUFs) on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) government website. 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 be considered.