Having health insurance brings peace of mind when it comes to the costs of medical care. This is especially true when you’re living with a medical condition, on chronic medication, or have dependents. But the exact amount this peace of mind will cost you differs widely.
The cost of health insurance is affected by several factors, and one that few people consider is geographical location. However, it’s possible to get affordable insurance no matter where you live, with the right advice. We help you find low-cost health insurance by state in the guide below.
Average Cost Of Health Insurance For Each State
In the US, the various marketplace health plans covered by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), otherwise known as Obamacare, are considered the most affordable route to health insurance. Obamacare is available countrywide through the federal health insurance marketplace and on some state exchanges.
But the cost of this affordable health insurance will not be the same from one state to the next. There is a huge disparity between certain states’ premiums. We’ll go into the reason for this, a bit later in this article. But first, let’s examine the average costs of the cheapest average and benchmark plans in all 50 states.
These are the average and most affordable premiums of ACA-compliant health insurance for each state.
|State||Average Benchmark Plan Cost||Cheapest Average Bronze Plan Premium|
Irrespective of your state of residence, you may apply for a federal marketplace health insurance plan. Many states also have their own health insurance marketplace platforms, making ACA sign-up more convenient for their residents.
Some States Have Health Insurance Mandates And Penalties
The Affordable Care Act initially made it mandatory for all US citizens to have health insurance. It is important to note that although the government no longer has that mandate for obtaining health insurance, a few states have retained individual mandates.
California, the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Vermont all have mandates for health insurance. And all of them, except Vermont, have tax penalties for non-compliance. Several other states are considering doing the same in the future.
Different Prices In Different States, But Bronze Always Cheaper
ACA marketplace insurance plans are available across four tiers, with the cheapest being the Bronze tier. But as you can see from the table above, some states’ premiums are almost double that of other states in the same insurance category.
For low-income households, subsidies are available, but they apply to the benchmark Silver plans only. These were meant to be temporary measures but have been extended through 2025 thanks to the Biden Administration’s Health Care Plan.
However, certain income-based criteria have to be met to apply for an Obamacare subsidy.
Types Of Cheap Medical Insurance
There are several types of cheap medical insurance available in the US. Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare (ACA marketplace plans) are all affordable options available to US citizens. You’ll find that if you don’t qualify for one, you may still qualify for one of the others.
Medicaid is a government-funded program that provides healthcare at low or sometimes even no cost to low-income households in the US. It also provides access to medical services for pregnant women, disabled people, and citizens over the age of 65.
Although Obamacare was instituted to expand Medicaid coverage to lower-income households, they are not the same thing.
Medicare is a government-funded program that offers affordable healthcare to senior citizens (over the age of 65), and people with chronic illnesses and disabilities. If you’re receiving Social Security retirement or disability benefits, you automatically qualify for Medicare.
Obamacare -The Bronze Tier
Obamacare is making a big difference in the number of insured people across the country, with more and more people realizing the need for adequate health insurance. But although overseen by the government’s Affordable Care Act, private insurance carriers offer these marketplace plans.
Out of the four tiers – Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum, you’ll find that the Bronze plans are the most affordable. However, this usually means that you’ll enjoy less coverage, along with that lower monthly premium.
Although the Silver, Gold, and Platinum plans generally have higher monthly premiums, they do offer far greater coverage.
Benchmark Plan With A Subsidy
To qualify for an Obamacare subsidy, you’ll need to take out a benchmark Silver plan and meet certain requirements. The most important of these is that you must earn a total net income in your household of 100 to 400 &% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL).
This may be the most affordable option for families, as it offers more coverage than the bronze plan, but at a reduced rate thanks to the subsidy. This can take one of two forms: A reduced premium (or premium tax credit) or reduced cost subsidy (lower out-of-pocket payments).
There is another option under Obamacare for saving on premiums, and it’s called a catastrophic plan. But this is only available to people under 30, and subsidies don’t apply to these types of plans. It is not one of the tiered plans but co-exists with them under the umbrella of Obamacare.
Catastrophic plans have lower premiums, however, they also usually have higher deductibles. They may cover most medical situations but are not as comprehensive as the four metal tiers of marketplace ACA-approved health insurance.
Benefits Of Cheap Medical Insurance
The benefits of cheap medical insurance can outweigh the issue of reduced coverage.
- Cheaper health insurance means that more low-income households can access healthcare.
- By paying less per month for your health insurance, you’ll have more disposable income for other household expenses.
- All cheap medical insurance through Obamacare includes prescription medication coverage
How To Find Cheap Medical Insurance
It’s not that difficult to find cheap medical insurance in the US, but there are rules governing eligibility, and applications are only accepted within a certain time frame. The Obamacare Open Enrollment period, for example, runs from November 1 to January 15 in most states.
In cases of life events delaying your application, exceptions can be made.
Medicaid And Medicare
You can check your eligibility for Medicaid on your state’s Medicaid agency. If you qualify for Medicare, you can apply on the Social Security platform.
At Enhance Health, we can also assist you with checking your eligibility and initiating enrollment in Medicare. But how do you find cheap medical insurance if you don’t qualify for Medicare or Medicaid? The ACA/Obamacare health insurance plans are the perfect solution.
Federal Or State Marketplace
Your best bet for comprehensive medical insurance that is also affordable is to apply for one of the lower-priced options under the ACA.
This can be done on the dedicated government website, healthcare.gov, or on your state’s health insurance exchange. Alternatively, reach out to us at Enhance Health and we can make the whole process easy for you.
You’ll have to apply during the Open Enrollment period, though, regardless of how or where you apply.
Private ACA-Approved Health Insurance Broker
It takes knowledge of insurance industry jargon, coverage types, and other factors to make the right choice. That’s why it’s a lot simpler to find the right cheap medical insurance through a broker with years of experience and expertise.
Here at Enhance Heath, we work with you to find the right medical insurance for your medical needs, family res[possibilities, and budget. Even if you earn very little income, or are unemployed, we can assist you with finding cheap medical insurance that’s just right for you.
If you have missed the deadline for government-funded or regulated health insurance, you can sign up for short-term cheap insurance. This will usually only offer limited coverage, but it’s got two major advantages.
Short-term insurance is often cheaper and you can sign up at any time of the year.
It is not necessarily a viable alternative to comprehensive medical insurance, but is often the best solution while awaiting the next enrollment period.
Pros And Cons Of Cheap Medical Insurance
Of course, signing up for cheaper medical insurance has both pros and cons. You’ll have to weigh these pros and cons against each other before making a final choice about cheap medical insurance.
- Medicare. Medicaid and Obamacare plans are suitable for lower-income households
- In the case of ACA plans, subsidies are available for people who struggle to pay for their premiums or out-of-pocket expenses
- You’ll save money every month with cheaper medical insurance – and that money can go to other living expenses like food
- Not everyone qualifies for Medicare or Medicaid
- Obamacare subsidies are not open to all
- Lower premiums on ACA plans often mean higher deductibles, copays, or coinsurance amounts
- ACA plans with lower premiums generally offer less coverage
Common Misconceptions About Cheap Medical Insurance
There are some common misconceptions about what cheap medical insurance entails.
Quality Of Care
Many people worry that cheaper medical insurance goes hand in hand with lower quality of care. This is not the case. You may experience less coverage, but basic healthcare and medical services will still be covered, irrespective of which tier or plan you choose.
Another common fear is that there will be too many hurdles to jump over to apply. This is not true. Applying for cheaper medical insurance can be easy and stress-free when you trust a reputable broker like Enhance Health to handle it for you.
Choice Of Coverage
Lastly, some people are anxious about the range of choices available to them. There are a wide range of insurance options available. While you may be slightly limited by finances, you will still have options to choose between, even on a tight budget.
Factors That Influence The Cost Of Cheap Medical Insurance
Several factors influence the cost of cheap medical care, but the following three are the most influential.
Your age, number of dependents, health status, and medical needs all play a role in the type of medical insurance you choose. And this will naturally affect the cost. Certain tiers of coverage or types of insurance are cheaper than others.
Your financial and/or employment status affects your eligibility for Medicaid, or subsidized health insurance plans on the ACA marketplace. Your age and health status affect your eligibility for Medicare.
Your state is a big factor, too. Different insurance carriers operate in different states, and not every state will have cheap enough ACA options for your liking. But you’ll still be able to find affordable options, regardless of where you live.
Is it possible to find low-cost health insurance by state? Yes, prices differ widely between states, due to the availability of certain insurers. And this is not the only factor affecting how much you’ll pay each month.
But no matter where you live, you can access cheaper health insurance. To help you do so, our consultants are standing by, waiting for you to contact us. Enhance Health has helped people across the US sign up for cheaper medical insurance that meets their specific needs. Let us do the same for you.