2017 RANKING & REVIEWS
TOP RANKING LOW COST HEALTH INSURANCE
How to Find Cheap Medical Insurance
There is a lot of debate among policymakers and politicians about the right way to manage the soaring costs of health insurance. While the Affordable Care Act was designed to offer not only more flexibility but also lower costs for health insurance, it has not been without challenges, and many consumers have felt their premiums have been on the rise. Even with subsidies, for many families, the cost of health insurance is one of their largest household expenses.
Award Emblem: Top 6 Best Cheap Health Insurance Companies
There are ways to find low-cost health insurance, but it’s important to know how to shop in order to lower your costs.
If you don’t qualify for Medicaid, but still want to find low-cost health insurance, it’s first important to understand what you need. Coverage amounts can vary significantly based on what they cover versus what they don’t, and your goal should be to choose a policy that fits your needs as closely as possible, so you aren’t spending where you don’t need to.
Once you’ve done an audit of your personal insurance needs, you can start your research on the Healthcare.gov website. There are open enrollment periods, and you can also start shopping for the cheapest health insurance if you have a qualifying life event, such as a birth or a marriage.
When you begin the process of searching for the best affordable health insurance on Healthcare.gov, you’ll see relevant information including the options for cheap health insurance available in your state, as well as the premiums, and whether or not you would qualify for federal subsidies.
When you’re shopping for cheap health insurance plans, it’s important to look not just at the price of the premiums, however. You’ll also need to look at what is called the total cost of ownership. Regarding cheap medical insurance, this refers to looking at all the expenses of a policy. This would include your out-of-pocket costs, copayments and coinsurance liabilities, and what you would spend on the monthly premium.
The following ranking covers some of the low-cost health insurance options, but coverage and availability vary by state, so these cheap health insurance plans and cheap health insurance companies may not be available in every state or region.
AdvisoryHQ’s List of the Top 6 Best Cheap Health Insurance Companies
List is sorted alphabetically (click any of the insurance names below to go directly to the detailed review section for that low-cost health insurance):
Top 6 Best Cheap Health Insurance Companies | Brief Comparison
Cheapest Health Insurance
|Aetna||Aetna is available on several state Exchanges||Consumers can choose low-premium Bronze and Silver plans|
|Ambetter Health||Offers several low-cost health insurance plans including Ambetter Essential Care and Ambetter Balanced Care||With Balanced Care plan, members may receive additional out-of-pocket payment reductions|
|Blue Cross Blue Shield||BCBS offers plan options through state Exchanges in many cases||Catastrophic options are available, and there are extensive choices for in-network providers|
|Community Health Choice||Localized Texas-based provider of cheap health insurance plans||Wide range of customizable low-cost health care options|
|Humana||Humana is a provider of cheap health insurance through exchanges and state-approved Medicaid programs||Go365 is a wellness program so consumers can save on their healthcare and earn rewards|
|Molina||Plans offered include exchange options as well as Medicare and Medicaid plans||Molina specializes in dual plans for Medicare/Medicaid eligible subscribers|
Is a Catastrophic Plan Right for You?
When consumers are searching for cheap health insurance or the most affordable health insurance, they may think catastrophic coverage is right for them. Catastrophic health insurance is something offered under the Affordable Care Act that’s designed for people who are either under the age of 30 or who qualify for something called a hardship determination.
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These plans offer minimal benefits, which include the essential required areas of coverage as mandated by the ACA. Ultimately, while these plans may be some of the cheapest health insurance, they’re designed only to cover the policyholder in the event of a worst case scenario. The monthly premiums are lower, but the deductibles are very high in most cases.
These cheap medical insurance plans will cover a certain number of primary visits every year and preventative services as outlined by the ACA, but then the policyholder is required to pay the full cost for the rest of their services until their deductible is met.
Some of the benefits of this type of cheap health care include lower premiums and protection against certain situations. At the same time, there are disadvantages including higher out-of-pocket costs.
It’s important to weight the benefits and the potential drawbacks if you’re considering this type of cheap medical insurance.
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AdvisoryHQ’s Selection Methodology
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Detailed Review—Top Ranking Cheap Health Insurance Companies
Below, please find the detailed review of each of the top cheap health insurance companies. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these low-cost health insurance providers to score so well in our selection ranking.
Aetna is a low-cost health insurance provider founded in 1853, providing products to individuals and employers.
Key Benefits of This Low-Cost Health Insurance Company
Important things to know about this cheap medical insurance company are detailed below.
Most of the cheapest health insurance options included on this ranking offer plans through the state Exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act. This includes Aetna.
In 2017, Aetna, one of the most affordable health insurance companies, is offering plans on state exchanges in Delaware, Iowa, Nebraska, and Virginia.
When consumers buy through a public exchange, they can often save on monthly premiums, and for qualifying consumers, the federal government will pay a portion of the premium in the form of a premium tax credit. The amount of the payment is based on estimated income and household size.
When people purchase low-cost health insurance through an Exchange with Aetna, they have four primary plan types.
The cheapest health insurance offered by Aetna on the Exchanges is the Bronze plan, which features the lowest premium costs. The Silver Plan is the next lowest in terms of the cost of premiums, and it balances these lower premiums with out-of-pocket costs. There are also Gold and Platinum plans, although these have higher premiums.
Image Source: Aetna
Since Aetna does offer plans through Exchanges, there are essential covered benefits, although even for the non-Exchange plan, coverage for these essentials is required under the ACA. This means that even if you choose a cheap health insurance plan with low premiums, you’re still guaranteed a certain level of coverage.
In general, regardless of plan type, Aetna tends to have among the lowest premiums of any other provider which is a big reason they’re included in this ranking of the leading cheap health insurance companies.
Ambetter Health Review
Ambetter Health is a cheap health insurance company offering products on the Health Insurance Marketplace. The subsidiary is part of the Centene Corporation company.
Key Features of This Selection for a Top Cheap Health Insurance Company
Some of the reasons Ambetter is included in this ranking of the leading providers of the cheapest health insurance and the best affordable health insurance are below.
Ambetter Essential Care
Ambetter specializes and puts a lot of focus on providing some of the most affordable health insurance. They offer several plans that are specifically designed to be cheap health insurance plans, and one of these is the Essential Care plan, which is also called the Bronze plan on state marketplaces.
The Essential Care Plan offers subscribers cheap healthcare regarding lower monthly premiums, although they should be aware of the potential for higher out-of-pocket costs if they need a lot of medical care.
Ambetter Balanced Care
Ambetter Balanced Care plans are also called Silver Plans on the Marketplace Exchanges, and they’re ideal if you want a balance between lower premiums and out-of-pocket costs. The Balanced Care plans are the only cheap medical insurance plans from Ambetter that have additional out-of-pocket payment reductions, also called cost-sharing reductions.
These are designed to help members reduce the cost of their copays, deductibles, and coinsurance.
Along with offering cheap healthcare and some of the most affordable health insurance, this low-cost health insurance provider makes it easy for members to manage their care, their plan, and their expenses. When insurance is simple, it makes it easier for consumers to understand what they’re paying for and choose the right plans for them.
Ambetter also offers online tools and account management so members can view their benefits, pay their monthly premium, and track office visits.
Blue Cross Blue Shield Review
Blue Cross Blue Shield is a national provider of some low-cost health insurance options and the company also works to regularly research the cost of insurance as well as how health impacts the economy.
Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as One of the Top Cheap Health Insurance Companies
Below are some of the ways BCBS ranks as one of the best affordable health insurance companies.
High Medical Costs
Blue Cross Blue Shield is available in many states around the country, and their more expensive Platinum plan option can be one of the most cost-effective for consumers who are anticipating high medical costs.
The Blue Cross Blue Shield Premier Plan, as an example, may have higher premium costs than some of the cheap healthcare options on this ranking, but when you balance it against care and your medical costs, it can represent one of the most affordable health insurance options.
Blue Access for Members
Another way people can save money and enjoy low-cost health insurance coverage with BCBS is to stay in network. Network providers include groups of doctors and healthcare professionals as well as hospitals that work with particular health plans.
When a BCBS member goes to a health provider that’s in-network, they pay a lower portion of the bill, and members of this low-cost health insurance company can visit the Blue Access for Members site online to do a personalized search for in-network facilities and providers.
Another option that may be available if you’re searching for cheap health insurance companies and the cheapest health insurance plans is catastrophic coverage, and BCBS offers these cheap health insurance plans in many states.
They’re available to low-income consumers and people under the age of 30, and they’re designed to lower monthly costs. Some BCBS cheap health insurance catastrophic plans also qualify for a cost-sharing discount.
The Blue Security PPO, which is available both on and off state exchanges in many states is one good option of cheap healthcare offered by this pick for one of the top cheap health insurance companies.
Community Health Choice Review
Community Health Choice is a small, Texas-based healthcare and social services company that excels in the provision of cheap health insurance plans and the best low-cost health care.
Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as One of the Best Cheap Medical Insurance Companies
Among cheap health insurance companies and the most affordable health insurance, the following are specific ways Community Health excels.
Community Health Choice is a unique company on this list of cheap healthcare options. This best affordable health insurance and care provider is a non-profit health plan that offers Children’s Medicare and CHIP programs.
Community also offers plans through the Health Insurance Marketplace, and it’s affiliated with the Harris Health System but doesn’t receive any money from this system.
Community is accredited by URAC for its cheap health insurance plans.
Like the majority of the other cheap health insurance companies on this list of the providers of the best health insurance rates, Community features health insurance marketplace plans that bring together service and affordability, as well as a localized focus.
Community offers a range of some of the most affordable health insurance plans in Texas, and there are options for members to customize their plan to their needs.
Among the low-cost health care plans offered by Community are their Deductible Plans. Deductible Plans are designed for people who want to pay for healthcare services as they go, in exchange for lower monthly out-of-pocket expenses.
The Bronze Deductible Plan includes the lowest possible premiums, while the Silver Deductible Plan features a mix of low copays and a low deductible. The Gold Plan features the lowest copays and the lowest deductible.
Humana is a leader among providers of some of the best affordable health insurance and wellness programs.
Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as One of the Top Cheap Health Insurance Companies
The following are specifics of why Humana is included on this list as a source of the best cheap health insurance and the best health insurance rates.
Health Insurance Marketplace
In many states, Humana cheap health insurance plans are available on exchanges. These state exchanges provide an opportunity to take advantage of some of the best health insurance rates, without going through a private insurance company or an agent.
There may also be options to qualify for special programs such as the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
Medicaid is a low-cost health care option for low-income individuals and families. As part of their objective to offer some of the best cheap health insurance options, Humana offers state approved cheap health insurance plans for people eligible for Medicaid in both Florida and Illinois.
As an example, if you live in certain Florida counties and you’re eligible to receive Medicaid Medical, Long-term Care, or a Comprehensive Plan, Humana can provide service to help manage available benefits.
The Humana Medicaid Managed Medical Assistant program in Florida offers access to affordable healthcare for low-income families and individuals, as well as disabled people.
Another way subscribers can save money and enjoy some of the best cheap health insurance options is through Go365. This exclusive Humana cheap health insurance program is a personalized wellness and rewards program that helps members make healthier decisions and save money in the process.
Molina is a Fortune 500 provider of low-cost health insurance and cheap medical insurance throughout many states in the U.S.
Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as One of the Top Providers of Cheap Medical Insurance
The following details some of the top reasons Molina is included in this ranking of the cheapest health insurance providers and the best low-cost health care companies.
One of the ways Molina remains a leader among cheap medical insurance providers and cheap health insurance plans is through their Medicaid Solutions. Through the Molina Medicaid Solutions subsidiary, Molina provides services and options to low-income individuals and families.
Molina Marketplace Silver Plan
One of the many cheap health insurance plans provided by this low-cost health insurance company is the Molina Marketplace Silver Plan. This exchange-based plan combines coverage with low monthly costs. Silver Plans also qualify for both tax credits and cost-sharing subsidies.
These best cheap health insurance plans have lower out-of-pocket costs than Bronze Plans, and they have a range of minimum health benefits.
Another way Molina provides some of the best cheap health insurance plans and low-cost health insurance is through their dual plans. These are integrated Medicaid/Medicare plans for people who are eligible for both.
Molina specializes in working with these members and providing them unique products and services that address their needs.
Molina also offers Medicare Advantage plans which help Medicare enrollees receive care at little to no out-of-pocket costs.
Image Source: Molina
Conclusion—Top 6 Best Cheap Health Insurance Companies
The ability to find the most affordable health insurance is essential to nearly every individual and family in the U.S. It has become increasingly challenging to find cheap medical insurance and low-cost health insurance, but some companies offer specific cheap health insurance plans.
The above ranking of the best cheap medical insurance providers highlights some of the best affordable health insurance from throughout the country, from providers that have excellent reputations.
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