Cheapest health insurance coverage by metal tier
Health insurance plans are categorized into metal tiers, corresponding to the benefits and out-of-pocket expenses you can expect from a policy.
We analyzed affordable health insurance policies in Ohio across each tier and identified the lowest-cost options to help you find the best health insurance plan for a given level of coverage.
The cost of medical coverage is largely based on your level of coverage as well as your age, with older individuals facing significantly higher premiums.
For a Silver health care plan, a 40-year-old in Ohio will pay $107 more on average than a 21-year-old for the same level of coverage. A 60-year-old will pay $551 more than a 40-year-old for the same health plan.
The cheapest plans listed below aren’t available in every county, as no insurer offers plans statewide through the Ohio marketplace, but we recommend using these to determine the premiums you can expect.
Finding your best health insurance coverage in Ohio
The health insurance policies available to you will vary depending on where you live in Ohio, but in every county, you’ll be able to choose from multiple metal tiers of coverage. The best cheap health plan for you will be based, in part, on your income and expected medical expenses, since these impact the rates you’ll pay and the coverage you’ll need.
Higher-coverage metal tiers have costlier premiums, but their lower cost-sharing makes them ideal for families that expect to have large or consistent health care expenses.
On the other hand, lower-coverage metal tier health plans have cheaper rates, but their high out-of-pocket expenses mean they’re only ideal if you have emergency savings and don’t expect to need costly medical care.
Gold plans: Best for families with high or consistent medical expenses
Gold health insurance plans are often the best option for families with higher expected medical costs. Gold policies have the highest monthly premiums but the lowest out-of-pocket costs.
You’ll have to pay significantly less yourself before your health insurance provides coverage. This is a great benefit if you have ongoing prescriptions, a chronic condition or couldn’t manage a large, unexpected expense and would prefer higher, but predictable, premiums.
Silver plans: Best for low-income families or average medical costs
Ohio has expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), meaning a household income of up to 138% of the federal poverty level can qualify for Medicaid. Low-income families that don’t qualify will likely get their best rates with a Silver plan.
Silver health insurance policies are the only ones that qualify for cost-sharing reduction subsidies if your household income falls below certain thresholds. Silver plans are also a good middle ground as they combine more affordable medical insurance rates than Gold plans along with lower out-of-pocket expenses than you’d face with a Bronze plan.
Bronze/Catastrophic plans: Best for young families with savings
If you’re under the age of 30 or you meet certain exemptions, you may qualify for a Catastrophic health insurance plan. These offer the lowest monthly premiums and the highest cost-sharing.
We wouldn’t recommend Catastrophic or Bronze health plans, which are available to everyone in Ohio, unless you’re confident in your ability to cover the out-of-pocket expenses if you need health care. Your health insurance won’t provide coverage until you meet your out-of-pocket deductibles and copays.
So, for instance, the Bronze Market HMO 8700 – Dayton plan premium can be as little as $339 per month for a 40-year-old, which is much cheaper than the $436 premium for the SummaCare Gold 2000. The deductible for the Bronze plan, however, is $6,700 more expensive than the Gold plan.
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