How Much Does Health Insurance Cost?

What is the cost of health insurance? Americans pay dramatically varying monthly premiums for medical insurance across the country. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, these rates are not based on gender or previous medical conditions, but a number of other criteria affect how much you pay. In order to better understand how much you might spend on health insurance and why we will go over these elements below.


  • Health insurance premium costs are influenced by a variety of factors, such as local and state legislation, your location, whether you receive insurance via your work, and the type of plan you select.
  • Employers paid 73% of the average yearly premium for a family of four’s health coverage in 2020, which was $21,342.
  • One reason wages haven’t increased significantly over the previous 20 years may be the rise in company health costs.
  • Wyoming had the highest benchmark plan premium for a 27-year-old in 2020, at $648, and New Hampshire had the lowest, at $273.
  • The size of the company you work for and the type of plan you purchase through a federal or state government exchange can both affect the deductibles.

How much does individual health insurance cost?

Individual health insurance premiums can vary. Your real health insurance cost depends on a number of factors, including your own coverage preferences, age, income, location, the number of family members (if any), and the amount of medical treatment you use.

When you are aware of your health plan’s premiums, deductibles, cost-sharing charges, and maximum out-of-pocket limits, you can obtain an accurate assessment of your costs. You can also compare health insurance plans using this information. At eHealth, licensed insurance brokers provide in-depth knowledge of the available health plans. They can assist you in weighing your options and locating an affordable health plan that suits your requirements.

10 elements that influence premiums

You have little control over several aspects that determine how much you spend on health insurance. Nevertheless, it’s beneficial to comprehend what they are. Here are 10 important elements that influence the price of health insurance premiums.

What is individual health insurance?

Some people choose to purchase their own health insurance, while others enroll in a group plan offered by their job or union. Even if you add family members to the plan, obtaining your own health insurance qualifies you for an individual plan. If this seems like what you need, let eHealth walk you through all of your options for individual and family health insurance. Then, use our free tool for comparing quotes to discover a price that works for you.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has made it possible for individuals to obtain individual health insurance through a government exchange or marketplace (often known as ACA plans) or directly from commercial insurers. There may be seasonal limitations on when you can get health insurance through a government exchange. Typically, you can obtain health insurance at any moment from a private insurance company.

Understanding the many alternatives for individual health insurance can be done by first looking at ACA plans. Metals are used to group ACA health insurance policies. The metallic plans, Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum, are covered in more detail.

Hospitalizations, outpatient and preventative care, maternity and child services, lab tests, rehabilitation services, mental health treatment, and prescription drugs are just a few of the ten core features that all ACA plans must offer. Each insurer is free to choose how to offer these benefits, as well as potential other benefits. The metallic levels make it easier for customers to comprehend how much of the average cost of medical care will be covered by the plan and how much will be paid by the consumer.

Deductibles versus premiums

The typical structure of health insurance policies is higher premiums with lower deductibles or lower rates with greater deductibles. Your decision will have an impact on how much you’ll pay in monthly premiums and out-of-pocket for medical care.

If you don’t think you’ll need a lot of medical attention in the coming year, a health plan with a high deductible can be a suitable option. Before you hit your deductible, health insurance companies don’t start contributing to the cost of medical treatments. Once your deductible has been met, you usually have to pay coinsurance, which is when you and your health insurance provider split the cost of medical treatment.

As an illustration, until you reach the out-of-pocket maximum of your health plan, this can include you paying 20% and the health plan paying 80%.

Calculate your annual health insurance premium cost and take the deductible into account when choosing a health plan. Would you save enough money from lower premiums to justify a higher deductible payment? Or can you afford to pay higher premiums knowing that you’ll have money saved up in case you require medical attention during the year?

A health plan with a larger premium and smaller deductible could make sense if you anticipate needing medical services, especially if you’re expecting a child or organizing a procedure. But if you don’t think you’ll need a lot of medical treatment, a high-deductible health plan can be a decent option.

If you’re seeking an ACA plan, Bronze and Silver plans are less expensive than Gold or Platinum policies but have greater deductibles. Although the premiums for Gold and Platinum plans are greater, you pay less out of pocket for medical care.

Plan benefit design

The flexibility of a plan and the price you pay for health insurance are influenced by its benefit structure. The most prevalent types of health insurance plans available in the ACA marketplace are HMO and EPO plans. Although they are not nearly as widespread in the market, PPO and point-of-service (POS) plans are also available on the ACA exchanges.

Factors That Influence Health Insurance Costs

The ACA permits health insurance to base premiums on a variety of variables. Here are the factors that affect prices in the ACA market.

Your age Unlike the employer-sponsored health insurance market, insurance firms in the ACA marketplace take a person’s age into account when determining premiums. Here’s a look at how an individual’s age affects the price of a health plan.

Your residence

The cost of insurance is influenced by where you live. Since there are fewer companies to split the expense of providing health insurance in that area, insurers in states with fewer health insurance policies on the market may charge more for coverage.

People in rural areas may pay more for care than those in urban and suburban areas since those places may provide fewer health plan options.

Regardless of smoking

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) permits insurance providers to charge smokers a higher premium. A smoker may pay up to 50% more for health insurance than a nonsmoker.

Metal shelf

On the ACA marketplace, metal tiers assist consumers in making cost-based plan selections. Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze are the different metal tiers.

The majority of ACA health plans are Bronze and Silver, which have lower rates and larger deductibles. Compared to Bronze or Silver plans, Gold health plans feature greater premium prices but lower out-of-pocket expenses. A small portion of ACA policies is platinum plans, which have higher premiums and lower deductibles.

Whether you prefer to pay greater premiums or larger deductibles will determine which metal tier you select.

Number of those who are protected

It is cheaper expensive to have a single policy than to have several persons covered by it. Adding people to your health plan will have the following impact on your health insurance costs.

Average ACA marketplace plan costs broken down on the number of participants

Health plan type

Costs and the way you receive care are impacted by a health plan’s benefits structure.

Although HMOs and EPOs typically have lower premiums, you are required to use the plan’s provider network. In an EPO or HMO, non-emergency care received outside of the network is typically not covered by health insurance. As an alternative, you must pay for everything.

PPOs give you the most freedom to receive care outside of your network because you don’t have to designate a primary care physician or obtain a prescription to see a specialist.

If you’re contrasting a PPO with an HMO or EPO, you must consider whether flexibility or reduced premiums are more important to you.

Your family’s income

Based on your household income, the ACA marketplace gives premium tax credits and cost-sharing subsidies. You may be able to reduce your premiums and out-of-pocket expenses as a result.

The eligibility for premium tax credits is 400% or less of the federal poverty level for households. Silver plan holders may also be eligible for cost-sharing subsidies that lower out-of-pocket expenses.

When you enter your household income and the size of your family onto the exchange’s website, the ACA marketplace will take those facts into account.


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