Highlights and Updates
- Alabama uses the federally run Marketplace.
- Open enrollment for 2021 runs from November 1, 2020, to December 15, 2020. Alabama residents with qualifying events can still enroll or make changes to their 2020 coverage.
- Short-term health plans are available for up to 364 days.
- 166,128 enrolled in coverage through the Alabama Marketplace in 2019.
Health Insurance Plans in Alabama
There are many health insurance plans to choose from in Alabama, but which health insurance company and plan is right for you?
The state Marketplace (Healthcare.gov) is the best option for affordable health insurance with the best coverage. The Marketplace for 2021 health insurance plans in Alabama will open November 1, 2020, to December 15, 2020.
The Alabama state Marketplace has two health insurance companies available to residents: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama and Bright Health Insurance Company. Bright Health Insurance Company is only available if you reside in Chilton, Jefferson, Shelby, or Walker.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama comes out on top regarding prices, but you also need to consider the coverage available. Take a closer look at the health insurance plans to find the right one for your needs.
Health Insurance Rate & Plan Forecast for 2021
Health insurance premiums, deductibles, and out-of-pocket costs are set annually by two health insurers in Alabama (Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama and Bright Health).
Since 2018, the premiums for an average 40-year-old rose by 5.5%, 4%, and 11% for Catastrophic, Bronze, and Gold plan, respectively. However, Silver decreased by 8%. Alabama residents can expect a similar rate increase for 2021 plans.
How the ACA has Helped Alabama
Since the Affordable Care Act’s implementation, Alabama is seeing steady improvements in the number of insured persons. US Census data shows that the uninsured rate in Alabama was 13.6 percent in 2013. In 2019, this figure had fallen to 11%.
Under the Trump administration, there has been a nationwide uptick in the uninsured rate. The rate was 9.4% percent in 2017, but Alabama’s rejection of Medicaid expansion left tens of thousands of residents without any realistic access to coverage.
How Much is Health Insurance in Alabama?
Alabama is the 6th most expensive state for premium expenses. The average monthly premium for health insurance is $691, or $8,292 per year, but this figure very much depends on your age. For example, the average monthly cost of health insurance in Alabama for a 40-year-old is $488.
Additionally, subsidies are available to those on a low-income. 94% of Alabama residents who enrolled in a health plan through the Marketplace in 2019 received financial assistance, drastically reducing costs. The average monthly insurance premium in Alabama decreases to $130 with the Advanced Premium Tax Credit.
Cheap Health Insurance Plans in Alabama by Metal Tier
Is price the most important factor guiding your decision when buying health insurance? If so, consider the plans available from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama.
Although there are two insurers available on Alabama’s Marketplace, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama consistently provide the cheapest prices on all metal tier plans.
The estimates for the following health insurance plans in Alabama are for the average 40-year-old resident.
- Blue Protect is the cheapest plan. This is the company’s Catastrophic tier, and the average monthly cost is $293.78. This plan has an $8,150 deductible and an $8,150 out-of-pocket maximum.
- The Bronze plan is next, with an average monthly cost of $361.29. It has an annual deductible and an out-of-pocket maximum of $8,150.
- Blue Cross Select Silver health care plan is next. This is the cheapest silver tier plan in the state and has a monthly premium of $490.91, the deductible is $3,250, and the out-of-pocket maximum is $8,150.
- Blue Cross Select Gold has the highest premium but the lowest deductible and out-of-pocket costs. The monthly premium is $600.76, but the deductible is $850, and the out-of-pocket maximum is $6,000.
Keep in mind that the cost of the health insurance plan increases as you age. For instance, a 60-year-old will have to pay around $700 more than a 40-year-old for a Gold plan – a significant increase that is the case for all Alabama health insurance plans.
Choosing Health Insurance Plans in Alabama
The plans available to you depend on the county you live in and the level of your income.
Should your income fall below a certain threshold, you will qualify for subsidies – 94 percent of Alabama residents received financial assistance to cover their premiums in 2019.
Regardless of your county or income, you will still have a variety of metal tiers to choose from when selecting a policy.
Finding the right plan is much more than scrolling through the premium costs. Gold and Silver plans will charge a higher monthly premium but have lower out-of-pocket costs than Bronze and Catastrophic plans.
Individuals with health issues who will likely require frequent healthcare will likely be better suited to a higher metal tier policy. Conversely, young and healthy individuals will often opt for a lower-tier plan to save money.
Gold Plans — Ideal for High Medical Costs
The gold-standard of health insurance. These health insurance plans in Alabama provide the best coverage, but also the highest premiums. If you have a chronic condition, lots of medical expenses, or need lots of prescriptions, a plan in this tier is likely right for you. You can expect your plan to cover 80% of healthcare costs.
Silver Plans — Ideal for Average Medical Costs and/or Low Incomes
Silver plan premiums are approximately 9% cheaper than Gold and more than 50% pricier than Bronze. If you qualify, Silver plans can include a cost-sharing reduction subsidy for low-income households, which covers a large portion of out-of-pocket expenses.
Silver plans will cover 70% of your healthcare costs, but this can increase to 94% with a subsidy.
Catastrophic and Bronze Plans — Ideal for Healthy Young People
If you are young and healthy, you aren’t as concerned about out-of-pocket costs because you won’t be using your insurance very often. Instead, the priority is low premiums.
Catastrophic plans have the lowest premiums and least coverage, but you must be under 30 years old to enroll. A Bronze plan is available to everyone with cheap premiums and high out-of-pocket costs. These plans cover 60% of your healthcare costs.
Short-Term Health Insurance in Alabama
If you are in between jobs or have temporarily lost insurance for another reason, consider short-term health insurance in Alabama.
Short-term insurance doesn’t cover mental health services, maternity care, or prescription drugs, but it can pick up some of the costs you incur for other services. These plans are available to enroll in year-round and can provide coverage for up to one year (re-enrollment is possible for up to 36 months).
Best Cheap Health Insurance Companies in Alabama
Of the two health insurance companies available on the Alabama state Marketplace, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama generally has cheaper options.
The provider’s policies are also available throughout the state, unlike Bright Health Insurance Company.
The Blue Cross Select Silver is the cheapest silver plan in every Alabama county region. But, as discussed before, the same health plan does have a different rate in each county.
In Green County, a 40-year-old person will pay an average monthly premium of $491, but it would cost the same person $561 if they lived in Madison. Alabama residents can expect to pay between these two figures for their monthly Blue Cross Select Silver premium.
Average Cost by Family Size in Alabama
Aside from the level of metal tier and age, the number of family members included in your Alabama health insurance plan will impact costs.
In Alabama, a family of three (two 40-year-old parents and one child) can expect to pay $1,330 in monthly premiums. For each additional child, the average cost of a Silver plan increases by $265.
This monthly rate for children will remain the same until they reach the age of 15. At this point, the premium will rise as they get older.
|Family Size||AVG Monthly Cost of Plan|
|Individual + Child||$797|
|Couple Age 40||$1,066|
|Family of three (Adult couple and a child)||$1,330|
|Family of four (Adult couple and two children)||$1,595|
|Family of five (Adult couple and three children)||$1,860|
Get Help Comparing Health Insurance Plans in Alabama
There are many health insurance plans in Alabama, and selecting one can be overwhelming. Fortunately, our licensed insurance agents are here to help you through the process. Call 1-855-881-0430 to go over your options and select a policy that matches your budget and healthcare needs.