Health Insurance Plans in California
Cheap health insurance in California is easier to find than you might think. Various health insurance companies provide policies on the state’s online insurance exchange, with L.A. Care Health Plan, Anthem Insurance, Blue Cross, and Blue Cross Blue Shield being the most popular choices for people who want cheap insurance. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of California provides plans throughout the state, while L.A. Care Health Plan is only available to Los Angeles County residents. Those who do live in Los Angeles County can get the Silver 70 HMO, which is the most affordable Silver tier plan in California.
If you make less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level, you might qualify for Medicaid. California has 45 days to process your Medicaid application.
Regardless of if you qualify for Medicaid or need another option, you can find excellent health insurance plans in California.
Cheap Health Insurance Plans in California by Metal Tier
If you don’t receive health insurance from the federal government or an employer, you can buy a plan on the California health insurance marketplace. These plans are divided by metal tier. Let’s look at the cheapest health insurance plans available on the Covered California health insurance marketplace. These quotes are based on the average costs for policies issued to 40-year-old California residents.
Catastrophic is at the bottom of the metal tier system. Minimum Coverage EnhancedCare PPO is the cheapest Catastrophic plan in the state, with an estimated monthly premium of $168.95. The deductible and out-of-pocket maximum are $7,900.
The most affordable Bronze level plan is the Bronze 60 HDHP EPO. The monthly premium is $261.90, the deductible is $6,000, and the out-of-pocket maximum is $6,650.
The Silver tier is next on the list. If you want affordable health insurance in California, consider the Silver 70 HMO plan. The monthly premium is $362.31, and the deductible is $2,500. The out-of-pocket maximum is $7,550.
If you want to get a Gold tier plan without paying too much, the Gold 80 HMO is a good option. It has a $365.77 monthly premium, and it does not have a deductible. There is an out-of-pocket maximum of $7,200.
Finally, you can get the Platinum plan. The Platinum 90 HMO has a $428.76 monthly premium, $0 deductible, and $3,350 out-of-pocket maximum. This is one of the most popular health insurance plans in California for people who want as much coverage as possible.
As you age, your premiums will increase. By the time you reach the age of 60, you can expect to pay 112 percent more on a Silver plan than you did at the age of 40. The reverse is true too. Younger people pay significantly less. A 21-year-old can expect to pay 28 percent less on a Silver plan when compared to a 40-year-old.
How to Find the Best Health Insurance Plan in California
When looking at health insurance plans in California, you need to consider more than the cost of the plan. You also need to look at the coverage provided. Examine what each metal tier offers to get a better idea of what type of coverage you need.
Gold and Platinum Plans — Ideal for High Medical Costs
Gold and platinum plans are the best health insurance plans in California for people who expect high medical costs. These plans do have high premiums, but the out-of-pocket expenses are much lower than other health insurance plans. You will pay the deductible quickly and then benefit from the coinsurance. These plans help you with everything from diagnostic testing to prescriptions and can save you money when you have health issues.
Silver Plans — Ideal for Average Medical Costs and/or Low Incomes
If you earn less than 250 percent of the federal poverty level, a Silver plan might be the right option. You will receive cost-sharing reductions along with tax credits to help you pay the premium and out-of-pocket expenses. While the tax credits are available for all plans, the cost-sharing reductions are only an option if you purchase a Silver plan.
These plans are also a good choice for people who are relatively healthy but intend to use their insurance. The premium is much lower than a Gold plan, and the out-of-pocket expenses are less than a Catastrophic or Bronze plan.
Catastrophic and Bronze Plans — Ideal for Healthy Young People
If you are young and healthy, you can benefit from a Catastrophic or Bronze plan. The premiums are low, but the high out-of-pocket costs make these plan a poor choice for people who expect to spend much time at the doctor’s office. Anyone is eligible for a Bronze plan, but you must be 30 or younger to get a Catastrophic plan.
Short-term Health Insurance in California
You cannot purchase short-term health insurance in California. Lawmakers passed Senate Bill 910 in 2018. This bill banned the sale of short-term health insurance beginning on Jan. 1, 2019. It is no surprise that California ended up banning short-term health insurance. The state already had significant regulations on these policies. The state had limited the policies to 185 days, even though the federal government limits the policies to a year.
Short-term health insurance policies in California are no longer legal for good reason. Most of these policies don’t cover mental health, maternity, prescription drugs, and more, meaning that they don’t provide the coverage most people need.
Student Health Insurance in California
Student health insurance plans are also available on the Covered California portal. Along with student health insurance, young people also have the option to stay on their parent’s policies until they reach the age of 26. They can also sign up for a school-sponsored plan if their schools offer it. It’s important for students to compare health insurance plans in California before making a decision.
Get Help Comparing Health Insurance Plans in California
There are lots of health insurance companies in California, and these companies offer an assortment of plans. Choosing the right one is essential so you can get the coverage you need. Make the process easy by calling 1-888-497-1683. You will be connected to a licensed insurance agent who will help you compare quotes and select the best policy.