Health Insurance Plans in North Carolina
Health insurance companies in North Carolina offer Catastrophic, Bronze, Silver, and Gold tier policies on the state’s insurance marketplace. Medicaid is also available for low-income households. Many North Carolina residents choose Silver tier policies because they offer a combination of affordable premiums and reasonable out-of-pocket costs. Blue Value 7000 and Blue Select 7000 are the cheapest Silver policies offered in most of the state. Cigna offers health insurance in Chatham, Johnston, Nash, Orange, and Wake counties. If you live in one of these counties, the Cigna 5500 policy is the most affordable.
Before buying coverage, compare the cheapest health insurance plans in North Carolina by tier.
Cheap Health Insurance Plans in North Carolina by Metal Tier
North Carolina health insurance companies serve different areas of the state. Still, comparing cheap health insurance in North Carolina by metal tier is the right place to start when shopping for policies. Even if the most inexpensive policy for your tier of choice isn’t available where you live, this research will help you determine the approximate amount you can expect to pay for coverage.
The quotes are based on an average 40-year-old North Carolina resident.
The cheapest Catastrophic policy is the Blue Value Catastrophic (limited network). The monthly premium is $231.32, and the deductible and out-of-pocket maximum are $7,350.
The most affordable Bronze plan is Cigna Connect 6400. This plan has a monthly premium of $413.57, a deductible of $6,400, and an out-of-pocket maximum of $7,350.
If you want one of the Silver health insurance plans in North Carolina, Cigna Connect 5500 is the cheapest. It has a monthly premium of $528.92, a deductible of $5,500, and an out-of-pocket maximum of $7,350.
Finally, you can get a Gold tier plan. Blue Local 2500 (local network with Duke Health and WakeMed) is the most affordable. The monthly premium is $608.90, the deductible is $2,500, and the out-of-pocket maximum is $7,350.
Premiums go up and down depending on your age. Twenty-one-year-olds pay 28 percent less than 40-year-olds for the same policy. Sixty-year-olds pay 112 percent more than 40-year-olds.
Choosing Health Insurance Plans in North Carolina
When looking for cheap health insurance in North Carolina, you can’t focus on the premium alone. Premiums vary by metal tier, but so do out-of-pocket costs. It is important to choose a health insurance plan that offers the right amount of coverage for your medical needs. If you don’t have many medical needs, a lower-tier plan might be the right choice. However, if you do have a lot of medical expenses, you need to consider a higher-tier plan, so you don’t end up spending thousands of dollars.
Take a closer look at the metal tiers before choosing your coverage.
Gold Plans — Ideal for High Medical Costs
If you use your insurance regularly, a Gold plan might be the right choice. The premiums are considerably higher than they are in the other metal tiers, but the low out-of-pocket costs make up for it if you have a lot of medical expenses. Consider your healthcare needs along with the prescriptions you take. If you need ongoing care for a chronic health condition or take lots of prescriptions, a Gold plan might be your most affordable option, even with the high premiums.
Silver Plans — Ideal for Average Medical Costs and/or Low Incomes
The Silver tier contains some of the most popular health insurance plans in North Carolina. People of average health like these plans because the premiums are cheaper than they are with Gold plans, while the out-of-pocket expenses are lower than they are with Catastrophic and Bronze plans. These plans allow people to limit their out-of-pocket costs without spending lots of money on premiums.
These plans are also extremely popular for low-income households. If your income falls below a certain level, you can qualify for a cost-sharing reduction subsidy. These subsidies cover some of the out-of-pocket expenses, making Silver plans even more affordable. Silver plans with subsidies actually provide more coverage than Gold plans do.
Catastrophic and Bronze Plans — Ideal for Healthy Young People
If you are under 30 or have a hardship exemption, you can get a Catastrophic plan. However, all North Carolinians are eligible for Bronze plans. Both tiers offer low premiums, but the out-of-pocket expenses are much higher than they are with other tiers. If you are young and in excellent health, one of these plans might be the right choice due to the low premiums. However, if you experience a medical emergency, you will have to pay out of your own pocket before the coverage kicks in. If you don’t have enough in savings to cover an emergency, consider a Silver plan.
Short-Term Health Insurance in North Carolina
Short-term health insurance is not sold on the state’s exchange due to federal regulations. However, you can buy short-term health insurance in North Carolina off the exchange. Short-term policies can be purchased for an initial term of up to a year. You can renew the policy for up to 36 months, per federal guidelines.
To obtain one of these policies, you must go through the medical underwriting process. You might not be approved if you have a preexisting condition. Even if you are approved, these policies offer limited coverage. They don’t cover essential health benefits, such as prescriptions and mental health care. Although the policies don’t provide much coverage, they can be beneficial for those who missed open enrollment for health insurance.
Get Help Comparing Health Insurance Plans in North Carolina
Comparing health insurance plans in North Carolina can be confusing if you aren’t well-versed on the different policies available. Get help selecting a policy by calling 1-888-497-1683. A licensed insurance agent will guide you through the process, answer questions, and help you pick the best policy for your specific needs and budget.