The cheapest silver health insurance plan in North Carolina is Bright Health Silver 5000, which costs $437 a month for a 40-year-old in Greensboro. however, plan availability and costs vary by county. in 85% of counties in the state, the cheapest silver plan is blue cross and blue shield of north carolina.
cheapest health insurance by metal level
To help you find the most affordable health insurance rates for your desired level of coverage, we compare North Carolina policies offered in 2022 to determine the most affordable options for each level of coverage.
when we look across the state, bright health is the cheapest provider for catastrophic, expanded silver and bronze level plans. On the other hand, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is the cheapest provider for the Gold and Bronze tier plans. the cheapest plans listed below are not available in all counties in the state. however, we recommend using them as a starting point to determine the benefits and costs you can expect for a given level of coverage.
Within a metal tier, your actual health insurance premium will also vary based on the policy you choose, your age, and the size of your family. As you can see below, a 40-year-old pays $138 more for a silver health insurance plan than a 21-year-old. and a 60-year-old pays $712 more than a 40-year-old. that’s more than double the price, showing how quickly rates can go up as you age.
finding your best health insurance coverage in north carolina
The best health insurance plan for you will depend on your income level, as well as your expected expenses.
north carolina has not expanded medicaid under the affordable care act. This means that Medicaid eligibility is currently limited to those whose income is below the federal poverty level.
If your income exceeds this limit, your best health insurance options will be in the North Carolina Health Insurance Marketplace. The Marketplace also offers reduced rates on health insurance for people with low or moderate incomes who qualify for tax subsidies.
North Carolina health insurance plans are divided into tiers that represent different levels of premiums and out-of-pocket costs.
The best health insurance plan for you will balance the monthly cost of the plan with the out-of-pocket costs you may need to pay for health care. higher-tier plans typically cost more, but have lower deductibles, copays, and coinsurance. this means that you will be responsible for a smaller proportion of the medical costs. With a lower tier plan, you’ll pay less each month, but you’ll pay more for your health care.
gold plans: best for people with high anticipated medical costs
Gold plans are often the best health insurance option if you expect large medical expenses. Although these policies have higher premiums, they also have lower out-of-pocket costs, which means you’ll pay less for each visit to a health care provider. When choosing the best gold health insurance plan, be sure to also consider the cost of routine prescriptions.
silver plans: best for people with average medical costs or low income
Silver plans are generally recommended as a balance between moderate premiums and out-of-pocket costs such as deductibles and copays. Silver plans have better benefits than catastrophic and bronze plans, making them a good option for those with typical medical needs. Silver plans are also a good middle ground for buyers who can’t easily afford the higher cost of a Gold plan, but still want good coverage.
For low-income households, a silver health insurance plan may be the most affordable option because these policies are eligible for additional cost-sharing reductions (CSRs). these are additional savings that can further reduce what you pay for health care.
bronze and catastrophic plans: best for young and healthy people with low expected costs
Bronze and catastrophic health insurance plans are the cheapest plans, but you may end up paying more for medical care because your out-of-pocket costs are much higher. Please note that catastrophic plans are only available if you are under 30 or meet certain exemptions. bronze plans do not have the same restrictions.
Generally, we recommend considering these plans only if you’re young and healthy and have emergency savings to cover out-of-pocket expenses in case you need medical care. For those with little savings or disposable income, paying more for a silver plan may be the best option because the plan’s lower deductible may give you more protection against the upfront costs of large medical bills.
short term medical insurance in north carolina
In North Carolina, short-term health insurance is available for purchase through non-market health insurance companies. short-term policies are often in short supply, as they may not cover the same essential benefits as obamacare marketplace plans. In addition, this type of policy often requires that you undergo a medical evaluation to obtain coverage approval.
north carolina follows the federal rules for short-term insurance. these rules allow short-term health insurance plans to have a coverage duration of one year and be renewable for up to 36 months.
the best cheap health insurance companies in north carolina
There are currently seven health insurance companies on the North Carolina Exchange. Although each company offers a variety of policies, the range of options available may be limited depending on where you live. For example, residents of all counties have access to plans from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, one of the largest insurers in the state. however, oscar is only available in western counties and the asheville region.
cheapest health insurance plans by county
where you live in north carolina will determine the insurers and health insurance policies available. for example, someone living in raleigh would find blue home silver 6000 to be their cheapest option for a silver plan, while someone living in fayetteville would find ambetter balanced care 30.
To help you with your search, we found the cheapest silver health insurance plans available in each county, as well as examples of monthly premiums for different family sizes.
average cost of health insurance by family size in north carolina
families in north carolina pay more for each additional person covered by their health insurance plan. as you can see below, the average cost to add a child to a silver health plan in north carolina is $379. this is much cheaper than the average cost of adding an adult to a health insurance plan, which increases premiums by about $634.
changes in health insurance rates in north carolina
North Carolina’s individual insurers set the premiums for health insurance policies. proposed rates are submitted to the health insurance marketplace for approval before being offered to residents.
The average cost of a health plan increased 6% from 2021 to 2022 across all metal levels. the largest price increases were for the silver and bronze extended plan tiers, each up 8%. catastrophic plans had the lowest price increases, at 2%.
frequently asked questions
Policy details and premiums for this analysis were obtained from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) website. ValuePenguin used CMS Public Use Files (POF) to calculate average rates in North Carolina by county, family size, and metal tier. Our analysis used plans and providers for which county-level data was included in the CMS match file; those excluded from this dataset may not appear.
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