You can purchase cheap health insurance in Idaho through the Your Health Idaho health insurance marketplace or acquire coverage by applying to Medicaid. After comparing policies offered in the five largest counties in the state, we found that the SelectHealth Silver 3500 was the cheapest Silver metal tier health plan available in Idaho. Although this is the most affordable policy, it may not be offered in your county, as some health insurance companies do not offer plans in every region of the state.
- Cheapest Health Insurance Coverage by Metal Tier
- Short-Term Health Insurance in Idaho
- Health Insurance Companies in Idaho
- Cheapest Silver Plan by County
Cheapest Health Insurance Coverage by Metal Tier
We compared health insurance plans from the Idaho marketplace to find the lowest-cost options at each metal tier. The table below shows the cheapest individual health insurance plans for each metal tier along with the monthly cost for a 40-year-old, deductible and out-of-pocket maximum. These policies should be used to gauge what is affordable based on your financial situation.
If you do not currently have health insurance through your employer or are not enrolled in a federal health insurance plan, then you can purchase coverage through the state exchange. For example, if you own a business and are self-employed, then you could find health coverage on the marketplace.
|Metal Tier||Cheapest Plan||Deductible||Out-of-Pocket Max||Monthly Cost for 40-Year-Old|
|Catastrophic||SelectHealth Catastrophic 7900||$7,900||$7,900||$257.91|
|Bronze||IDID Southwest Bronze 7900||$7,900||$7,900||$303.53|
|Silver||SelectHealth Silver 3500||$3,500||$6,750||$478.67|
Sample rates are from the largest five counties in Idaho.
As you can see, health insurance in Idaho is broken down into four different metal tiers: Catastrophic, Bronze, Silver and Gold. All metal tiers cover the essential health benefits but differ in the amount that you would spend for that care. The lower tiers (Bronze and Catastrophic) have the cheapest premiums but the largest deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums, meaning you would have to spend a lot on medical expenses before benefits would begin. On the other hand, Silver and Gold plans have more expensive premiums but smaller deductibles.
The most influential pricing factor that insurers consider when determining health insurance rates is age. The graph below shows the average cost of health insurance for different age groups at each metal tier of coverage. As you can see, the cost of health insurance is higher for older applicants. For example, for a Silver-level policy, a 40-year-old would pay $565, which is 28% or $124 more per month than what a 21-year-old would pay for the same policy in Idaho. If you are older than 60, then you will find that your premiums have an even larger bump in price for the same metal tier of health insurance coverage—60-year-olds pay 111% or $629 more per month than 40-year-olds.
Finding the Best Health Insurance in Idaho
The best health insurance for you will depend on the availability of plans in your area as well as your health and financial situation. Expanded Medicaid is available in Idaho, which means that anyone with a household income of less than 138% of the federal poverty level would be able to apply for the program. However, Idaho has enacted an additional work requirement that only allows working individuals to be eligible for Medicaid.
When evaluating health plans, you should begin by comparing the premiums and out-of-pocket maximums of policies to determine what is affordable for your situation. Typically, if you expect to have moderate to high medical expenses throughout the year, then you should purchase an upper-tier policy with a smaller deductible but more expensive premiums.
Gold: Best If You Have High Expected Medical Costs
Gold metal tier policies are the most expensive health insurance plans in Idaho in terms of monthly premiums. However, these plans can be cost effective if you have a lot of medical costs due to the lower deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums. For example, if you needed to have a prescription filled monthly for an expensive drug, then you would reach the low deductible level quickly and then begin coinsurance or copays with your insurance provider.
Silver: Best for Affordable Premiums and Average Deductibles
We would recommend Silver plans in most situations, since these health insurance policies have modest premiums, deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums.
All health insurance policies except Catastrophic plans offer premium tax credits, but Silver policies in Idaho are also eligible for cost-sharing reductions if your household income falls below 250%. This benefit discounts on the amount that you pay in premiums, deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums. For this reason, Silver plans can be the most cost-effective tier of health insurance policy if you are eligible for the cost-sharing reductions.
Bronze and Catastrophic: Best for Low-Income and Healthy Applicants
The cheapest plans on the health insurance marketplace in Idaho are Bronze and Catastrophic. Both of these policy tiers have low monthly premiums but also high deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums. This means that you would need to spend a lot on medical expenses out-of-pocket before you would gain access to coinsurance. For this reason, you should only consider these plans if you are healthy and don’t expect to have any costly health care expenses.
Bronze plans are available for applicants of any age, but Catastrophic policies are only available if you are under 30 years old or have an exemption.
Short-Term Health Insurance in Idaho
Idaho short-term health insurance is available for purchase through insurers outside of the state insurance marketplace. The state allows for these types of policies to have term lengths of up to one year but does not permit the plan to be renewed after the initial term. Short-term health insurance plans in Idaho, similar to those in every state, are not required to provide the same level of coverage as marketplace health insurance policies. Therefore, they may not cover the essential health benefits, and you may not receive coverage for the treatment of preexisting conditions.
Health Insurance Companies in Idaho
In Idaho, there are currently four companies that provide health insurance on the state exchange:
- Mountain Health CO-OP
- Blue Cross of Idaho
- PacificSource Health Plans
As we mentioned before, SelectHealth offers the SelectHealth Silver 3500, which is the cheapest silver health insurance policy available. However, you should explore policies from other companies even if they have more expensive premiums, as those providers could offer exclusive benefits to their policyholders. This can include extras like gym membership discounts or rewards for participating in healthy activities.
Cheapest Silver Plan by County
Along with your age, health insurance providers will adjust premiums based upon the county that you live in. Furthermore, some companies may not offer any policies in your area. For example, Blue Cross of Idaho is available in all of Idaho’s five largest counties, but SelectHealth can only be found in Ada, Canyon, Kootenai and Bonneville. For this reason, we recommend you check and compare prices for health insurance and then choose a company that works best for you.
|County||Cheapest Plan||Premium Adult, Age 21||Premium Adult, Age 40||Premium Adult, Age 60|
|Ada||SelectHealth Silver 3500||$374.55||$478.67||$1,016.53|
|Canyon||SelectHealth Silver 3500||$374.55||$478.67||$1,016.53|
|Bonneville||SelectHealth Silver 2750||$400.06||$511.28||$1,085.76|
|Bannock||PQA Southeast Silver||$429.49||$548.89||$1,165.64|