If you are looking for individual health insurance in Massachusetts, you can purchase cheap coverage through the Health Connector state exchange. In the marketplace, you will be able to find a policy that fits your financial situation and provides adequate coverage for your medical needs. After comparing health insurance policies for the five largest counties in Massachusetts, we found that the Tufts Health Direct Silver 2000 II was the cheapest Silver plan available.
- Cheapest Health Insurance Coverage by Metal Tier
- Short-Term Health Insurance
- Health Insurance Companies in Massachusetts
- Cheapest Silver Plan By County
Cheapest Health Insurance by Metal Tier
To help you find the best health insurance in Massachusetts, we compared health plans offered in the largest counties to find the most affordable option for each metal tier of coverage. The table below shows the cheapest plan available along with the monthly premiums for a 40-year-old, including deductible, and out-of-pocket maximum. These plans should be used as an initial evaluation of a metal tier that would fit your individual needs.
|Metal Tier||Cheapest Plan||Deductible||Out-of-Pocket Maximum||Monthly Premium for a 40-year-old|
|Catastrophic||Tufts Health Direct Catastrophic||$7,900||$7,900||$239.15|
|Bronze||Tufts Health Direct Bronze 2750||$2,750||$7,900||$245.98|
|Silver||Tufts Health Direct Silver 2000 II||$2,000||$7,900||$311.93|
|Gold||BMC HealthNet Plan Low Gold||$2,000||$5,500||$330.27|
|Platinum||BMC HealthNet Plan Platinum||$0||$3,000||$432.89|
Sample rates are from the largest five counties in Massachusetts.
Gold and Platinum are the most expensive policies offered, but they have the lowest deductibles available. For example, the Gold plan has a premium that is $91 more per month for a 40-year-old than the premium for the Catastrophic policy. The Catastrophic plan is the most affordable because it has the highest deductible amount among all health plans offered in Massachusetts.
When a health insurance provider calculates your monthly premium, a key determinant will be your age. As you can see from the graph below, for every metal tier, the monthly premium will get progressively more expensive as your age increases. For example, for a Silver policy, a 40-year-old will pay on average 18%, or $71 more per month than a 21-year-old. The difference is even larger for a 60-year-old who pays 70%, or $328, more per month than a 40-year-old.
Finding the Best Health Insurance Coverage in Massachusetts
The best health insurance coverage for you will be determined by your level of income and expected medical cost. Both of these factors will directly affect what plans will be affordable and appropriate for the medical services you require.
Massachusetts has adopted the expanded version of Medicaid. This allows anyone with a household income of less than 138% of the federal poverty level to enroll in Medicaid. If you are not eligible for this program, then you would purchase an individual health insurance policy through the Massachusetts state marketplace.
To aid you in choosing a tier level that fits your needs, we have detailed each level of coverage and who it would work best for.
Start with Silver Plans
We recommend beginning your health insurance search with Silver metal tier plans. These policies have modest premiums and deductibles. For instance, the cheapest Silver plan has a monthly premium that is $66 more than the cheapest Bronze plan but a deductible that is $750 less.
In some situations, Silver plans can be the most cost-effective health policy due to cost-sharing reductions. These deductions reduce the amount you would pay in deductibles, co-insurance and co-pays. However, you will only be eligible for cost-sharing reductions if your household income falls below 250% of the federal poverty level.
Gold and Platinum Plans: Great if You Have Expensive Medical Costs
Gold and Platinum plans are the most expensive plans on the Massachusetts marketplace in terms of monthly premiums, but they do have the lowest deductibles and shared costs. For this reason, these policies are best if you expect to have a lot of medical expenses and will use your health insurance often. One such example would be if you have an illness and need a costly prescription refilled on a monthly basis.
Bronze and Catastrophic: Best if You are Young and Healthy
Bronze and Catastrophic are the most affordable policies but have the highest deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses. Due to the deductible level, you could end up spending a lot on smaller medical expenses before reaching the out-of-pocket maximum. Therefore, Bronze and Catastrophic are best for young, healthy individuals who want emergency protection in case of an extremely expensive medical issue.
All health plans can be purchased by anyone but you can only buy a Catastrophic policy if you are under the age of 30 or have a hardship exemption.
Short-Term Health Insurance
Short-term health insurance is not available for purchase in Massachusetts, and it is illegal under Massachusetts law for any company to offer one of these products. The main reason for this is due to the state’s strict guaranteed-issue and rating requirements for all health insurance products. Short-term plans do not meet the guaranteed-issue standard since they are medically underwritten.
Best Cheap Health Insurance Companies in Massachusetts
There are currently nine health insurance providers on the Massachusetts exchange:
- AllWays Health Partners
- Blue Cross Blue Shield
- BMC HealthNet Plan
- Harvard Pilgrim Health Care
- Health New England
- Neighborhood Health Plan
- Tufts Health Plan
It is important to consider the company that you purchase a plan from, as some companies may provide member benefits for policyholders or have better customer service. Although all of these companies sell policies in Massachusetts, a particular insurer may not be available in your county. For example, Norfolk residents have access to policy offerings from all of these health insurance companies except UnitedHealthCare, Neighborhood Health Plan and Health New England.
Cheapest Silver Plan by County
The availability of health insurance, as well as the cost, will be affected by the county that you live in. For instance, for a 40-year-old, the Tufts Health Direct Silver 2000 II is the cheapest Silver plan in Suffolk County with a monthly premium of $318.73. However, in Worcester, the same Silver plan is $352.66 and not the most affordable Silver policy offered.
|County||Cheapest Plan||Premium Adult, Age 21||Premium Adult, Age 40||Premium Adult, Age 60|
|Essex||Tufts Health Direct Silver 2000 II||$264.89||$311.93||$529.66|
|Middlesex||Tufts Health Direct Silver 2000 II||$264.89||$311.93||$529.66|
|Norfolk||Tufts Health Direct Silver 2000 II||$270.11||$318.08||$540.14|
|Suffolk||Tufts Health Direct Silver 2000 II||$270.66||$318.73||$541.20|
|Worcester||Community Care Silver Connector II||$299.48||$352.66||$598.82|