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How To Get Cheap Medical Insurance In 2023

Affordable and cheap medical/ health insurance is available for many middle-class Americans. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, those with incomes between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level (FPL) became eligible for subsidies to bring health insurance premiums within reach.

Further, the Medicaid program was expanded upward to include all adults with an income below 138% of the federal poverty level. Still, there are challenges for some Americans when it comes to finding affordable health insurance premiums—especially for those at the higher end of the subsidy range and beyond.

Health insurance is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family against unpredictable medical costs.

Regardless of whether you’re young or old, healthy or sick, or somewhere in between, the best way to find affordable health insurance is to shop around among several different providers and compare plans based on what they offer, your monthly premiums, your annual out-of-pocket costs, and other details. 

What is the cheapest individual health insurance?

Picking the best affordable health insurance is often difficult. The best affordable health insurance policy for you is a plan that provides adequate health coverage for you and your family.

In most situations, this means that it covers the basics, but is also there if there is a serious medical emergency that ends up being expensive during the plan year.

I recommend that you compare health insurance plans to find the right option for you and your family.

The best low-cost health plan for you is the one that provides adequate coverage for you and your family at a price you can afford.

Bronze plans are the most affordable, but Silver plans may be a better choice if you want more coverage or want services like vision and dental. 

The essential health benefits are: 

  • Outpatient services 
  • Emergency services 
  • Hospitalization 
  • Maternity and newborn care 
  • Mental health and substance abuse care 
  • Prescription drugs 
  • Rehabilitative services 
  • Laboratory services 
  • Preventative and wellness services 
  • Pediatric services 

Do you need dental insurance? Read about 10 Best Cheap Dental Insurance Companies in 2023

Short-term health insurance

Want more out of your health insurance? Short-term insurance is lower cost and easier to find than Marketplace plans. These plans generally have low-cost monthly premiums and short durations — up to one year, though you can find some that cover several years.

Short-term health insurance, while less expensive, has limited benefits and is not required to cover the same health care needs as individual medical plans.

Short-term health insurance is temporary — it can’t replace long-term individual medical plans coverage, which is why you should think carefully before buying it.

You may have to repay the tax credits you received when buying a Marketplace plan if you return to the Marketplace or are eligible for enrollment in employer-sponsored coverage within a short period.

You may also be subject to a penalty under the individual shared responsibility payment. 

Cheap health insurance for students

Universities and colleges provide health insurance to students. As a college student, school-sponsored health insurance is often free.

In addition, if you are between the ages of 17 and 29, you can purchase an individual health plan from your insurance company.

This policy may be paid by an annual or semiannual premium. The typical student health plan provides medical coverage for most on-campus services.

Student health insurance can be a great way to get affordable health insurance if you do not want to give up your coverage when you transfer schools.

Student insurance is a smart investment for anyone who is still in school. If you have health insurance through your school, then you don’t need to worry about finding a new plan when you graduate, because most schools provide coverage for many years after graduation.

However, if you no longer need the coverage, then switching to a student health insurance policy can be a great way to save money while enjoying inexpensive medical care. 

Read: 13 Best Health Insurance In Missouri 2023

How do I choose the most affordable medical insurance?

The cheapest health insurance depends on your household income. Medicaid is the most affordable option for low-income individuals.

For those who aren’t eligible for this program, the most affordable solution may be through state marketplaces or off-exchange plans and short-term health insurance policies.

It’s important to note that if you need lots of medical care, the cheapest health insurance may not be right for you. 

Bronze package (lowest rates, high out-of-pocket expenses)

Low premium Bronze metal health insurance policies are available on state health insurance marketplaces. Although they have the lowest premiums, the deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums are higher than the other tiers.

For this reason, if you expect to have large medical expenses in the coming year, we do not recommend a Bronze policy. 

Silver package (cheap rates for low-income households) 

Silver plans are the most affordable medical insurance due to cost-sharing reductions, which allow eligible individuals to receive reductions on the amount they pay in premiums, deductibles, and out-of-pocket maximums.

For many low-income families, a Silver plan is the most affordable medical insurance due to cost-sharing reductions, which allow eligible individuals to receive reductions on the amount they pay in premiums, deductibles, and out-of-pocket maximums.

You are eligible for reductions if your household income is less than 250% of the federal poverty level.

This can reduce premiums significantly and make the Silver plan an excellent choice for many families. 

Gold package (high premiums, but low out-of-pocket expenses)

Gold health insurance plans can help you save money if you expect high medical expenses during the plan year.

For example, if you need to refill an expensive drug prescription monthly, then you should consider Gold health insurance.

If you expect high medical bills, you may also want to consider Platinum health insurance. Platinum policies have relatively expensive premiums, but also the cheapest deductibles— frequently $0.

However, these plans are not available in all states. Long-term disability insurance is often the most expensive health plan you can buy on a state’s health insurance marketplace.

Again, if you expect high medical expenses during the plan year, a Gold plan can help you save money because of its low $50 to $100 deductibles. 


Tips When Choosing A long-Term Good And Cheap Medical Insurance

Read: 15 Best Insurance Options for Pregnancy | 2023

Know where to look

It’s not always obvious where to look for health insurance. In this country, it is a truly wacky patchwork quilt of options,” Sabrina Corlette says. Just how to find health insurance depends on your situation.

For 65-plus-year-olds, Medicare is a federally run program – the government pays for much of your healthcare. If you’re disabled, you might be eligible. Self-employed? You’ll need to do more work to find affordable coverage.

Then there’s long-term disability insurance, which is available to anyone who has life and/or disability insurance through an employer. You might also be eligible if you’re self-employed or work for a small business that offers short- or long-term disability coverage.

In either case, it will only pay out if you can’t work for more than 90 days due to illness; routine doctor’s appointments and short absences from work don’t

Search based on your health status

It can be hard choosing long-term disability insurance. You might just ask your coworkers what they like, sign up through an online benefits portal, and call it a day.

If you’re shopping in the Affordable Care Act marketplace, the number of choices can feel overwhelming at first.

In Austin, Texas, insurance agents with Foundation Communities have helped clients pick from dozens of plans. With some basic questions, you can narrow things down.

Ask yourself: “Do I just want insurance for that catastrophic event that might happen or do I know I have a health issue now that I’m going to need ongoing care for?” 

Read: 10 Best Cheap Health Insurance In Texas

Learn insurance terms

To compare the true overall cost of health plans and figure out which one might work best within your budget, you need to get familiar with several important insurance terms — words like premium, cost-sharing, deductible, and copay.

Getting familiar with these different types of charges—the premium vs. the deductible, for example—will help you choose a plan that’s best for your financial situation. 

Seek the help of a professional

If you are looking for help choosing the best option for you between private health insurance plans and Medicaid programs or to help you figure out whether you’re eligible for a subsidy, a local assister can help.

Just put in your zip code at and look for an “assister” — also referred to as a health care navigator on some state websites.” 

Beware too-good-to-be-true plans sold online 

Health insurance can be a scary place. Corlette says she warns people: Don’t put your contact information in health insurance interest forms on random websites or click on online ads for insurance!

The plans that tend to crop up when you Google “I need health insurance” can seem appealing because they’re often very cheap — but they might also be “short term” plans that don’t cover basic things like prescription drugs or annual checkups.

Many experts warn that this type of plan is not a very good deal. 

Know your deadlines

If your health insurance is paid for by your employer, it’s important to remember that the Open Enrollment Period to sign up for a new plan every year generally begins in the fall.

This year, the sign-up period for marketplace plans that go into effect in January 2023 starts Nov. 1, 2021, and runs until Jan. 15, 2023.

Since the deadline can change each year depending on when the previous enrollment period ended, you should check with your insurance company or the website to find out the most current date.

If you’re signing up for Medicaid, you can enroll at any time of the year. Delao, the health navigator, says even if you’re already enrolled in a plan that seems fine and it’s tempting to just let it automatically renew, it’s always a good idea to annually check what else is available. 

Read: 13 Best Cheap Health Insurance in Washington (WA)

Frequently asked questions about how to get cheap medical insurance in 2023

What is the best option for long-term disability insurance?

If you need long-term disability insurance, there is always the best option, which is to compare available plans from the marketplace. First, check to see if you qualify for Medicaid.

What if I’m not eligible for Medicaid?

If you are not eligible, then using ACA subsidies for individual health insurance coverage can be the next-most affordable option. You can get affordable health insurance options from a variety of sources, but only compare plans from companies that you know and trust.

When is the open enrollment period on the federal health insurance marketplace?

The open enrollment period on the federal health insurance marketplace is Nov. 1 – Dec. 15. Normally you can get insurance at any time, but it’s a good idea to shop around during that time and see if you can find a better deal. If you qualify for a special enrollment period (SEP), then you’ll still be able to buy coverage and avoid being penalized for having no insurance.

How do I get the most affordable health insurance?

To get the most affordable health insurance, start by finding the available companies in your region. Then you can get quotes and compare the monthly premium, deductible, and out-of-pocket maximum to choose the most affordable option.


Regardless of where you fall within those metrics, the best way to find affordable health insurance is to shop around among several different providers and compare plans based on what they offer, your monthly premiums, your annual out-of-pocket costs, and other details.

Investopedia compared some of the top providers in this space to find the best affordable health insurance companies out there today. 




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