Louise Norris is an individual health insurance broker who has been writing about health insurance and health reform since 2006. She has written dozens of opinions and educational pieces about the Affordable Care Act for healthinsurance.org. Her state health exchange updates are regularly cited by media who cover health reform and by other health insurance experts.
Healthcare.gov will show the health insurance options available in your state along with the premiums and how much (if any) federal subsidies you could receive. The number of choices you have available will depend on where you live. Assuming enough insurers participated in your state, you'll be able to choose between bronze, silver, gold, and platinum plans. 
Virtual Visits, Powered by MDLIVE may not be available on all plans. Virtual Visits are subject to the terms and conditions of your benefit plan, including benefits, limitations, and exclusions. MDLIVE operates subject to state regulations and may not be available in certain states. MDLIVE is not an insurance product nor a prescription fulfillment warehouse. MDLIVE does not guarantee that a prescription will be written. MDLIVE does not prescribe DEA-controlled substances, non-therapeutic drugs and certain other drugs that may be harmful because of their potential for abuse. MDLIVE physicians reserve the right to deny care for potential misuse of services.
Health care reform has made finding insurance more straightforward, but there’s no guarantee that what you find on the state or federal health exchanges will be your cheapest option. Shopping around is still important as you evaluate your options. Our online quote tool will help you begin searching for cheap health insurance providers in your area.
If you are going to buy your own insurance, start your research with Web sites that explain the basics, such as healthinsuranceinfo.net, sponsored by the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute, and healthcarecoach.com, from the nonprofit National Health Law Program. They will help you understand the concepts and language of health insurance, which aren’t always easy to grasp, and should give you some sense of the questions to ask about any plan. Healthinsurance.org has useful information, but be aware that the site also provides insurance quotes from what it calls “carefully chosen partners who are in the business of selling health insurance.”
To help you get started finding the best health plan available for your preferred level of coverage, we compared Texas policies by metal tier and identified the cheapest option available in the state. The set of insurers and health plans varies by county, so not all of those listed below are available in every region. We recommend using these as a starting point to assess the monthly premiums you can expect as compared to benefits and out-of-pocket expenses.
Prices are fixed by law, so you will not find better prices for the same plan anywhere else. But comparing your options might help you find low-cost health insurance. You can shop around online and use free quotes from eHealth to find providers that offer high-quality, low-cost individual and family health insurance plans. Seeing all your options could make finding low-cost health insurance easier.
In Illinois, short-term health insurance can be purchased from insurance providers outside of the state health insurance exchange. The state currently restricts short-term health insurance lengths to less than six months and allows the plans to be renewable for up to 36 months. In addition, you cannot purchase a new short-term plan from the same insurer within 60 days of the end of your last short-term policy.
Illinois residents can find cheap health insurance plans on the state exchange from a variety of coverage levels. To help you get started in your search for the best health coverage, we compared all Silver policies and found that the Blue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203 is the cheapest health insurance plan in half of Illinois counties. But the set of health insurance plans available will vary depending on the county you live in. For instance, Cigna's Connect 4000 was typically most affordable in the seven counties where it was offered. The best health insurance plan in your county may be a different policy, particularly if you choose another tier of coverage.
Blue Cross Blue Shield Association is an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. Blue Cross Blue Shield Association is not a health insurance company and does not sell health insurance. Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance is provided by your local, independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies and is marketed through authorized State Farm agents. Neither State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company nor any of its subsidiaries or affiliates are financially responsible for these products.

What if you're anticipating a significant change in medical expenses? Simply adjust your calculations to reflect your best guess as to what your medical costs might be over the coming year. Even if you don't expect a big change, it can be quite useful to perform some "what if" scenarios to evaluate the impact of much higher or much lower medical expenses than you've had in the past.


The higher metal tier health plans, such as Gold and Platinum tiers, come with higher premiums, but significantly lower out of pocket expenses, such as deductibles, copays and coinsurance. Therefore, they're typically a more cost-effective option if you expect to have consistent or high medical expenses. For instance, people with consistent prescription needs may want to consider Gold and Platinum plans that have cheap out-of-pocket expenses for prescription drugs.


HealthMarkets Insurance Agency, Inc. is licensed as an insurance agency in all 50 states and DC. Not all agents are licensed to sell all products. Service and product availability varies by state. Sales agents may be compensated based on a consumer’s enrollment in a health plan. Agent cannot provide tax or legal advice. Contact your tax or legal professional to discuss details regarding your individual business circumstances. Our quoting tool is provided for your information only. All quotes are estimates and are not final until consumer is enrolled. Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed this information.
What if you're anticipating a significant change in medical expenses? Simply adjust your calculations to reflect your best guess as to what your medical costs might be over the coming year. Even if you don't expect a big change, it can be quite useful to perform some "what if" scenarios to evaluate the impact of much higher or much lower medical expenses than you've had in the past.
There's one important thing to keep in mind, though -- you can only receive a federal subsidy if you go through a government exchange (Healthcare.gov or your state's exchange), licensed agents with the proper certification, or qualified online insurance marketplaces partnering with a government exchange (click here to see which online sites qualify).
Humana individual dental plans are insured or offered by Humana Insurance Company, HumanaDental Insurance Company, Humana Insurance Company of New York, The Dental Concern, Inc., CompBenefits Insurance Company, CompBenefits Insurance Company, CompBenefits Company, CompBenefits Dental, Inc., Humana Employers Health Plan of Georgia, Inc., Humana Health Benefit Plan of Louisiana, Inc., or DentiCare, Inc. (DBA CompBenefits). Discount plans are offered by HumanaDental Insurance Company, Humana Insurance Company, or Texas Dental Plans, Inc. Arizona residents insured by Humana Insurance Company. Texas residents insured or offered by Humana Insurance Company, HumanaDental Insurance Company, or DentiCare, Inc. (DBA CompBenefits).
The set of available insurers changes by county, so the best cheap health insurance plan available to you in Illinois will depend on where you live and your chosen level of coverage. Higher metal tier health plans, such as Gold policies, have more expensive monthly premiums but significantly lower out-of-pocket expenses, such as deductibles, copays and coinsurance. So, if you have costly prescriptions or are concerned about unpredictable costs during the year if you become ill, a higher metal plan will likely be your best health insurance choice. On the other hand, if you have a large emergency savings to cover cost-sharing, but have no expected medical costs and want to keep your monthly rates down, a lower metal tier plan may be the cheapest.
Short-term plans are back thanks to the executive order signed by President Trump late last year known simply as Obamacare Relief. Short-term medical insurance plans offer little in terms of coverage, but their low cost makes them a great choice for the young and healthy. You probably won’t get your pre-existing conditions covered or preventive services paid for, but if you come down with any serious injury or illness, short-term plans will be there to save the day.
You may be able to get extra help to pay for your prescription drug premiums and costs. To see if you qualify for getting extra help, call: 1-800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227). TTY or TDD users should call 877-486-2048, 24 hours a day/7 days a week; The Social Security Office at 800-772-1213 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. TTY or TDD users should call, 800-325-0778; or Your State Medical Assistance (Medicaid) Office.

Health care reform has made finding insurance more straightforward, but there’s no guarantee that what you find on the state or federal health exchanges will be your cheapest option. Shopping around is still important as you evaluate your options. Our online quote tool will help you begin searching for cheap health insurance providers in your area.
The Cost-Sharing Reduction helps lower or even cover the amount you pay out of pocket when you receive health care. This means that when you go to the doctor's office, get an x-ray, or visit the emergency room, you can have your out-of-pocket expenses (e.g. deductibles, copay, coinsurance) lowered by having your health insurance provider cover more of your costs.
Silver health plans are also a good middle ground between Bronze and Gold plans, combining affordable monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs. So, for instance, if you can't afford the rates of a Gold plan in Illinois but would have trouble covering the high deductible and copayment of a Bronze plan, a Silver plan may be the best alternative. Just note that the out-of-pocket costs of Silver plans are still much higher than those of Gold plans.
If you are looking for individual or family health insurance, it helps to get advice and ask questions. Licensed insurance agents at eHealth are here to help you make the right decisions for you and your family. They can give personalized opinions on what plans will work best for you based on budget and medical needs. Enrolling in a health insurance plan with the help of an agent comes at no extra cost to you.
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