Despite the headlines about the ACA being ruled unconstitutional, it’s important to understand that this case is far from over and could eventually make its way to the Supreme Court. Shortly after the ruling was announced, CMS Administrator Seema Verma tweeted that “the exchanges are still open for business” and that “there is no impact to current coverage or coverage in a 2019 plan.”
The cheapest purchase you'll ever make is the one you don't make. It's entirely possible that you don't have to buy individual health insurance at all. Depending on which state you live in and what your income is, you might qualify for Medicaid. You can contact your nearest Medicaid office, or go to Healthcare.gov to determine if you're eligible (see step three below for the latter route).
Covered California consumers with Silver-tier coverage who do not receive a subsidy to help them pay their premium each month may be able to avoid certain rate increases in 2018 by switching to a different metal tier (Gold or Bronze) or shopping directly with an insurance company. Consumers in this situation are encouraged to contact an expert Certified Insurance Agent or Enrollment counselor for assistance.
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.
Also, keep in mind that the cost of anything, including health insurance, goes beyond just monetary impact. For example, continuing to go to the doctor you've had for years might be worth paying more on your monthly premiums. Make sure you look carefully at the provider networks for each health insurance plan you're considering if choice of provider is important to you.
Pull your medical costs from the past few years (ballpark estimates are better than nothing if you don't have this information readily available). Next, calculate how much you would have spent out-of-pocket based on the deductibles, co-payments, and co-insurance, plus what you would spend on monthly premiums with each plan. You just might find that the cheapest health insurance plan in terms of total cost actually isn't a bronze plan -- or even a silver plan.
Now insurers have to cover you regardless of your health history, and they can't charge you more because of medical conditions. You qualify for health insurance even if you're pregnant, have a long-term condition like diabetes or a serious illness such as cancer. Health plans also can't cap the amount of benefits you receive, and they can't make you pay more than a certain amount out of pocket for health care each year. In addition, all individual health plans must cover a standard set of 10 benefits:
That means you could buy a short-term plan today and — if you’re approved through the underwriting process — you could have coverage in force as soon as the next business day. This aspect of short-term plans is particularly appealing to consumers who are planning to buy ACA-compliant coverage but who face a wait of days or weeks — or even months — before that coverage takes effect.
A high deductible health insurance plan has higher deductibles and lower premiums than most other health insurance plans. This means you pay a smaller fixed amount every month, but it will take a longer time for insurance to kick in and begin cost-sharing (meaning you will pay your percentage of coinsurance for every bill). You might benefit from this plan if you don’t require many doctor’s visits or other healthcare benefits. Look at quotes for high deductible health insurance plans to figure out if this plan is right for you.