The Cheapest Colorado Health Insurance for Individuals and Families

Insurance plans from the Colorado insurance marketplace fall into one of four metal tiers — Bronze, Expanded Bronze, Silver and Gold. Policies within categories have varying levels of deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums. Of these tiers, Silver plans are the middle of the road. With the average cost of Silver health insurance plans in Colorado at $399 per month, they balance reasonable premiums and good coverage. The cheapest plan available is from Bright Health. You can purchase their Silver 5000 Rx Copay plan for $335 per month.

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Last Updated: 11/15/2022
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You can get health insurance in Colorado in various ways. Employers typically provide insurance for their employees. Another possibility is seeing whether you qualify for a government program such as Medicaid or Medicare. If neither option works for you, you can purchase health insurance plans from Colorado’s insurance marketplace.

The cost of health insurance in Colorado varies between providers, but policies with less expensive premiums usually have higher deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums. MoneyGeek identified the cheapest health insurance options by comparing policies for different buyer ages and various plan types. Finding the health insurance in Colorado that matches your needs and preferences may be confusing — MoneyGeek’s analysis makes it easier for you.

The Cheapest Health Insurance in Colorado by Metal Tier

The insurance marketplace in Colorado classifies private plans into several metal tiers. These determine the share of medical expenses covered by your provider, not the quality of service you receive. Plans from less valuable metals, such as Bronze or Expanded Bronze, typically have lower premiums but will require you to pay more out of your pocket if you have a medical emergency. In contrast, those named after more valuable metals are more expensive but can become more cost-effective if you have considerable health expenses.

In Colorado, health insurance plans are either Bronze, Expanded Bronze, Silver or Gold. Although rates within tiers vary, these are the average costs:

  • Bronze: $294 per month
  • Expanded Bronze: $323 per month
  • Silver: $399 per month
  • Gold: $448 per month

The cost of health insurance in Colorado for Silver and Gold levels is more expensive per month. These may turn out to be an affordable option if you have significant medical expenses since you won’t have to spend much out of pocket.

The table below shows the cheapest health insurance plans in Colorado for each tier based on monthly premiums. It's important to note that premiums, out-of-pocket maximums and deductibles vary within a metal tier.

You may use cost-sharing reductions (CSR) if you purchase a Silver plan. CSRs lower your deductibles, making them a great health insurance option for those with low income in Colorado. Rates were based on HMO and EPO plans for a 40-year-old male purchasing health insurance in Colorado. Between these two plan types, HMOs are more common in Colorado.

Cheapest Health Insurance in Colorado by Metal Tier

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  • Metal Tier
    Plan
    Company
    Monthly Cost
    OOP Max
  • Bronze
    Bronze Standard Rx Copay
    Denver Health Medical Plan
    $267
    $8,550
  • Expanded Bronze
    Bronze 8550 Rx Copay
    Bright Health
    $267
    $8,550
  • Silver
    Silver 5000 Rx Copay
    Bright Health
    $335
    $8,550
  • Gold
    Gold Standard Rx Copay
    Denver Health Medical Plan
    $361
    $7,000

The Cheapest Health Insurance in Colorado by Age and Metal Tier

In a few states, the buyer's age does not affect the cost of health insurance. Colorado, however, is not one of them. Here, the younger you are when you purchase a plan, the more likely you’ll have a lower rate.

A 26-year-old buyer, on average, pays $320 per month for a health insurance plan in Colorado. A 60-year-old, in comparison, pays almost triple the rate for a similar policy — their monthly premium costs $847 on average. These average rates cover HMO and EPO plan types.

Health Insurance Costs in Colorado by Age and Metal Tier

These show average rates based on sample buyer ages. You may find rates to be different for your unique combination of age and income. Although premiums for older buyers are typically more expensive, you can find more affordable policies in the insurance marketplace due to tax premiums and other regulations. The only way to get an exact quote for your profile is to apply for a plan.

The table below allows you to switch between buyer ages and various metal tiers. If you want more information about the different plan categories, you can read MoneyGeek’s health insurance guide for Colorado.

Cheapest Health Insurance in Colorado by Age And Metal Tier

Sort by Metal Tier:

Silver

Sort by Age:

40 years

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  • Plan
    Company
    Monthly Rate
  • Bronze
    HMO
    Denver Health Medical Plan
    $191
  • Bronze
    HMO
    Friday Health Plans
    $205
  • Bronze
    EPO
    Cigna
    $224
  • Expanded Bronze
    EPO
    Bright Health
    $191
  • Expanded Bronze
    EPO
    Oscar
    $193
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The Cheapest Health Insurance in Colorado by County

Insurance providers look at several factors when setting premiums. Among these are your age, your tobacco intake and where you live in the state. Colorado uses rating areas to calculate policy rates. Counties determined rates following a similar system.

Colorado has 64 counties spread across nine rating areas. Denver is the most populous county in the state. You can purchase the most affordable health insurance plan in Denver County from Bright Health for $330 per month. It's the Silver 5000 Rx Copay.

If you’re looking for the least expensive health insurance plan in Colorado for your county, you can use the table to view available policies for all metal tiers.

MoneyGeek used a 40-year-old buyer profile purchasing a health insurance policy in Colorado for each county.

Cheapest Health Insurance Plans in Colorado by County

Sort by county:

Adams

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  • Metal Tier
    Company
    Cheapest Plan
    Monthly Premium
  • Boulder
    Bronze
    Friday Health Plans
    Friday Bronze X
    $260
  • El Paso
    Bronze
    Friday Health Plans
    Friday Bronze X
    $267
  • Teller
    Bronze
    Friday Health Plans
    Friday Bronze X
    $267
  • Adams
    Bronze
    Friday Health Plans
    Friday Bronze X
    $259
  • Arapahoe
    Bronze
    Friday Health Plans
    Friday Bronze X
    $259

The Cheapest Health Insurance in Colorado With High Out-of-Pocket Maxes

A health insurance plan in Colorado with a low monthly premium may appeal to younger buyers. Although you won’t have to spend a lot each month, you may end up using more money out of pocket should you have a medical emergency.

Comparing plans with out-of-pocket maximums of $8,250 and above, MoneyGeek found the cheapest health insurance in Colorado with that limit is from Bright Health. A typical 26-year-old can purchase the Bronze 8550 Rx Copay plan for an average monthly premium of $214.

Bright Health

The cheapest health insurance in Colorado with a high out-of-pocket maximum is an Expanded Bronze policy offered by Bright Health.

The Cheapest Health Insurance in Colorado With Low Out-of-Pocket Maximums

If you have more medical expenses than the average buyer, a plan with a low out-of-pocket maximum may be a good fit for your needs. You’ll need to pay more for premiums per month, but having a low out-of-pocket threshold means you’ll reach your limit sooner from frequent visits to the doctor or regular prescription drug purchases. It causes your insurance provider to begin covering costs earlier.

MoneyGeek looked at plans with out-of-pocket limits below $4,250 for this analysis. In Colorado, however, all health insurance plans have out-of-pocket limits exceeding this. Monument ONE Gold 2500 RX Copay provided by Rocky Mountain Health is the cheapest health insurance plan in Colorado with a low out-of-pocket maximum. It has the lowest out-of-pocket maximum at $5,000 and the least expensive average monthly premium at $469 for a 40-year-old.

Rocky Mountain Health

This Gold plan from Rocky Mountain Health is the cheapest health insurance in Colorado for policies with a low out-of-pocket maximum. Having this type of plan allows you to spend less out of pocket but comes with a more expensive premium.

Cheapest HMO/EPO Health Insurance Plan in Colorado

You have to consider your medical needs and coverage preferences when deciding which plan type to purchase. Health insurance plans in Colorado are mostly HMOs, but EPOs are also available.

Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plans are typically less expensive than other types. To ensure your costs are covered, make sure to use providers within your network. HMO plans also require you to have a referral to see a specialist. If you can easily reach in-network providers, this may be a good option for you. The cheapest HMO Silver Plan is Colorado Doctors Plan Silver 3 Free Visits 4000 from Rocky Mountain Health Plans. Its monthly premium is $353 per month on average.

If you want more flexibility, Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO) plans may be a better option. These give you the same benefits as HMOs, but you don't necessarily need a referral to see a specialist. Bright Health offers the cheapest EPO Silver plan in Colorado. You can purchase the Silver 5000 Rx Copay policy for an average of $335 per month.

Cheapest Plan in Colorado With an HSA

If you are generally healthy and don’t visit your doctor frequently, you may choose to use a Health Savings Account (HSA). These plans have lower premiums but have high deductibles. What sets them apart is that they allow you to make pre-tax contributions to a savings account. If you don’t use the money for health care, you can withdraw it for other purposes (as long as you then pay taxes on it).

HSA plans are available for Expanded Bronze and Silver tiers. The cheapest HSA health insurance plans in Colorado for each level are:

  • Cheapest HSA Expanded Bronze Plan: Bronze 6850 HSA provided by Bright Health at an average of $300 per month
  • Cheapest HSA Silver Plan: Silver 3500 HSA provided by Bright Health costs an average of $348 per month

HSA plans come with a trade-off, though. If you have an extensive medical expense, you may have to spend part of your savings to pay for it.

What to Know About Health Insurance in Colorado

MoneyGeek’s analysis can help you find cheap health insurance options in Colorado, but it’s possible to find more affordable options in the insurance exchange. Older buyers or those with low income in Colorado can find cheaper health insurance choices if they are eligible for government healthcare programs such as Medicaid or Medicare. These are typically less expensive than any private plan available in the marketplace.

Private Health Insurance on the Colorado Marketplace

The Colorado insurance exchange categorizes private plans into several metal tiers. There are four levels available in Colorado — Bronze, Expanded Bronze, Silver and Gold. Regardless of which category you purchase, you get the same quality of care. The tiers determine the share of your medical expenses covered by your insurance provider.

To help you understand the various metal tiers and their distinct parameters, here is an overview of each:

  • Bronze – Bronze plans are more affordable than other tiers, but they have high deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums. They require insurance providers to cover around 60% of costs from medical care, but you may pay more out of pocket before your policy kicks in.

  • Expanded Bronze – Expanded Bronze plans typically have similar benefits as Bronze ones. They require insurance providers to cover a slightly larger share of your medical costs — around 65%.

  • Silver – These are middle-of-the-road plans, costing more than Bronze or Expanded Bronze plans but having lower deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums than Gold policies. Silver plans can be a very cost-effective option if you qualify for additional savings from CSRs.

  • Gold – Though they cost more each month, Gold plans have lower deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums. It means you end up paying less out of pocket if you have substantial medical expenses. Insurance providers shoulder around 80% of your medical costs for Gold plans.

It’s possible to find cheap health insurance options in Colorado for those with low income — some are even more affordable than plans shown in MoneyGeek’s analysis. If your annual income falls between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level, you may be eligible for tax premiums. For example, two-person households earning between $17,420 and $69,680 each year would qualify. You can use the HealthCare.gov calculator for a more accurate calculation of possible savings.

Ideally, you purchase a new plan or renew an existing one during open enrollment. It typically happens between November to December of each year. Currently, though, enrollment dates have been expanded due to the pandemic.

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Those with Silver plans and annual incomes between 138% and 250% of the federal poverty level qualify for cost-sharing reductions. These reduce your deductibles, out-of-pocket maximums and copayments or coinsurance limits. With these deductions, you can get Gold plan coverages while having Silver plan costs. Two-person households earning $24,040 to $43,550 per year can qualify for CSRs.

Medicaid in Colorado

You can get affordable health insurance in Colorado by checking if you’re available for government programs. If your income is below 138% of the federal poverty level, you are automatically eligible for Medicaid. Colorado is a Medicaid expansion state, which means your income level is the sole qualifying factor. If you meet this criterion, this becomes your most affordable option since Medicaid is free.

Medicare in Colorado

You can also check if you qualify for Medicare, another government healthcare program. You need to be 65 or older or have a qualifying illness or disability to be eligible. Unlike Medicaid, Medicare requires you to pay for some coverage. Compared to purchasing a private plan from the insurance exchange, it still comes out as a cheaper health insurance alternative in Colorado.

Medicare coverage comes in three parts:

  • Part A: Typically referred to as hospital insurance, it covers inpatient stays, home care, hospice or skilled nursing home care.
  • Part B: Typically referred to as medical insurance, this covers preventive services, outpatient care, some doctors' services and medical supplies.
  • Part D: It covers recommended shots and vaccines as well as prescription drugs.

Methodology

MoneyGeek's research is based on estimates, and the cheapest plan for you will depend on your individual needs and characteristics. This analysis is intended to serve as a guide and no single plan is guaranteed to be the cheapest in Colorado for you

MoneyGeek collected plans and premiums for health insurance in Colorado from the website for Connect for Health Colorado for all available metal tiers and across several age groups. Plans and premiums were analyzed in May 2021. 

Health insurance premiums on this page are an estimate and exclude potential premium tax credits and cost-sharing subsidies that users may be eligible for. 

About the Author


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Mark Fitzpatrick is a senior content manager with MoneyGeek specializing in insurance. Mark has years of experience analyzing the insurance market and creating original research and content. He graduated from Boston College with a Bachelor of Arts and Johns Hopkins University with a Master of Arts.


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