Having medical coverage is always advisable, and there are several ways for you to obtain it. There are government health programs available, such as Medicare or Medicaid, if you qualify. Employers typically provide health insurance, but you can also purchase your own through the Delaware insurance exchange. Premiums between plans will vary, but cheaper plans typically have higher deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums. This means you spend more on medical coverage in an emergency.
MoneyGeek studied various plan types found in the Delaware insurance marketplace for a range of sample buyer ages to help you find the best health insurance options to suit your healthcare needs and preferences.
The Cheapest Health Insurance in Delaware by Metal Tier
Private plans from the insurance exchange follow a tiering system where levels are named after precious metals. Less valuable metals generally mean cheaper premiums. While they are cheaper each month, low-cost plans tend to cover less of your health expenses if you need medical care.
In Delaware, plans fall under one of five metal tiers, including Catastrophic, Expanded Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. The average cost of health insurance in Delaware for each tier are:
- Catastrophic: $303 per month
- Expanded Bronze: $413 per month
- Silver: $545 per month
- Gold: $537 per month
- Platinum: $682 per month
Monthly premiums are typically higher for more valuable metals, but some markets do not follow this pattern. Delaware is one of them, with Gold plans costing less on average than Silver ones.
Gold and Platinum plans cost more each month than Catastrophic and Expanded Bronze plans but cover a larger share of your health expenses, resulting in you spending less if you need a lot of medical care.
Premiums, deductible and out-of-pocket maximums vary within tiers on the insurance exchange. The table below shows the cheapest health insurance plan in Delaware for each metal tier based on premiums.
Having a low income may qualify you for cost-sharing reductions, which results in lower deductibles and makes purchasing Silver plans a great deal.
The table shows EPO plans for a 40-year-old male in Delaware, the most popular and only plan type in the state.
Cheapest Health Insurance in Delaware by Metal Tier
Scroll for more
- Metal TierPlanCompanyMonthly CostOOP Max
- CatastrophicMajor Events Blue EPO 8550 - 3 Free PCP VisitsHighmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware$303$8,550
- Expanded BronzeShared Cost Blue EPO Bronze 3800Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware$400$8,500
- SilverHealth Savings Embedded Blue EPO Silver 3450 HSAHighmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware$522$6,900
- GoldShared Cost Blue EPO Gold 0Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware$517$7,500
- PlatinumShared Cost Blue EPO Platinum 0Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware$665$5,000
The Cheapest Health Insurance in Delaware by Age and Metal Tier
The cost of health insurance in Delaware is affected by the buyer’s age. Premium prices for older people are almost three times as expensive as those for younger ones. For example, a Silver plan for a 26-year-old costs $437 on average. In comparison, a similar health plan for a 60-year-old has a monthly premium of $1,158. EPO plans are involved in these averages.
Health Insurance Costs in Delaware by Age and Metal Tier
The cost of health insurance in Delaware tends to increase as you get older, so purchasing plans with lower premiums may seem attractive. Health plans such as Bronze or Expanded Bronze may cost you less each month, but they will have you paying more out-of-pocket if you have a lot of medical expenses.
Sometimes health insurance costs in Denver may be lower for older people because of regulations or tax premiums. These rates are based on averages only. They don’t account for your personal information, such as your exact age and income. To get an accurate quote, you need to apply for a plan.
You can switch between buyer age and metal tiers through the table below. Additionally, you can read our guide on health insurance in Delaware if you need more information to help you decide which metal tier to buy.
Cheapest Health Insurance in Delaware by Age And Metal Tier
Sort by Metal Tier:
Sort by Age:
Scroll for more
- PlanCompanyMonthly Rate
- CatastrophicEPOHighmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware$216
- Expanded BronzeEPOHighmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware$286
- Expanded BronzeEPOHighmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware$289
- Expanded BronzeEPOHighmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware$311
- SilverEPOHighmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware$373
Compare Health Insurance Rates
Ensure you're getting the best rate for your health insurance. Compare quotes from the top insurance companies.
The Cheapest Health Insurance in Delaware by County
In most states, which area you live in affects how much health insurance costs. Insurance providers use rating areas when setting premiums. In states with multiple rating areas, a health plan may have different rates per county. Delaware, however, only has one rating area for all three counties. This means that plan premiums are not affected by location but instead change depending on other factors such as your age, income and tobacco use.
The cheapest health insurance plan in Delaware for a Silver plan is Health Savings Embedded Blue EPO Silver 3450 HSA. You can purchase it for a monthly premium of $522 from Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware.
If you want to find the cheapest health insurance plan in Delaware in your county for all metal tiers, you can use the table below.
All plans shown are for a 40-year-old male looking to purchase a health plan in different counties of Delaware.
Cheapest Health Insurance Plans in Delaware by County
Sort by county:
Scroll for more
- Metal TierCompanyCheapest PlanMonthly Premium
- KentCatastrophicHighmark Blue Cross Blue Shield DelawareMajor Events Blue EPO 8550 - 3 Free PCP Visits$303
- New CastleCatastrophicHighmark Blue Cross Blue Shield DelawareMajor Events Blue EPO 8550 - 3 Free PCP Visits$303
- SussexCatastrophicHighmark Blue Cross Blue Shield DelawareMajor Events Blue EPO 8550 - 3 Free PCP Visits$303
- KentExpanded BronzeHighmark Blue Cross Blue Shield DelawareShared Cost Blue EPO Bronze 3800$400
- New CastleExpanded BronzeHighmark Blue Cross Blue Shield DelawareShared Cost Blue EPO Bronze 3800$400
The Cheapest Health Insurance in Delaware With High Out-of-Pocket Maxes
A low-cost health insurance plan in Delaware with high out-of-pocket maximums may be a good option for younger buyers. Although they may have to spend more if they have a medical emergency or their doctor’s visits increase in a given year, the monthly premiums are cheap.
For the average 26-year-old, the most affordable health insurance plan in Delaware with a high out-of-pocket maximum is Major Events Blue EPO 8550 — 3 Free PCP Visits from Highmark Blue Cross Shield Delaware. Its premium costs an average of $243 per month.
MoneyGeek considers a plan to have high out-of-pocket maxes if its limit is $8,250 or higher.
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware has the cheapest health insurance plan in Delaware with a high out-of-pocket maximum. This health plan falls in the Catastrophic tier, which means it is not available for everyone. To qualify for it, you have to be under 30 or have hardship or affordability exemptions.
The Cheapest Health Insurance in Delaware With Low Out-of-Pocket Maximums
A plan with higher monthly costs but low out-of-pocket maximums might be more beneficial if your health expenses are high. It may cost you more every month, but regular visits to the doctor or frequent purchase of prescription drugs allow you to reach your out-of-pocket limits sooner. This means your insurance provider begins covering your medical expenses faster.
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware has the most affordable health insurance plan with low out-of-pocket maximums in Delaware. Their Shared Cost Blue EPO Platinum 0 plan costs $665 per month on average for a 40-year-old.
MoneyGeek considers plans to have a low out-of-pocket maximum if their limit is below $4,250. Shared Cost Blue EPO Platinum 0 does not meet this criterion since its out-of-pocket maximum is $5,000. Compared to other available policies, it has the lowest out-of-pocket maximum and the cheapest premium.
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware
Plans with low out-of-pocket maximums are typically Gold and Platinum. These have higher monthly premiums, but you may end up spending less if you require a lot of medical care. The company offering the cheapest health insurance plan with a low out-of-pocket maximum in Delaware is Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware.
Cheapest EPO Health Insurance Plan in Delaware
Your needs and preferences regarding healthcare are determining factors when deciding which type of plan you purchase. In Delaware, the only plan available is Exclusive Provider Organization plans (EPOs). Except for cases of emergencies, these require you to remain within your provider network if you want services to be covered. It’s cheaper than other plan types, and you may not always need a referral to see a specialist.
The cheapest EPO Silver plan available is Health Savings Embedded Blue EPO Silver 3450 HSA. Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware offers it for an average of $522 per month.
Cheapest Plan in Delaware With an HSA
Even if you’re in good health and rarely go to the doctor, not having medical coverage isn’t a good idea. An option you can consider is getting a Health Savings Account (HSA) plan. These don’t cost much per month and allow you to make pre-tax contributions. They let you earn savings unless you use them for medical expenses.
In Delaware, HSA plans are available for Expanded Bronze and Silver tiers. The cheapest plans for each are:
- Expanded Bronze: Health Savings Embedded Blue EPO Blue 6900 HSA by Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware costs an average of $405 per month.
- Silver: Health Savings Embedded Blue EPO Silver 3450 HSA by Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware costs an average of $522 per month.
A disadvantage of having HSA plans is a high deductible, which may result in you using a part of your savings to pay for major medical costs.
What to Know About Health Insurance in Delaware
MoneyGeek used information regarding private plans from the Delaware health insurance market in this analysis. It’s possible, however, to get lower rates upon applying for a health plan. Older residents or those with low income in Delaware may qualify for government health programs such as Medicaid or Medicare, which provide more affordable coverage compared to private plans from the insurance exchange.
Private Health Insurance on the Delaware Marketplace
Health plans found in the Delaware insurance marketplace follow a system that divides them into metal tiers with varying levels of deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums. These do not impact the quality of care you receive but affect the share of expenses your provider covers.
Each metal tier comes with its benefits and risks. These are:
Catastrophic — These plans protect you from medical emergencies, like getting extremely sick or injured, but do not cover routine medical expenses. They cost the least per month, but you’ll spend a lot out of pocket since it has very high deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums. You need to be under 30 or have hardship or affordability exemptions to purchase a Catastrophic plan.
Expanded Bronze – Expanded Bronze plans cost more than Catastrophic plans and cover more of your medical expenses so you pay less out of pocket if you have a medical emergency.
Silver – Compared to Gold or Platinum plans, Silver plans typically have lower rates with deductibles and out-of-pocket maxes lower than Bronze and Expanded Bronze ones. They are usually described as middle-of-the-road plans, given that their premiums typically fall between Catastrophic and Platinum plans. You can also save thousands of dollars each year if you purchase a Silver plan and qualify for “extra savings.”
Gold –The biggest benefit of a Gold plan lies with its lower deductible and out-of-pocket maximum. Once those maximums are reached, your insurer will start paying your medical expenses. The downside is its premium is higher compared to lower-level metals.
Platinum – Platinum plans cost the most each month. However, if you have high health expenses due to a lot of medical care, these plans can be cost-effective. Their low out-of-pocket max and deductible require your insurance provider to start covering medical costs sooner.
Compared to the plans from MoneyGeek’s analysis, your annual income may allow you to get cheaper premiums or increased coverage. If your earnings fall between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level, you could qualify for premium tax credits. It applies to a two-person household with an annual income between $17,420 and $69,680. You can use the healthcare.gov calculator to get an accurate calculation.
Open enrollment is the annual period when you can renew your existing health plan coverage or apply for a new one. It occurs between November and December but has currently been expanded due to COVID-19.
Cost-sharing reductions (CSR) also become possible if your annual income falls between 138% and 250% of the federal poverty level and you purchase a Silver plan. It’s possible to get Gold plan coverage with Silver plan costs if you’re eligible to get these deductions, which allow you to lower your deductible, copayments, coinsurance and out-of-pocket maximums. A two-person home in Delaware earning $24,040–$43,550 may be eligible for these reduced rates.
Medicaid in Delaware
A more affordable health insurance option in Delaware is Medicaid, a government program that offers free medical coverage. In Delaware, you can qualify for Medicaid based on income alone since it is a Medicated expansion state. If your annual earnings fall below 138% of the federal poverty line, you are eligible for Medicaid.
Medicare in Delaware
If Medicaid is not an option, you can check if you qualify for Medicare. If you’re 65 or older or have a qualifying disability or illness, you can apply for Medicare. Unlike Medicaid, you’ll have to pay for a certain amount of coverage, but it’ll still be cheaper than any other plan available in the Marketplace.
Medicare has three parts, each of which covers a specific area of services:
- Part A — This serves as hospital insurance, covering inpatient stays, costs from hospice and skilled nursing facility care and some home care services.
- Part B — This serves as medical insurance, covering outpatient care, preventive services, medical supplies and doctor’s services.
- Part D — This provides coverage for recommended vaccines and prescription drugs.
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 Delaware for you
MoneyGeek collected plans and premiums for health insurance in Delaware from the Health Insurance Exchange Public Use Files (Exchange PUFs) for all available metal tiers and across several age groups.
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 Mark Fitzpatrick
- HealthCare.gov. "Cost-sharing reductions." Accessed June 17, 2021.
- HealthCare.gov. "Health Insurance Plan and Network Types: HMOs, PPOs and More." Accessed June 17, 2021.
- HealthCare.gov. "Health Savings Account (HSA)." Accessed June 17, 2021.
- HealthCare.gov. "How Insurance Companies Set Health Premiums." Accessed June 17, 2021.