The Cheapest (and Best) Health Insurance in Albuquerque, NM, (2022)

The cost of health insurance partly depends on your location. In Albuquerque, New Mexico, MoneyGeek found that the cheapest health insurance providers were Friday Health Plans, with an average monthly premium of $241 for a 40-year-old policyholder, and Molina Healthcare, with an average premium of $313 for a Silver plan.

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Last Updated: 8/2/2022
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Location is one influence on the cost of health insurance premiums, along with age, plan type and health care needs. MoneyGeek reviewed marketplace data to help you find the cheapest medical insurance in Albuquerque. We also evaluated the best health insurance companies in Albuquerque based on customer service, plan options and affordability.

Not all providers offer all plan types or metal tiers, so shopping around and comparing health insurance companies is vital to finding the best plan for your health care needs.

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METHODOLOGY

Best Overall and Runner-Up

For best overall and runner-up, MoneyGeek evaluated cost, customer satisfaction and plan data obtained from the Health Insurance Exchange Public Use Files, the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) complaint index to establish recommendations. Categories were weighted 55% for cost, 35% for customer service and 10% for plan options.

Best Cheap

In most cases, plans were aggregated to generate the estimated costs for any given company. Although the represented data shows the average premiums for any given section, specific company plans will vary in price. Unless otherwise stated, rates reflect the cost for a 40-year-old individual.

Best Overall Health Insurance in Albuquerque

Cost should not be the only factor when choosing your health insurance plan. It’s essential to consider plan options, provider networks and customer service if you want the best company for your needs.

MoneyGeek analyzed providers based on these factors and found that Friday Health Plans is the best overall company for health insurance in Albuquerque.

Best Health Insurance in Albuquerque

Friday Health Plans

pros

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Affordable plans

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Numerous plan options

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Large network of providers

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Unlimited $0 in-network primary care visits

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Pay $0 for most generic drugs

cons

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No coverage out-of-network except for emergencies

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

Friday Health Plans was founded in 2015 and is available in New Mexico, Colorado, Texas and Nevada. This company has an above-average rating from the NCQA, ranking high among health providers in Albuquerque for customer service. Friday Health Plans is also highly affordable, making it the best cheap health insurance company in Albuquerque.

Friday Health Plans offers Bronze, Silver, Gold and Catastrophic plan tiers. All plans come with unlimited free primary care visits, $75 urgent care visits and thousands of free or low-cost generic and preferred medications.

Although policyholders do not need referrals to see specialists, it is important to note that Friday Health Plans will not cover out-of-network health costs (except in emergencies).

Health Insurance in Albuquerque Runner-Up

Earning a total score of 60 out of 100, Molina Healthcare is MoneyGeek’s runner-up for the best health insurance in Albuquerque.

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Health Insurance Runner-Up
Molina Healthcare

Founded in 1980, Molina Healthcare operates in 20 states, including New Mexico. This company ranks high in affordability and is a dependable option for cheap health insurance in Albuquerque. Molina Healthcare offers plans with low deductibles and out-of-pocket costs. Coverage benefits include access to a 24-hour nurse advice telephone line, over-the-counter medicine benefits, dental, hearing and vision coverage, and hospital transportation up to specified limits. However, Molina Healthcare does not extend its benefits to out-of-network services except in emergencies.

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HOW TO FIND CHEAP HEALTH INSURANCE

Marketplace plans are organized by metal tiers, with Bronze being the cheapest and Platinum being the most expensive. Those under 30 years old may be eligible for a Catastrophic plan, depending on their income bracket. Catastrophic plans have the least costly premiums but high costs elsewhere.

To find the cheapest medical insurance in Albuquerque, MoneyGeek recommends you start by reviewing Bronze plans. Just ensure those plans cover all your health care needs.

Cheapest Health Insurance in Albuquerque for Individuals

Health insurance costs are determined by how you allocate care costs with the insurance company. These costs can vary widely by state and even county level.

The best company is not always the cheapest. Still, if cost is the most critical factor for you, it’s wise to familiarize yourself with the marketplace metal system and how premiums and other costs work together. Deductibles, copays and co-insurance will also affect your health care costs.

The metal system typically consists of plan levels from Bronze to Platinum, with Bronze offering the lowest premiums. However, low premiums are countered by high out-of-pocket maximums, protecting from catastrophic events but not very much coverage for routine health care.

Cheapest Health Insurance in Albuquerque for Individuals by Metal Tier
  • Metal Tier
    Company
    Monthly Premium
  • Bronze

    Friday Health Plans

    $219.19

  • Expanded Bronze

    Friday Health Plans

    $231.29

  • Silver

    Molina Healthcare

    $312.55

  • Gold

    Friday Health Plans

    $300.89

  • Platinum

    Unavailable

    Unavailable

With some companies, Expanded Bronze plans are available. Expanded Bronze plans offer slightly more coverage than regular Bronze plans and cover at least one major service before you meet your deductible.

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UNDERSTANDING HEALTH INSURANCE COSTS

When buying health insurance, it’s vital to understand all the costs. Here’s a breakdown of the main expenses you can expect from your plan:

  • Premium: The monthly cost you pay the insurer for your health insurance plan.
  • Deductible: The amount you are required to pay for covered services before your health insurance provider starts to share the costs.
  • Out-of-Pocket Maximum: This is the upper limit set by your plan for the amount you’ll pay for your deductible, copayments and co-insurance in a given plan year. The insurer will cover any costs above the out-of-pocket maximum.
  • Co-Insurance: What you’ll pay for covered services after meeting your deductible. For instance, if your plan covers 80% of the cost of a covered service, your co-insurance will be 20%.
  • Copay: The preset amount you must pay every time you visit a health care provider for a prescription, consultation or other covered services.

How Age Affects Health Insurance Costs in Albuquerque

Regardless of where you live, age is a significant factor in the cost of health insurance. Since health care needs typically increase the older you get, health insurance premiums increase to accommodate the expected service rise.

Bronze or Expanded Bronze plans will typically be the most affordable. Before choosing one of these plans, ensure the provider’s network works for you. If you don’t, you may pay out of pocket for out-of-network coverage and not maximize your health insurance plan.

To get a sense of how health insurance premiums increase as you age, MoneyGeek lists the cheapest health insurance companies in Albuquerque for different ages in the table below. Note that Catastrophic plans were not included in this table since they are not widely available.

Cheapest Health Insurance in Albuquerque by Age
  • Age
    Company
    Monthly Premium
  • 18

    Friday Health Plans

    $151

  • 26

    Friday Health Plans

    $169

  • 40

    Friday Health Plans

    $211

  • 60

    Friday Health Plans

    $449

Cheapest Health Insurance in Albuquerque for Families

Health insurance rates are also impacted by the number of people on your plan — the more people added, the higher your monthly premium will be. Nevertheless, family health insurance plans are usually more affordable than insuring each person individually.

If you’re looking for family health insurance plans in Albuquerque, MoneyGeek collected the average cost of health insurance premiums by family size and metal level in the chart below.

How to Find Cheap Health Insurance in Albuquerque

When looking for health insurance in Albuquerque, remember that there’s no such thing as the perfect plan — you must weigh the differences between costs and coverage benefits to find a plan that best suits your needs. Once you understand your health care needs, you can find the cheapest coverage for your particular profile.

For instance, Catastrophic and high-deductible health plans are cheap but may only suit those in great health who don’t anticipate needing much care. Alternatively, a plan with higher monthly premiums could be more affordable in the long run if it offers the comprehensive coverage you need.

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SHORT-TERM HEALTH INSURANCE

Short-term health insurance can be an affordable option when there’s a lapse in your coverage, such as when you’re waiting for open enrollment or for the benefits of a new job to kick in.

However, you should use these plans with caution. Short-term health plans may not always cover the essential benefits and can deny those with pre-existing conditions. And although such plans may have low monthly premiums, the high copays and co-insurance augment the cost of treatment.

Health Insurance Subsidies and Income-Based Assistance

Depending on your income bracket, you may be eligible for financial assistance or a health insurance subsidy to reduce the price of your premiums. Health insurance subsidies are available to those whose income is at least 100% of the federal poverty level (FPL). Subsidies are usually capped at 400% of the FPL, but the American Rescue Plan suspended this rule for 2022.

Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) are other options for those whose income renders them ineligible for subsidies. Depending on your state, you may qualify for Medicaid if your income falls between 100% and 150% of the FPL.

Finding the Best Health Insurance in Albuquerque

The cheapest health insurance option isn’t always the best choice. You may find that a low-premium plan with high deductibles results in more out-of-pocket costs, especially if you need frequent health care.

Tips for Finding the Right Coverage for You

Coverage benefits, networks and costs can vary widely depending on the provider. In the steps below, MoneyGeek outlines how you can evaluate health insurance plans to choose the best and most affordable option for your unique health care needs.

1

Know Where to Start

You can find health insurance providers in Albuquerque through your workplace, your parents (if you’re under 26), the health insurance marketplace or the government.

2

Mark the Enrollment Deadlines

Marketplace plans have a specified enrollment period during which you can sign up. In some qualifying circumstances, you may be eligible for special enrollment. You also have a brief window to enroll in new coverage when starting a new job, so be careful not to miss the deadlines.

3

Understand Your Health Care Needs

The best health care plan depends on your needs, so it’s critical to determine what those are. From there, you can review a plan’s summary of benefits to see if they align. Also, explore a plan’s network to ensure that it includes your preferred doctors or specialists.

4

Review Costs

Copays, deductibles, premiums and out-of-pocket maximums all make up the picture of your expected costs. Keep in mind that:

  • Lower premiums correlate with higher out-of-pocket maximums, whereas higher premiums correspond with more company cost-sharing.
  • A flat fee is generally better than a percentage of co-insurance.
  • Silver plans are a good middle option.
5

Check Your Prescriptions

Always check to see if the plan you have chosen includes coverage for prescription drugs you need.

6

Choose Your Plan

If you’ve thoroughly reviewed a plan’s details and are comfortable with them, it’s ok to go with the cheapest available option.

Frequently Asked Questions About Health Insurance in Albuquerque

MoneyGeek answered your commonly asked questions to help you learn more about health insurance plans in Albuquerque.

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