The Cheapest (and Best) Health Insurance in Denver, CO (2022)

Location plays a significant role in the cost of health insurance. On average, Friday Health Plans offers the cheapest health insurance in Denver, Colorado. The average cost of its health plans for 40-year-old Denver residents is $259 per month. The next cheapest is Bright Health at $297 per month.

However, the cost isn't the only consideration when looking for the best health insurance provider.

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Last Updated: 9/13/2022
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Several factors influence the cost of health insurance, including your city, age, plan type and the number of people on your policy. MoneyGeek gathered and analyzed marketplace data to identify Denver’s most affordable health insurance options.

Because cost is just one of many concerns, MoneyGeek also selected the best health insurance companies in Denver based on customer service, plan options and affordability. However, not all health providers offer the same plan types, so we recommend shopping around to find the best deal for your 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 Denver

Before purchasing a policy, it's recommended to evaluate each health insurance provider's plan options, customer service, cost and cost-sharing choices. Based on these factors, MoneyGeek determined that Friday Health Plans is Denver's top-performing health insurance company among the companies analyzed.

Learn more about MoneyGeek’s top pick for health insurance companies below.

Best Health Insurance in Denver (71/100)

Friday Health Plans

pros

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Cheap premiums

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Spend $0 on primary care visits

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Has over 55 partner hospitals

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Free mental health visits

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Offers four plan types

cons

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No out-of-network coverage

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Below-average customer service rating

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

MoneyGeek’s analysis determined that Friday Health Plans is the best overall health insurer in Denver. Established in 2015 and headquartered in Denver, Colorado, Friday Health Plans focuses on simple and affordable health plans for individuals and small businesses.

Out of the Denver health insurance companies included in our comparison, Friday Health Plans also offered some of the most affordable options. This insurer also offers unlimited free primary care and mental health visits across all available plan types (Bronze, Silver, Gold and Catastrophic).

However, this carrier may not fit your needs if you prefer out-of-network coverage. This company also received a below-average customer service rating in Denver.

Health Insurance in Denver Runner-Up

The runner-up for best health insurance company in Denver is Denver Health Medical Plan, earning a MoneyGeek score of 60 out of 100. Learn more about this insurer’s offerings below.

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Health Insurance Runner-Up
Denver Health Medical Plan

Denver Health Medical Plan is a local nonprofit organization serving the Denver area since 1997. This insurer is known for offering free preventive care — including cancer screenings, annual check-ups, immunizations, prenatal visits and more — to its policyholders. Denver Health also has a 24-hour NurseLine where you can call and speak directly with nurses for situations like fever, stomach aches, lice and more.

One disadvantage of Denver Health Medical Plan is that it offers limited plan options. On average, this provider also charges the most expensive premiums out of the Denver companies MoneyGeek compared.

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HOW TO FIND CHEAP HEALTH INSURANCE

Health insurance marketplace plans are also known as metal tiers: Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. Bronze is the cheapest metal across all plan types, while Platinum is usually the most expensive. Some companies also offer Catastrophic plans to low-income individuals under 30 years old.

Browse through Bronze plans if you want to get the cheapest health care, but ensure that your specific health care needs will be met. If not, consider the next step up with Silver plans. which often offer a good combination of costs and coverage.

Cheapest Health Insurance in Denver for Individuals

Health insurance premiums in Denver depend on how you share health care costs with the insurance provider. Rates typically vary across state, city and county levels. The best health insurance provider isn't always the most affordable — you may pay more for better customer service and plan flexibility.

If affordability is your number one priority, it’s best to understand how marketplace metal tiers, premiums and maximum out-of-pocket costs (MOOP) are linked. Generally, the lower your premium, the higher your MOOP. Also look out for the deductible, copay and co-insurance of your desired health insurance provider in Denver, which are not included in your premium.

For metal tiers, Bronze and Catastrophic plans offer the cheapest premiums. But even if you’re covered for disastrous events, you may not be sufficiently covered for your everyday health care needs.

  • Metal Tier
    Company
    Monthly Premium
  • Bronze

    Friday Health Plans

    $259

  • Expanded Bronze

    Bright Health

    $263

  • Silver

    Bright Health

    $330

  • Gold

    Denver Health Medical Plan

    $361

If you need a middle ground between Bronze and Silver tiers, some health insurance companies offer Expanded Bronze plans. Expanded Bronze plans provide a bit more protection by covering a minimum of one major service before you need to pay a deductible.

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UNDERSTANDING HEALTH INSURANCE COSTS

If you struggle to understand the different aspects of health care costs, MoneyGeek breaks down these terms below.

  • Premium: The set rate you’ll pay each month for your insurance policy.
  • Deductible: The amount you need to pay for health care services before the provider begins paying its share.
  • Out-of-Pocket Maximum: Also known as the MOOP, this is the maximum amount you can expect to pay for health services in addition to your premium.
  • Co-Insurance: After you’ve met your deductible, this is the cost percentage you pay for a health service or medical procedure.
  • Copay: This is the fixed cost you pay each time you visit a doctor or fill a prescription.

How Age Affects Health Insurance Costs in Denver

Age is one of the main factors that affect your health insurance costs. Because older individuals tend to have more health care needs, health insurance providers anticipate this by charging higher premiums.

The table below shows the cheapest health insurance companies in Denver for different ages with their lowest bronze plan premiums. You can also see how health insurance premiums increase as the sample individual ages.

The most affordable plans are usually Bronze or Expanded Bronze. If you go with a lower-tiered plan, ensure you're comfortable with the provider's network.

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

    Friday Health Plans

    $185

  • 26

    Friday Health Plans

    $208

  • 40

    Friday Health Plans

    $259

  • 60

    Friday Health Plans

    $551

Cheapest Health Insurance in Denver for Families

Your health insurance premiums will become more expensive when you add more family members to your policy. However, doing so is still cheaper than insuring your loved ones in separate policies.

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

  • Metal Tier
    Family of Three
    Family of Four
    Family of Five
    Family of Six
  • Bronze

    $519

    $519

    $519

    $519

  • Expanded Bronze

    $526

    $526

    $526

    $526

  • Silver

    $661

    $661

    $661

    $661

  • Gold

    $723

    $723

    $723

    $723

How to Find Cheap Health Insurance in Denver

There isn’t one health insurance plan that’s right for everybody. Instead, find a health insurance company in Denver with options that meet your health care needs and stay within your budget.

For instance, a high-deductible plan with a low premium may work for you if you don’t anticipate needing medical services in a given year. On the other hand, if you know you’ll need more intensive care, it might be worth paying a higher premium since you’ll pay less out of pocket.

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SHORT-TERM HEALTH INSURANCE

Short-term health insurance is an affordable option if you need coverage between jobs or if you’re waiting for open enrollment. Just keep in mind that short-term health insurance plans are not a long-term alternative to marketplace plans:

  • Short-term plans may not provide all the essential benefits of a marketplace plan.
  • Individuals with pre-existing conditions may be denied coverage.
  • You can’t get subsidies and tax credits with short-term health insurance.
  • Cheaper premiums of short-term health insurance come with much higher copays and co-insurance.

Health Insurance Subsidies and Income-Based Assistance

If you fall within a designated low-income bracket, you may be eligible to receive financial assistance for the cost of your health insurance. In 2022, individuals whose income is 100% of the federal poverty level (FPL) can get subsidies to cover a portion of their health insurance premiums.

If you don't qualify for a health insurance subsidy, Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) are other options. To qualify for Medicaid, your income must be between 100% and 150% of the FPL, depending on your state.

Finding the Best Health Insurance in Denver

The cheapest health insurance policy doesn’t always offer the best quality. Plus, getting a plan with the lowest premium could become more expensive in the long run, especially if you frequently need health care services.

Tips for Finding the Right Coverage for You

Before you purchase a health insurance policy in Denver, compare and shop around for different plans. MoneyGeek compiled these steps to help you choose the most suitable one for your health care needs.

1

Know Where to Start

Some places you can start looking for health plans are through work, your parents (if you’re under 26 years old), the health insurance marketplace or government websites.

2

Mark the Enrollment Deadlines

For the most part, marketplace plans are only available for purchase or exchange during open enrollment (but note that qualifying circumstances exist). Keep track of open enrollment deadlines since they’re usually only a few weeks each year.

3

Understand Your Health Care Needs

Your health care preferences and needs should be a guiding principle when choosing a health insurance plan in Denver. Review a plan’s benefits summary to determine whether it aligns with them. If you have physicians that you prefer, check to make sure they're within a plan’s network.

4

Review Costs

Assessing the premium, copay, co-insurance and deductible will help you understand how to budget accordingly. For instance, a lower premium usually entails a more expensive maximum out-of-pocket cost (MOOP). Silver plans offer a good balance if you're still on the fence.

5

Check Your Prescriptions

If you take medication, ask your desired carrier if it’s covered or at least affordable in your chosen health insurance plan.

6

Choose Your Plan

The cheapest health insurance plan may not fit every person's needs. But if you're confident with the coverage offered by the most affordable plan, you're free to purchase it.

Frequently Asked Questions About Health Insurance in Denver

Shopping for health insurance in Denver can be overwhelming. To help you throughout this process, MoneyGeek answered some frequently asked questions about health insurance in Denver.

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