The Cheapest (and Best) Health Insurance in Fresno, CA (2023)

In Fresno, California, Blue Shield of California offers the most affordable rate at $376 per month. Kaiser Permanente is the second cheapest option at $519 per month. These rates are for a 40-year-old Fresno resident.

REVIEW HEALTH INSURANCE RATES

Insurance Rates

Ensure you're getting the best rate for your health insurance. Compare quotes from the top insurance companies.

Your Zip Code
widget-location-pin
Advertising & Editorial DisclosureLast Updated: 1/20/2023
Edited By     |  
Written By     |  

Health insurance providers typically consider your age, plan type and city when calculating rates. MoneyGeek compiled and reviewed marketplace data to select Fresno's most affordable health insurance options.

Along with premiums, MoneyGeek found the best health insurance companies in Fresno based on its customer service and plan types. Because not every carrier provides the same plan types, we recommend shopping around to find your best plan.

tip icon
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 Fresno

When you’re looking at health insurance policies, cost shouldn’t be the only factor you focus on. Customer service, physician networks and plan types are also important aspects to consider when choosing a company that fits your health care needs.

Based on the abovementioned factors, MoneyGeek found that Blue Shield of California is Fresno's top-rated health insurance company, scoring 85.5 out of 100.

Best Health Insurance in Fresno

Blue Shield of California

pros

This is an icon

Most affordable option in Fresno

This is an icon

Above-average service quality

This is an icon

Mobile app available

This is an icon

Free NurseHelp 24/7

This is an icon

Out-of-network coverage available for urgent care and emergency visits

cons

This is an icon

Limited metal tiers offered

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

Established in 1939, Blue Shield of California is an independent member of the Blue Shield Association. Blue Shield of California is the best overall health insurance provider in Fresno, according to MoneyGeek’s research. The carrier offers health, dental, vision, Medicaid and Medicare policies. Blue Shield of California also earned a 3.5 out of 5 customer service rating from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).

If you’re looking for a Catastrophic or Platinum plan, Blue Shield of California might not fit your needs. The provider only offers Bronze, Silver and Gold metal tiers.

Health Insurance in Fresno Runner-Up

MoneyGeek gave Kaiser Permanente a score of 77.5 out of 100, our runner-up for the best health insurance in Fresno. Learn more about Kaiser Permanente below.

heartWithPlus
Health Insurance Runner-Up
Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente is a health insurance veteran with over 75 years of experience to back it. The provider operates on a national scale, with markets in the Mid-Atlantic, Northwest and Pacific-Northwest regions, including Washington. Kaiser Permanente is headquartered in Oakland, California, and has a near-perfect customer service rating from the NCQA.

One drawback of Kaiser Permanente is that it offers a limited range of metal tiers. So if their available plans don't match your needs, another health insurance carrier might be a better fit.

tip icon
HOW TO FIND CHEAP HEALTH INSURANCE

Marketplace plans are categorized by metal levels. These levels are Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. Bronze and Platinum are the cheapest and most expensive options, respectively. Individuals under 30 or who fall under a specific income bracket may opt for a Catastrophic plan.

MoneyGeek recommends individuals shopping for the cheapest medical insurance in Fresno check out Bronze plans. If you need more coverage, Silver plans are a good alternative.

Cheapest Health Insurance in Fresno for Individuals

Your health insurance rate is heavily based on how you split care costs with the health insurance company. Premiums vary significantly between the state, city and county levels.

Please note that Fresno's best medical insurance company doesn’t always have the cheapest rates. MoneyGeek suggests you familiarize yourself with the marketplace metal tier system if affordability is a top priority. Consider that your premiums are also affected by maximum out-of-pocket costs (MOOPs), deductibles, copays and co-insurance.

Below, you’ll find a chart that reflects how rates change between the different metal tiers, with Bronze being the least expensive and Platinum being the most expensive.

If you choose a plan with lower premiums, it’s usually countered by higher MOOP rates. This offers protection against catastrophic events but doesn’t sufficiently cover routine health care.

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

    Blue Shield of California

    $294

  • Silver

    Blue Shield of California

    $383

  • Gold

    Blue Shield of California

    $450

  • Platinum

    Kaiser Permanente

    $519

Some health insurance companies offer Expanded Bronze plans. This metal tier offers a bit more coverage than a standard Bronze plan and includes one major service before your deductible is met.

tip icon
UNDERSTANDING HEALTH INSURANCE COSTS

Before you purchase a health insurance policy, it’s wise to understand all accompanying costs. MoneyGeek outlined the main aspects that affect your overall policy cost:

  • Premium: Your fixed monthly payment that is due to your provider for health insurance.
  • Deductible: The maximum amount you pay before your insurance kicks in and covers any fees above that.
  • Out-of-Pocket Maximum: This is the ceiling set by your plan for the year. Your insurance provider will cover costs beyond this limit.
  • Co-Insurance: After meeting your deductible, co-insurance is what you pay for covered services. For example, if your plan covers 60% of the cost, your co-insurance is 40%.
  • Copay: The fixed amount you must pay each time you visit a health care provider for covered services like consultations or prescriptions.

How Age Affects Health Insurance Costs in Fresno

Despite your location, age is a huge factor that informs your health insurance premiums in Fresno. Generally, your health care needs rise as you get older. To accommodate this demand, the cost of your health insurance becomes more expensive.

More often than not, Bronze or Expanded Bronze plans are the cheapest options. If you choose one of these plans, double-check your preferred physician’s network. Otherwise, you might end up paying more for out-of-network services.

MoneyGeek created a table below to show how health insurance premiums in Fresno increase as individuals age.

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

    Blue Shield of California

    $210

  • 26

    Blue Shield of California

    $236

  • 40

    Blue Shield of California

    $294

  • 60

    Blue Shield of California

    $625

How to Find Cheap Health Insurance in Fresno

There is no such thing as a “perfect” health insurance plan in Fresno. Instead, you need to decide how to balance costs, coverage benefits and other factors to determine a suitable health insurance policy for your needs. When you’re sure about your priorities and non-negotiables, finding a plan will be easier.

Consider how plans with higher monthly premiums can save you more long-term. Typically, you end up paying less out of pocket.

tip icon
SHORT-TERM HEALTH INSURANCE

Short-term health insurance is an excellent option for individuals needing to cover an insurance gap, including those waiting for open enrollment or job benefits to set in.

Be cautious in getting short-term plans since they don’t always cover standard health benefits, can deny individuals with pre-existing conditions and might be more expensive overall. Another downside to short-term health insurance is that you can’t use subsidies and tax credits as financial support.

Health Insurance Subsidies and Income-Based Assistance

Health insurance subsidies help reduce the cost of your health insurance premiums. This option is usually available for those within a certain income bracket who need financial assistance. Individuals with an income of at least 100% of the federal poverty level (FPL) can use health insurance subsidies.

Subsidies are usually capped at 400% of the FPL. Luckily, the American Rescue Plan suspended this rule for 2022, which grants more access to those who need it.

Other available options for individuals whose income doesn’t qualify for subsidies are Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). While this requirement varies per state, you can usually qualify for Medicaid if your income falls between 100% and 150% of the FPL.

Finding the Best Health Insurance in Fresno

The cheapest health insurance plan may not be the best option. The less-costly option may entail higher deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs. Hence, you may pay more if you need constant medical attention.

Tips for Finding the Right Coverage for You

It’s vital to assess your desired health insurance plans, considering factors like cost, coverage benefits and network quality. MoneyGeek provides a step-by-step guide to help you choose an ideal plan for your health care needs.

1

Know Where to Start

There are different starting points in your search for health insurance. For example, if you are 26 or younger, you can be eligible for insurance through your parents. Other avenues to obtain health care include your employer, the government or the health insurance marketplace.

2

Mark the Enrollment Deadlines

You can typically purchase or change marketplace plans during open enrollment. Under certain circumstances, you might be eligible for special enrollment. Open enrollment is a relatively short window, so make sure you don’t let deadlines pass.

3

Understand Your Health Care Needs

Assess your current health care situation to determine which plan best matches it. Review each plan’s summary of benefits and explore your insurer’s network to ensure it includes your preferred physicians.

4

Review Costs

A health insurance plan goes beyond premiums and includes copays, deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums. These are the costs you should expect. Lower premiums usually have higher out-of-pocket maximums, and higher premiums usually have lower out-of-pocket costs. Another tip to remember is that paying a flat fee is typically more cost-effective than paying a percentage of co-insurance.

5

Check Your Prescriptions

With your chosen health insurance plan, check if your prescription drugs are covered or at least within your budget if not fully covered.

6

Choose Your Plan

Once you’ve gone through a plan’s details and those are agreeable to you, including sufficient coverage, feel free to choose the most affordable option available.

Frequently Asked Questions About Health Insurance in Fresno

MoneyGeek answered the most commonly asked questions about health insurance in Fresno to help guide your decision-making.

About the Author


expert-profile

Brenna Kelly is a content manager at MoneyGeek specializing in health insurance. She has extensive experience in the content production field and is a licensed health insurance agent. She graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Arts.


sources