Health insurance premiums vary significantly based on factors such as location, age, plan type, health care needs and the number of people on your plan.
MoneyGeek analyzed Marketplace data to determine the cheapest health insurance companies in Kansas City, Missouri. We also evaluated monthly costs, maximum out-of-pocket (MOOP) limits, plan options and claim denial rates to determine the best overall health insurance provider.
Not all plan types or metal tiers are offered by every company, so it's always a good idea to shop around to find the right plan for your needs. If only one company offers plans in your area, we recommend choosing the best plan or tier for your needs.
Best Health Insurance in Kansas City (2023)
Best Overall Health Insurance in Kansas City
To determine the overall best health insurance provider in Kansas City, MO, MoneyGeek analyzed companies based on their costs, plan options and customer service. According to our study, Ambetter is the best overall company, with an average monthly premium of $586 and an average MOOP of $4,419 for Silver plans. Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield ranked second, with an average monthly premium of $705 and an average MOOP of $4,573 for Silver plans.
When shopping for health insurance, cost shouldn’t be the only factor you consider — customer service, available plan options and cost-sharing choices are also important to keep in mind.
Offers the cheapest average premium in the city
Has the lowest MOOP limit
Offers EPO plans
More likely to deny claims, on average
Ambetter stands out among the health insurers we reviewed in Kansas City due to its combination of affordability and plan options. Ambetter offers the cheapest average premium in the city at $586 per month and has an average MOOP of $4,419. However, the company has a relatively high claims denial rate, meaning it is more likely to deny claims. Note that these rates are averages and that actual plans may vary.
Ambetter offers plans in three metal tiers: Bronze, Silver and Gold. The plans are EPO plans, meaning policyholders do not need a referral to see a specialist. Ambetter also has a Virtual Access Plan, which assigns members a Primary Care Physician (PCP) and allows unlimited $0 virtual visits with that PCP.
Members can also enroll in Ambetter's My Health Pays® Rewards program, which provides rewards for completing wellness activities like exercise and healthy eating that can be used toward health care costs.
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield
Unlikely to deny claims
Offers EPO plans
Has a relatively high premium and MOOP
Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield is a leading health benefits provider in the United States and is an affiliate of Elevance Health, Inc. The company offers health insurance plans for individuals, families and businesses. Called Blue KC in Kansas City, it has an average monthly premium of $705 and an average MOOP of $4,573. It also has a low claims denial rate, so it is very likely to approve policyholder claims. These rates are only averages, so actual plans will vary.
Blue KC provides several digital tools to help policyholders easily manage their coverage, including the MyBlueKC mobile app. This app includes a digital ID card that members can use for doctor's appointments and allows users to check their claims status and track their deductible.
Members of regional Blue Cross Blue Shield companies also have access to the national Blue Cross Blue Shield network, allowing them to seek in-network care when traveling out of state.
Best Cheap Health Insurance in Kansas City
MoneyGeek data shows that Ambetter offers the best affordable health insurance in Kansas City. The company charges an average premium of $586 per month for Silver plans and has a MOOP of $4,419.
Premiums vary based on your city and state, and your health insurance costs will also depend on how you want to split the costs of care with the insurance company.
Although a company may offer cheap health insurance, it may not necessarily be the best. If you're looking for affordable policies, take some time to learn about the Marketplace metal system and how premiums and MOOPs relate to each other. Remember to consider deductibles, copays and co-insurance when evaluating pricing.
Offers the most affordable premium in the city
Has a relatively low MOOP
Offers EPO plans
Denies more claims than competitors
Ambetter from Home State Health offers affordable plans and decent coverage options. Its average premium for Silver plans is $586, and it has an average MOOP of $4,419. However, it has a relatively high claims denial rate, meaning it is likely to deny claims filed by policyholders. Note that these rates are averages and that actual plans will vary.
The company sells Bronze, Silver and Gold plans, as well as a virtual plan that allows members to access telehealth appointments with a $0 copay. Ambetter’s My Health Pays® Rewards program gives customers rewards for making good health decisions every day. Customers can sign up for this program via their Ambetter account and activate My Health Pays. Rewards can then be used toward health care expenses, such as copays.
Cheapest Provider by Metal Tier
Ambetter offers the most affordable average Silver premium in Kansas City at $586 per month. Keep in mind that the cheapest policy may not always be the best choice for your individual needs. However, if affordability is your priority, Silver plans are a solid mid-tier option that typically come with cost-sharing reductions.
Health insurance plans are grouped into metal tiers that range from Bronze to Platinum. Bronze plans offer the lowest monthly premiums but come with higher MOOPs. Catastrophic plans are even less expensive than Bronze plans, but they have age restrictions and more limited coverage. In general, lower-tiered plans provide protection against catastrophic events but not much coverage for everyday health care costs due to their higher MOOPs.
The table below shows the cheapest providers in Kansas City by metal tier along with their average plan costs. We excluded Catastrophic plans as they are limited to those under 30.
Each metal tier offers advantages and disadvantages depending on your unique circumstances:
- Catastrophic: Best for people under 30 who want coverage for emergencies but don't need frequent medical care.
- Bronze plans: Ideal for people who are generally healthy and don't need a lot of health care services.
- Silver plans: Best for those who want a balance between premiums and out-of-pocket costs. People who qualify for cost-sharing reductions may also benefit from choosing a Silver plan.
- Gold plans: Best for those who anticipate needing frequent health care services. Gold plans have higher premiums but lower out-of-pocket costs than Silver plans.
- Platinum plans: These are the most comprehensive plans with the highest premiums but the lowest out-of-pocket costs. They are best for people who need frequent or ongoing care and will quickly hit the MOOP, after which point the insurance company pays for all costs.
Cheapest Plan by Metal Tier
The cheapest Silver plan available in Kansas City is the Ambetter Virtual Access Silver plan, which has an average premium of $566 per month.
The table below shows the cheapest health insurance plans by metal tier in Kansas City with their average costs. We excluded Catastrophic plans from this table since this tier is limited to those under 30.
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How Age Affects Health Insurance in Kansas City
Age is a significant factor in determining health insurance costs, regardless of location. As people age, their expected health care needs increase, leading to higher insurance premiums. Generally, the cheapest plans are Bronze or Expanded Bronze plans. While Catastrophic plans may be even cheaper, they come with age qualifications.
Those choosing a lower-tiered plan should make sure that they are comfortable with the network to avoid paying out of pocket for out-of-network services. The chart below shows some of the cheapest providers for Silver plans in Kansas City.
Cheapest Health Insurance in Kansas City by Age
Your health insurance costs are largely determined by your age and metal tier. Generally, you can expect to pay more as you age, and the metal tier you select impacts your premiums, deductibles and out-of-pocket costs.
The graph below illustrates the estimated costs for different age groups and metal tiers in Kansas City.
Medicaid and Medicare are two of the most affordable ways to get health insurance. They are both government-sponsored programs and have strict eligibility requirements. To be eligible for Medicaid, you must meet the income requirements, while Medicare is available to those aged 65 and older. Those who meet the Medicaid or Medicare eligibility requirements can apply for these programs to receive health care coverage at little or no cost. If you qualify for Medicare, you may also look into Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement plans.
How to Find the Best Cheap Health Insurance in Kansas City
To find the best cheap health insurance in Kansas City, it's important to compare rates, deductibles, copays and coverage options from various providers. You'll also need to assess your health care needs and anticipated expenses. The following steps will help you through the process.
Know Where to Look
Your current stage in life will help you determine the best place to start looking for health insurance. For instance, parents may be able to provide health insurance for 18-year-olds, while health insurance for 26-year-olds may be covered under an employer's plan. Alternatively, you can explore the federal Marketplace to find insurance plans that fit your budget and health care needs.
Budget Based on Your Health Care Needs
If you opt for a cheaper health insurance plan, you may have to pay more out of pocket when you need care. On the flip side, a more expensive plan will come with more coverage and lower out-of-pocket costs. The key is to find a balance that works for you. Think about your health care needs, budget and risk tolerance. It's essential to have enough coverage to protect yourself from financial hardship in case of a health crisis.
Check for Premium Tax Credits
Premium tax credits help lower the cost of health insurance by reducing your monthly premium payment. They are generally available to those whose income reaches at least 100% to 250% of the federal poverty level (FPL). You must not be eligible for publicly assisted health insurance, including Medicaid and Medicare, in order to qualify for a tax credit.
Check Government Program Eligibility
It's a good idea to look into government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid if you think you might be eligible since these programs offer some of the cheapest ways to secure health insurance. Note that you must be 65 or older to qualify for Medicare, and you must be below a certain income threshold to qualify for Medicaid, making it one of the best health insurance options if you're unemployed.
Choose Your Plan
If you're comfortable with all the details of the cheapest health plan available, it's fine to choose it. Always choose a plan that offers the coverage and benefits you need at a price you can afford.
Health Insurance Subsidies and Income-Based Assistance
If you fall within specific low-income brackets, you may be eligible for a health insurance subsidy to help pay for health insurance premiums. In the past, subsidies have been available to those whose income falls between 100% and 400% of the FPL. However, recent legislation has extended these subsidies to those with incomes over 400% of the FPL until 2025.
Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) are other options for those who do not qualify for subsidies. Depending on the state, Medicaid is available to those whose income falls between 100% and 150% of the FPL. Medicaid is distinct from Medicare, so it's important to understand the difference when evaluating your options.
Short-term health insurance can provide temporary coverage when transitioning from one job to another or waiting for open enrollment. While these plans offer lower monthly costs, they may not provide essential benefits and can deny those with pre-existing conditions. Additionally, they may have high copays and co-insurance, which can make the cost of treatment expensive.
Unlike Marketplace plans, short-term plans do not qualify for subsidies or tax credits. Consider the limitations of short-term health insurance and weigh the benefits against the risks before buying a policy.
Frequently Asked Questions About Health Insurance in Kansas City
MoneyGeek answered the most commonly asked questions about health insurance in Kansas City to help you determine the best insurer and coverage option for you.
About Brenna Kelly, Licensed Health Insurance Agent
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- Blue KC. "Your Plan for a Healthy, Happy Life." Accessed May 11, 2023.
- HealthCare.gov. "Qualifying Life Event (QLE) - Glossary." Accessed April 5, 2023.
- HealthInsurance.org. "Kansas Health Insurance Marketplace Guide 2023." Accessed April 5, 2023.
- Kaiser Family Foundation. "Nine Changes to Watch in ACA Open Enrollment 2023." Accessed April 9, 2023.