The Cheapest (and Best) Health Insurance in Portland, OR (2023)

MoneyGeek discovered that the cheapest health insurance providers in Portland are Kaiser Permanente and Providence Health Plan, costing around $358 and $402 per month, respectively.

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Advertising & Editorial DisclosureLast Updated: 1/20/2023
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The cost of your health insurance is influenced by your location, age, plan type, coverage needs and family size. MoneyGeek reviewed marketplace data to find the cheapest health insurance companies in Portland.

Since cost shouldn’t be your only consideration, MoneyGeek also evaluated insurance providers in Portland for customer service, plan options and affordability. Not every company will offer all plan types, so it’s important to shop around to find the best option for you.

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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 Portland

In addition to cost, a provider’s plan options, cost-sharing choices and customer service are vital aspects of a health insurance plan. MoneyGeek used these factors to assess insurance companies in Portland and found that Kaiser Permanente is the best option in the city, scoring 94 out of 100.

Best Health Insurance in Portland

Kaiser Permanente

pros

Affordable monthly premiums

Above-average customer service

Access to various mental health and addiction care services

Offers healthy living programs and classes

Out-of-state coverage while traveling

cons

Only available in eight states

Limited metal tier options

Limits out-of-network coverage to emergency services

COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS

Established in 1945, Kaiser Permanente is one of the leading health care providers in the country. It offers affordable and high-quality care to individuals and businesses in eight states, including Oregon.

With Kaiser Permanente, you can get urgent or emergency care while traveling out of the state or country. You also have access to various mental health and addiction care services. Additionally, Kaiser Permanente puts emphasis on preventive care, providing health and wellness resources as well as programs and classes to promote healthy living.

Health Insurance in Portland Runner-Up

In Portland, the second-cheapest health insurance provider is Providence Health Plan, which received a MoneyGeek score of 74 out of 100.

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Health Insurance Runner-Up
Providence Health Plan

Providence Health Plan is a not-for-profit company founded in 1843 to provide high-quality and affordable health care solutions to the clients and communities it serves. This company covers various preventive care services in full, including periodic health examinations, routine immunizations, mammograms and more. It also offers several perks such as access to emergency care while traveling abroad through Assist America Travel Assistance and discounts on fitness and wellness products, services and memberships.

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HOW TO FIND CHEAP HEALTH INSURANCE

The health insurance marketplace organizes plans by metal tiers, with Bronze having the lowest monthly premiums and Platinum having the highest. Catastrophic plans are offered by some companies, but they are only available to individuals under 30 years of age and those in a specified low-income bracket.

Bronze plans are ideal if you’re looking for health insurance on a budget. But if they can’t provide adequate coverage for your health care needs, Silver plans may be a good alternative.

Cheapest Health Insurance in Portland for Individuals

Health insurance premiums are determined by how you split health care costs with your insurance company. These costs can change across state, city and county levels.

The best health insurance provider may not always be the cheapest. If affordability is your main concern, it’s wise to learn more about the marketplace metal system and how premiums and out-of-pocket maximums are linked. Naturally, the lower your monthly premiums, the higher your maximum out-of-pocket costs will be. Your deductible, copay and co-insurance will also impact your health care costs.

For metal tier options, Bronze offers the lowest monthly premiums in exchange for higher out-of-pocket maximums. This option may only be ideal if you don’t usually have expensive medical bills.

Cheapest Health Insurance in Portland for Individuals by Metal Tier
  • Metal Tier
    Company
    Monthly Premium
  • Catastrophic

    PacificSource Health Plans

    $237

  • Expanded Bronze

    Kaiser Permanente

    $298

  • Silver

    Providence Health Plan

    $402

  • Gold

    Kaiser Permanente

    $417

Some states offer Expanded Bronze plans, which provide slightly more coverage than a regular Bronze plan. They also cover at least one major service before you need to pay your deductible.

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UNDERSTANDING HEALTH INSURANCE COSTS

It’s common to encounter unfamiliar terms while shopping for health insurance. To help you understand them, MoneyGeek breaks down these terms below.

  • Premium: The fixed rate you have to pay each month for your policy.
  • Deductible: The amount you need to pay for covered services before your insurer starts covering its share.
  • Out-of-Pocket Maximum: The limit for spending on deductibles, copayments and co-insurance in a given year.
  • Co-Insurance: The cost-percentage you need to pay for a covered health care service after meeting your deductible.
  • Copay: The fixed amount you have to pay for office visits, prescriptions and other covered services.

How Age Affects Health Insurance Costs in Portland

Age has a significant impact on the cost of your health insurance. Companies tend to charge higher premiums as you get older to accommodate the increase in health care needs.

Bronze and Expanded Bronze plans are usually the most affordable. If you decide to purchase a lower-tiered plan, make sure you’re comfortable with the provider’s network to avoid paying out of pocket for out-of-network coverage.

To show how monthly premiums increase with age, MoneyGeek listed the cheapest health insurance companies in Portland for different ages.

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

    Kaiser Permanente

    $148

  • 26

    Kaiser Permanente

    $239

  • 40

    Kaiser Permanente

    $298

  • 60

    Kaiser Permanente

    $633

Cheapest Health Insurance in Portland for Families

Health insurance costs tend to increase when more people are added to a policy. As such, it’s cheaper to bundle your family members under one plan than insure each member individually.

The chart below illustrates the average premiums of family health insurance plans in Portland based on family size and metal level.

Cheapest Premiums for Family Health Insurance
  • Metal Tier
    Family of Three
    Family of Four
    Family of Five
    Family of Six
  • Catastrophic

    $592

    $710

    $828

    $946

  • Expanded Bronze

    $744

    $892

    $1,040

    $1,188

  • Silver

    $1,004

    $1,204

    $1,404

    $1,604

  • Gold

    $1,041

    $1,248

    $1,455

    $1,662

How to Find Cheap Health Insurance in Portland

The perfect health insurance plan doesn’t exist. Instead, look for a plan that can meet your particular health care needs and budget. For instance, a high-deductible plan with a lower monthly premium may be ideal if you don’t need much medical attention. On the other hand, choosing a more expensive plan may be cheaper in the long run if you need more comprehensive coverage.

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SHORT-TERM HEALTH INSURANCE

Short-term health insurance can provide temporary coverage while you’re waiting for open enrollment or your new job to start. However, it’s not an alternative to a marketplace plan. It’s worth noting that short-term plans don’t offer coverage for essential health benefits and pre-existing conditions. Furthermore, they have higher copays and co-insurance, making treatment costs more expensive.

Health Insurance Subsidies and Income-Based Assistance

Lowering your health insurance cost is possible through financial assistance. You may be eligible for a health insurance subsidy if your income is 100% of the federal poverty level (FPL). Prior to 2022, subsidies were capped at 400% of the FPL, but the American Rescue Plan suspended this rule to allow more individuals access to subsidies.

If you’re not eligible for an insurance subsidy, you may consider Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Depending on the state, you may be qualified for Medicaid if your income is between 100% and 150% of the FPL.

Finding the Best Health Insurance in Portland

Purchasing the cheapest health insurance option may not always be the best choice. Keep in mind that high-deductible plans with low monthly premiums may be more expensive in the long run if you need frequent health care.

Tips for Finding the Right Coverage for You

Before getting health insurance in Portland, it’s important to shop around and compare different plans. MoneyGeek recommends following the steps below to find the best option for your health care needs.

1

Know Where to Start

You can start looking for plans through your work, your parents (if you’re under 26), private insurance companies or the health insurance marketplace.

2

Mark the Enrollment Deadlines

Marketplace plans can only be purchased during a certain period, so it’s important to take note of open enrollment dates and deadlines to avoid missing your window. You may qualify for special enrollment if you experience specific life events, like losing health coverage or getting married.

3

Understand Your Health Care Needs

Consider your health care needs so you know what to look for in a health insurance plan. Review the plan’s benefits summary to see if it can meet your needs. Also, make sure your preferred doctors are in its network before finalizing your purchase.

4

Review Costs

Aside from the monthly premium, you also need to assess the plan’s deductibles, copays, co-insurance and out-of-pocket maximums to determine how much you’ll spend on health insurance.

5

Check Your Prescriptions

Check if your preferred plan covers the prescription drugs you need.

6

Choose Your Plan

The cheapest health insurance plan may not have the best coverage. But if you’re satisfied with its coverage and benefits, you may purchase it.

Frequently Asked Questions About Health Insurance in Portland

Learn more about health insurance in Portland by reading MoneyGeek’s answers to some commonly asked questions below.

About the Author


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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.


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