Kansas residents can gain health insurance from employers or government programs such as Medicaid or Medicare. Those who don’t have these options can purchase private plans from the Kansas insurance exchange.
It’s important to note that the cheaper the plan is per month, the more you’ll have to pay out-of-pocket. This is because of high deductibles or out-of-pocket maximums.
MoneyGeek analyzed and identified the cheapest plans in Kansas for residents of different ages and for various plan types to cater to varying needs and preferences.
The Cheapest Health Insurance in Kansas by Metal Tier
Health insurance in Kansas’ private market is divided into five metal tiers. Each tier has its advantages and disadvantages. The lowest tier has the lowest premiums but the highest deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses, while the highest tier has lower deductibles and out-of-pocket costs.
The average cost of health insurance in Kansas for each metal tier is as follows (based on a sample profile of a 40-year-old):
- Catastrophic: $336 per month
- Bronze: $425 per month
- Expanded Bronze: $447 per month
- Silver: $534 per month
- Gold: $572 per month
Purchasing a plan from the Gold tier, which is the highest in the state, may come with costly premiums, but it can be worth it in the long run for those who often have medical expenses. This is because you’ll pay less out-of-pocket after reaching the low maximum limit.
Look at the table below to find the cheapest plan by the monthly premium for each metal tier. Note that premiums, deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums change based on each tier.
Low-income individuals may qualify for cost-sharing reductions (CSRs) — these can help make purchasing a Silver plan a great deal, as it lowers deductibles.
Data gathered by MoneyGeek are based on a sample profile of a 40-year-old male for all types of plans available in Kansas, namely EPO and HMO plans, with the latter being the most common type in the state.
Cheapest Health Insurance in Kansas by Metal Tier
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- Metal TierPlanCompanyMonthly CostOOP Max
- CatastrophicMedica with Healthier You CatastrophicMedica$277$8,550
- BronzeMedica with Healthier You Bronze ValueMedica$381$8,550
- Expanded BronzeOscar Bronze Classic PCP CopayOscar Insurance Company$372$8,550
- SilverOscar Silver Saver 2Oscar Insurance Company$459$8,550
- GoldAmbetter Secure Care 20 (2021)Ambetter from Sunflower Health Plan$498$7,500
The Cheapest Health Insurance in Kansas by Age and Metal Tier
In any state, age is a significant factor that determines the cost of health insurance. Case in point, a Silver plan in Kansas for a 26-year-old costs an average of $428 per month, while for 60-year-olds, it costs roughly $1,134.
Health Insurance Costs in Kansas by Age and Metal Tier
As you grow older, health insurance premiums go up as the likelihood of needing medical services increases. Sticking to low-premium plans may be tempting, but note that you’ll have to pay more out-of-pocket if your medical costs are high.
The costs mentioned by MoneyGeek are averages based on sample age profiles and do not take into account age and income level combinations. As such, your health insurance quotes may be far cheaper as you may qualify for discounts or tax premiums, but you won’t know your exact quote until you apply for a plan.
Look at the table below to view the average cost of each metal tier for each age group. If you want to learn more, read our guide on how to get health insurance in Kansas.
Cheapest Health Insurance in Kansas by Age And Metal Tier
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- PlanCompanyMonthly Rate
- CatastrophicEPOOscar Insurance Company$225
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The Cheapest Health Insurance in Kansas by County
Health insurance premiums depend on your location. Each state has rating areas that insurers use to calculate premiums.
There are seven rating areas and 105 counties in Kansas — with the most populous being Johnson County. The cheapest Silver-tiered plan in that area is the Oscar Silver Saver 2 offered by the Oscar Insurance Company, which costs an average of $459 per month.
Use the table below to find the cheapest plan in your county in Kansas for all metal tiers.
MoneyGeek gathered plans based on a 40-year-old male’s profile who resides in Kansas and purchases a health plan in that county.
Cheapest Health Insurance Plans in Kansas by County
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- Metal TierCompanyCheapest PlanMonthly Premium
- LeavenworthCatastrophicMedicaSelect by Medica Catastrophic$293
- WyandotteCatastrophicMedicaSelect by Medica Catastrophic$293
- JohnsonCatastrophicMedicaSelect by Medica Catastrophic$293
- MiamiCatastrophicMedicaSelect by Medica Catastrophic$293
- MarshallCatastrophicMedicaSelect by Medica Catastrophic$320
The Cheapest Health Insurance in Kansas With High Out-of-Pocket Maxes
Young Kansas residents who don’t expect many medical costs can opt for a low-cost plan with high out-of-pocket maximums. Such plans let you pay a low amount monthly but require a hefty amount in case of a medical emergency or frequent doctor visits within a given year.
The most affordable health insurance option in Kansas for those who want to get a plan with a high out-of-pocket max is from Medica with its Healthier You Catastrophic plan. This costs an average of $222 per month for a 26-year-old.
Keep in mind that MoneyGeek defines a high out-of-pocket maximum as one that costs $8,250 or more.
Medica’s plan falls under the Catastrophic tier — which means it’s not available for everyone. Only those who qualify can apply, such as those below the age of 30 or eligible for a hardship exemption.
The Cheapest Health Insurance in Kansas With Low Out-of-Pocket Maximums
Individuals who anticipate having high medical costs or needs compared to the average person should opt for more expensive plans with lower deductibles. While it costs more every month, medical bills can get covered sooner if you visit the doctor regularly or pay a lot for prescription drugs, as you’ll reach your maximum out-of-pocket limit sooner.
The company offering the most affordable health insurance in Kansas with a low out-of-pocket max is Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas, Inc., with its BlueCare EPO Gold plan. This is a Gold-tiered EPO that costs an average of $515 per month for a 40-year-old.
MoneyGeek classifies a high out-of-pocket maximum as one that falls below $4,250. However, the average deductible for the BlueCare EPO Gold plan is $4,500. While this is slightly higher, MoneyGeek has identified this as the plan with the cheapest premiums and the lowest out-of-pocket maximum in Kansas.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas, Inc.
The plan offered by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas, Inc. falls within the Gold tier. This is the highest in the state, considered to have the most expensive premiums. Despite this, the low out-of-pocket maximums make it worth it for those who have significant medical needs and thus have high medical expenses.
Cheapest EPO/HMO Health Insurance Plan in Kansas
There are two types of health insurance plans in Kansas: HMOs and EPOs, with the former being the most common. The plan type you need will depend on your healthcare needs and preferences.
Health maintenance organization (HMO) plans are the most commonly found across most states and are usually the most affordable option in most states. However, they have limitations, including needing to stay within your provider network and needing a referral to see a specialist. Exclusive provider organization (EPO) plans are similar to HMOs in that you also need to stay within your provider network, but there are exceptions in case of an emergency. You also do not always need a referral to see a specialist.
The most affordable health insurance in Kansas for both types under the Silver tier are the following:
- HMO: The Ambetter Balanced Care 12 (2021) by Ambetter from Sunflower Health Plan, with an average monthly premium of $471 for a 40-year-old
- EPO: The Oscar Silver Saver 2 by the Oscar Insurance Company, with an average monthly premium of $459 for a 40-year-old
Cheapest Plan in Kansas With an HSA
Kansas residents who have minimal healthcare needs but want some form of coverage may want to get a plan with a Health Savings Account (HSA) option. This lets you build tax-free savings that you can use towards medical or non-medical-related expenses — just note that it loses its tax-free perk for the latter.
The most affordable health insurance in Kansas with an HSA option for all available metal tiers are the following:
- Expanded Bronze: The Oscar Bronze HDHP by the Oscar Insurance Company at an average of $392 per month for a 40-year-old
- Silver: The BlueCare EPO Simple Silver HDHP by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas, Inc. at an average of $544 per month for a 40-year-old
Take note that despite their tax-free savings account perk, plans with an HSA option often have high deductibles — which can drain your savings account in the event of a medical emergency.
What to Know About Health Insurance in Kansas
The rates gathered by MoneyGeek are based on data from Kansas’ private health insurance market. However, you may get even cheaper plans when applying for one on the marketplace due to your unique income level and age combination. For instance, low-income residents or seniors in Kansas may qualify for Medicaid or Medicare, which are far cheaper options than any plan on the marketplace.
Private Health Insurance on the Kansas Marketplace
In Kansas’ marketplace, health insurance plans are classified into five metal tiers. These do not dictate the quality of healthcare; instead, they determine the actuarial value of each plan, which is the split of costs between the insurer and the policyholder.
The metal tiers available in Kansas are Catastrophic, Bronze, Expanded Bronze, Silver and Gold. Each tier has varying degrees of premiums, deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums.
- Catastrophic: This plan is the cheapest, offering the lowest premiums with the highest out-of-pocket expenses. While it provides some degree of coverage, it is not suitable for those who frequent the doctor. Additionally, note that it is not available for everyone. Only those under the age of 30 or who qualify for hardship exemptions can apply for this plan.
- Bronze: The Bronze tier offers the most widely available cheap plans in Kansas. These have relatively low premiums and are paired with high out-of-pocket expenses, which, similar to Catastrophic plans, will mean that you will have to shell out a lot of money in case of a medical emergency before an insurer covers you.
- Expanded Bronze: Expanded Bronze plans cost a little more than the Bronze tier with slightly lower out-of-pocket expenses — but they come with an additional benefit. These plans have to cover at least one “major medical service” before the deductible is met, such as emergency services.
- Silver: Plans in the Silver tier offer the most balance between monthly premiums and out-of-pocket expenses. It is also the most cost-efficient plan to get for those who qualify for cost-sharing reductions or premium tax credits as they can get the most out of their money.
- Gold: Gold plans have the highest premiums but come with the lowest out-of-pocket maximums, which best suit those who often have medical expenses. This is because those with frequent medical needs can quickly reach their maximum out-of-pocket limit, letting insurance coverage kick in sooner.
Note that your unique age and income combination can help you qualify for cheaper plans through discounts or even increased coverage. For instance, if your income falls between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level, you can qualify for premium tax credits. This can apply to a two-person household in Kansas making between $17,420 and $69,680 annually. To find out if you are eligible and how much you can save, use Healthcare.gov’s calculator.
The private market in Kansas has a set time where interested individuals can apply for open enrollment. This typically falls between November and December, but the COVID-19 pandemic has expanded enrollment dates to allow for more flexibility.
Individuals whose income falls between 138% and 250% of the federal poverty level, or who make between $24,040 and $43,550 for a two-person household, can qualify for cost-sharing reductions. Note that this only applies to Silver plans, but the reduced deductibles, copayments, coinsurance and out-of-pocket maximums can make the plan worth it. You can even get Gold-tier coverage at the cost of a Silver plan if you qualify.
Medicaid in Kansas
Medicaid is a government assistance program that helps make health insurance free or almost free — individuals in Kansas who qualify should opt for this option. However, as Kansas is not a Medicaid expansion state, you may only be eligible based on the state’s guidelines. Those eligible for Medicaid in Kansas are pregnant women, low-income children, people with disabilities and very low-income families.
Medicare in Kansas
Kansas residents over the age of 65 or who have a qualifying illness or disability may be eligible for Medicare. This is another federal government program that provides medical assistance but, unlike Medicare, only covers specific services and still requires payment for some coverage. Nevertheless, it’s still a more affordable option compared to what’s on the marketplace.
Coverage from Medicare is divided into three parts, namely:
- Part A: This part covers inpatient hospital expenses or care from facilities like skilled nursing facilities or hospice.
- Part B: This pays for outpatient services, such as doctor visits or preventive services.
- Part D: This covers a patient’s prescription drugs, shots or vaccines.
MoneyGeek's research is based on estimates, and the cheapest plan for you will depend on your individual needs and characteristics. This analysis is intended to serve as a guide and no single plan is guaranteed to be the cheapest in Kansas for you
MoneyGeek collected plans and premiums for health insurance in Kansas from the Health Insurance Exchange Public Use Files (Exchange PUFs) for all available metal tiers and across several age groups.
Health insurance premiums on this page are an estimate and exclude potential premium tax credits and cost-sharing subsidies that users may be eligible for.
About Mark Fitzpatrick