The Cheapest Kentucky Health Insurance for Individuals and Families

The level of medical costs you want have covered will affect the cost of health insurance in Kentucky on the private market. In Kentucky’s marketplace, there are four metal tiers available. Of these, the Silver plan offers a balance of monthly premiums and coverage. The average cost of a Silver plan in Kentucky is $517 monthly. The cheapest Silver plan is Anthem Silver Pathway X Transition HMO 4650 for HSA, which Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield offer. The average monthly rate for this plan is $454.

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Last Updated: 11/15/2022
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Kentucky residents who do not get health insurance through their employer or a government program, such as Medicare or Medicaid, can get private health insurance plans on the state insurance exchange.

Finding the best health insurance in Kentucky that balances premium cost and coverage level can be challenging. Generally, choosing a plan with cheaper monthly premiums means you will have higher deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums.

MoneyGeek analyzed the cheapest health insurance in Kentucky through the insurance marketplace based on different ages and plan types to match the coverage suitable for your needs.

The Cheapest Health Insurance in Kentucky by Metal Tier

The metal tier system for health insurance has a significant impact in determining the cost of your coverage. If you choose a plan with lower insurance premiums, you will pay higher deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums. However, it also covers less if you need to get medical care. This means that to get lower out-of-pocket expenses, you’ll most likely have to pay higher monthly premiums.

Four metal tiers are available in Kentucky, including Catastrophic, Expanded Bronze, Silver and Gold. The average rates for each tier are:

  • Catastrophic: $303 per month
  • Expanded Bronze: $392 per month
  • Silver: $517 per month
  • Gold: $620 per month

Individuals who have high medical costs may find a Gold Plan cheaper as it results in less out-of-pocket expenses. However, for a relatively healthy person who seldom goes to the doctor, an Expanded Bronze plan may be the most affordable.

The table below lists the cheapest plan by the monthly premium for every metal tier. In the Kentucky marketplace, premiums, deductibles and out-of-pocket maxes may vary significantly within a metal tier.

Kentucky residents with low incomes may qualify for cost-sharing reductions (CSR), lowering the cost of deductibles for Silver plans. Because of this, you can get access to more coverage.

The rates in the table are based on available plans for a sample 40-year-old male. The most common plan type in Kentucky is HMO.

Cheapest Health Insurance in Kentucky by Metal Tier

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  • Metal Tier
    Plan
    Company
    Monthly Cost
    OOP Max
  • Catastrophic
    Anthem Catastrophic Pathway Transition X HMO 8550
    Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield
    $276
    $8,550
  • Expanded Bronze
    CareSource Marketplace Bronze
    CareSource
    $324
    $8,550
  • Silver
    Anthem Silver Pathway X Transition HMO 4650 for HSA
    Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield
    $454
    $6,850
  • Gold
    CareSource Marketplace Gold
    CareSource
    $542
    $6,500

The Cheapest Health Insurance in Kentucky by Age and Metal Tier

Age is one of the factors affecting the cost of health insurance in Kentucky. A Silver plan for a 26-year-old costs an average of $414 per month, while a similar policy typically costs roughly $1,098 monthly for a 60-year-old.

Health Insurance Costs in Kentucky by Age and Metal Tier

Your health insurance premium increases as you age, so it can be tempting to choose a plan with low deductibles, such as an Expanded Bronze plan, while you’re young. However, you will end up paying more out of pocket if your medical expenses suddenly increase due to illness or a medical emergency even though your monthly cost is low.

All rates are averages based on sample ages only and do not consider income. Older people can get cheaper health insurance in the Kentucky Marketplace because of tax premiums and other regulations. However, you can only find out the exact calculation when you apply for a plan.

The table below shows the comparison of costs between metal tiers and the buyer’s age. Learn more about how to choose the best metal tier for you through MoneyGeek’s guide on health insurance in Kentucky.

Cheapest Health Insurance in Kentucky by Age And Metal Tier

Sort by Metal Tier:

Silver

Sort by Age:

40 years

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  • Plan
    Company
    Monthly Rate
  • Catastrophic
    HMO
    Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield
    $197
  • Catastrophic
    HMO
    CareSource
    $213
  • Catastrophic
    HMO
    Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield
    $232
  • Expanded Bronze
    HMO
    CareSource
    $232
  • Expanded Bronze
    HMO
    CareSource
    $241
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The Cheapest Health Insurance in Kentucky by County

Where you live in the state also affects the cost of health insurance in Kentucky. Similar to other states, Kentucky has rating areas insurance carriers use when calculating premiums.

In total, there are 120 counties. These are divided into eight rating areas. Jefferson County has the highest population in the state. The cheapest Silver plan in Jefferson is Anthem Silver Pathway X Transition HMO 4650 for HSA from Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and costs an average of $406 per month.

The table below shows the cheapest plan in each county for all metal tiers available in Kentucky.

These plans are for a 40-year-old male buying a health insurance plan in that county.

Cheapest Health Insurance Plans in Kentucky by County

Sort by county:

Adair

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  • Metal Tier
    Company
    Cheapest Plan
    Monthly Premium
  • Ballard
    Catastrophic
    Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield
    Anthem Catastrophic Pathway X HMO 8550
    $321
  • Caldwell
    Catastrophic
    Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield
    Anthem Catastrophic Pathway X HMO 8550
    $321
  • Calloway
    Catastrophic
    Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield
    Anthem Catastrophic Pathway X HMO 8550
    $321
  • Carlisle
    Catastrophic
    Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield
    Anthem Catastrophic Pathway X HMO 8550
    $321
  • Crittenden
    Catastrophic
    Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield
    Anthem Catastrophic Pathway X HMO 8550
    $321

The Cheapest Health Insurance in Kentucky With High Out-of-Pocket Maxes

Younger people who seldom go to the doctor and have low medical costs may want to choose cheap health insurance in Kentucky with high out-of-pocket maximums. That means paying more affordable premiums but results in higher prices if you have to go to a doctor a lot during the year or have a medical emergency.

The cheapest option for a plan with the highest out-of-pocket expense is Anthem Catastrophic Pathway Transition X HMO 8550, which Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield offer. The average cost of this plan for a 26-year-old is $221 per month.

For this analysis, MoneyGeek defines high out-of-pocket max as a plan with maximum out-of-pocket expenses of $8,250 or higher.

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield

For cheap health insurance in Kentucky with a high out-of-pocket maximum, the top option is Anthem Catastrophic Pathway Transition X HMO 8500. Since it is a Catastrophic plan, only individuals under 30 years old or those eligible for the hardship or affordability exemption can apply.

The Cheapest Health Insurance in Kentucky With Low Out-of-Pocket Maximums

If you expect higher medical costs than the average person, you may want to choose a plan with higher insurance premiums and low out-of-pocket maximums. While your monthly premiums are more expensive, your regular visits to the doctor and spending on prescription medications will help you reach your maximum limit much sooner. That means your insurance carrier will begin covering your expenses faster, which could save you money.

The most affordable health insurance plan with a low out-of-pocket maximum is CareSource’s CareSource Marketplace Gold plan. This plan costs $542 monthly on average for a 40-year-old.

MoneyGeek defines a low out-of-pocket max to be a plan costing below $4,250. CareSource Marketplace Gold has an out-of-pocket maximum of $6,500. It has the lowest out-of-pocket max and cheapest premiums in the state, which means Kentucky does not have an out-of-pocket max below the threshold.

CareSource

CareSource has the cheapest plan with the lowest out-of-pocket max in Kentucky. This plan is a Gold plan, which means monthly premiums are more expensive than the other available metal tiers in the state. However, you get more coverage on medical expenses if you reach the spending limits.

Cheapest HMO Health Insurance Plan in Kentucky

The best health insurance in Kentucky will be based on your healthcare needs and preferences. Plans in the state are Health Maintenance Organization (HMO). This plan type is the most common. It tends to be cheaper than other types. However, it requires policyholders to stay within their provider network for covered services, except in an emergency. A referral is necessary to see a specialist.

The cheapest HMO Silver Plan in Kentucky is Anthem Silver Pathway X Transition HMO 4650 for HSA provided by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and costs an average of $454 per month.

Cheapest Plan in Kentucky With an HSA

For Kentucky residents who do not plan on going to the doctor frequently and are in good health, a Health Savings Account (HSA) is a good option. It tends to cost less and allows the policyholder to make pre-tax contributions, which they can use on their health expenses. Money deposited and not used can be considered savings.

In Kentucky, the cheapest health insurance for available metal tiers with HSA are:

  • Cheapest HSA Expanded Bronze Plan: CareSource Marketplace HSA Eligible Bronze plan provider by CareSource costs an average of $360 per month.
  • Cheapest HSA Silver Plan: Anthem Silver Pathway Transition HMO 4650 for an HSA plan provided by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield costs an average of $454 per month.

These plans tend to have high deductibles, which means you may need to pay out your savings for high medical costs.

What to Know About Health Insurance in Kentucky

MoneyGeek’s analysis includes sample rates based on private plan data from Kentucky’s insurance marketplace. As a result, you may find more affordable prices when you apply for a plan. In addition, the government has programs like Medicaid and Medicare that are typically cheaper than plans found in the marketplace for lower-income and older residents.

Private Health Insurance on the Kentucky Marketplace

In Kentucky, available health insurance plans in marketplaces are broken into metal tiers. Catastrophic and Expanded Bronze plans have the lowest premiums and highest out-of-pocket costs, while Gold plans have higher premiums and lower out-of-pocket costs.

These health insurance plans meet state and federal requirements. However, they have differences. Each one has its strengths and weaknesses.

  • Catastrophic: Plans that fall under the Catastrophic level are the cheapest options in the state. However, they offer the lowest possible benefits. As a result, you will have less coverage. The deductibles and out-of-pocket costs are also higher. Catastrophic plans are only available to those who are under 30 years old or are facing economic hardship.
  • Expanded Bronze: Expanded Bronze is more expensive than Catastrophic but cheaper than Silver and Gold tiers. For residents who are more than 30 years old, this type is the most affordable option. While premiums cost less, deductibles are higher.
  • Silver: Silver plans are in between the most expensive and cheapest metal tiers. They have reasonable premiums and out-of-pocket costs. While Silver plans have more expensive monthly premiums than Catastrophic and Bronze plans, their out-of-pocket expenses tend to be cheaper.
  • Gold: The most expensive option in terms of monthly premiums in Kentucky is a Gold plan. That said, it has the lowest deductible and out-of-pocket max among all metal tiers. Therefore, it is the best option for individuals who need major medical coverage.

Cheaper plans and higher coverage may be available based on income levels. People with income that falls between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level may qualify for premium tax credits. In the state, these apply to a two-person household with an income between $17,420 and $69,680 annually. Use the Healthcare.gov calculator to learn more.

Open enrollment refers to when policyholders can buy a new healthcare plan or change an existing policy through the Healthcare Marketplace. Typically, it is between November and December. However, due to COVID-19, the government has expanded the enrollment dates. In addition, people who move or change employment status may also apply for a particular enrollment period.

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Those with income between 138% and 250% of the federal poverty level can get cost-sharing reductions for Silver plans. In Kentucky, this refers to a two-person household with an income of $24,040 to $43,550. That means they can get lower deductibles, copayments or coinsurance and out-of-pocket maximums. In addition, qualified individuals can get Gold plan coverage at Silver plan costs.

Medicaid in Kentucky

Medicaid is free, which makes it the cheapest option for eligible individuals. In addition, Kentucky is a Medicaid expansion state. That means you can qualify based on income only. Those whose income is below 138% of the federal poverty level qualify for Medicaid.

Medicare in Kentucky

Older Kentucky residents who are 65 years old or higher and individuals with a qualifying disability or illness may qualify for Medicare. While it is an affordable option, Medicaid policyholders may have to pay for specific coverage.

The three parts of Medicare are:

  • Part A: Known as the hospital insurance, Part A covers inpatient hospital stays, hospice care, nursing facility care and some home health care services. It is free.
  • Part B: This refers to medical insurance, which includes coverage for doctors’ services, outpatient care, necessary medical supplies and preventive services. The cost of your premium for Part B is based on your income.
  • Part D: Part D is also known as prescription drug coverage. As the name suggests, it covers the cost of prescription drugs and even recommended vaccines. The plan you purchase will determine the cost of Part D coverage.

Coverages offered through Medicare have limitations. Make sure you review the policy before signing up for insurance benefits.

Methodology

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 Kentucky for you

MoneyGeek collected plans and premiums for health insurance in Kentucky 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 the Author


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Mark Fitzpatrick is a senior content manager with MoneyGeek specializing in insurance. Mark has years of experience analyzing the insurance market and creating original research and content. He graduated from Boston College with a Bachelor of Arts and Johns Hopkins University with a Master of Arts.


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