The Cheapest Minnesota Health Insurance for Individuals and Families

How much of your medical expenses you want to be covered affects the cost of health insurance in Minnesota. The Minnesota Insurance Exchange categorizes private into three metal tiers, including Bronze, Silver and Gold. Of the three, Silver plans, which cost an average of $365 per month, are considered the best balance of coverage and affordability. The most affordable Silver health insurance plan in Minnesota is UCare M Health Fairview Silver HSA. You can purchase it from UCare Minnesota at roughly $265 a month.

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Last Updated: 11/15/2022
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There are several ways to get health insurance in Minnesota. You may be eligible for a government program such as Medicaid or Medicare. Employers also provide health coverage for employees. If neither of those options is available, you can purchase a private plan from Minnesota’s Insurance Exchange.

The rates of health insurance plans in Minnesota vary, but those with lower premiums typically have higher deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums. It means you pay more out of pocket if you need medical attention.

After comparing private plans from the state’s insurance marketplace, MoneyGeek determined the most affordable health insurance options in Minnesota for different buyer ages and plan types, making it easier to find one that suits your needs and preferences.

The Cheapest Health Insurance in Minnesota by Metal Tier

Metal tiers don’t determine the quality of medical care you receive. However, they do impact the share of medical expenses your health insurance provider in Minnesota covers. Plans that cost less per month typically require you to pay more out of pocket before your coverage kicks in. These also cover a smaller ratio of your medical expenses. Conversely, plans that cost more per month may end up more cost-effective if you have considerable medical expenses.

In the Minnesota Insurance Exchange, plans are categorized into Bronze, Silver and Gold tiers. Policy rates within each tier vary, but on average, they cost:

  • Bronze: $322 per month
  • Silver: $365 per month
  • Gold: $424 per month

The table below indicates the most affordable health insurance in Minnesota based on monthly premium for each metal tier. You’ll find, however, a wide range between rates, deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums within the same category.

If you’re eligible for cost-sharing reductions due to low income, purchasing a Silver plan becomes a great deal. It lowers your deductibles compared to standard policies. MoneyGeek used a 40-year-old male buyer profile for all health insurance plan types in Minnesota. You can purchase HMO, PPO or EPO plans in Minnesota’s Insurance Exchange, though buyers typically buy HMO plans.

Cheapest Health Insurance in Minnesota by Metal Tier

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  • Metal Tier
    Plan
    Company
    Monthly Cost
    OOP Max
  • Bronze
    UCare M Health Fairview Bronze HSA
    UCare Minnesota
    $223
    $6,950
  • Silver
    UCare M Health Fairview Silver HSA
    UCare Minnesota
    $265
    $6,800
  • Gold
    UCare M Health Fairview Gold
    UCare Minnesota
    $347
    $7,300

The Cheapest Health Insurance in Minnesota by Age and Metal Tier

Insurance providers consider several factors when calculating the cost of health insurance in Minnesota. One factor that significantly impacts the policy rate is the buyer’s age.

Typically, the younger you are when you enroll in a plan, whether it’s an HMO, an EOP or a PPO, the lower the premium is. For example, a 26-year-old buyer pays an average of $289 per month for health insurance in Minnesota. This is lower than how much a similar HMO plan costs for a 60-year-old, which is $776 per month on average.

Health Insurance Costs in Minnesota by Age and Metal Tier

MoneyGeek only used sample ages to get the rates. Factoring in information unique to you, such as your exact age and income, may result in different prices. Older buyers may even find more affordable health insurance plans in Minnesota’s insurance exchange due to regulations or tax premiums. The best way to determine the exact cost of health insurance in Minnesota for your profile is to apply for a plan in the marketplace.

The table below allows you to switch between buyer ages and metal tiers. If you need more information about which metal tier to purchase, you can read MoneyGeek’s extensive guide on health insurance in Minnesota.

Cheapest Health Insurance in Minnesota by Age And Metal Tier

Sort by Metal Tier:

Silver

Sort by Age:

40 years

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  • Plan
    Company
    Monthly Rate
  • Bronze
    HMO
    UCare Minnesota
    $156
  • Bronze
    HMO
    UCare Minnesota
    $164
  • Bronze
    EPO
    Medica
    $171
  • Bronze
    EPO
    Medica
    $172
  • Bronze
    PPO
    HealthPartners
    $174
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The Cheapest Health Insurance in Minnesota by County

Location is another factor that impacts the cost of health insurance plans in Minnesota. Insurance providers look at differences in state and local regulations and cost of living, among other things. They use rating areas to set premiums in different sections of the state. Policy prices in counties are determined the same way.

Minnesota has 87 counties divided into nine rating areas. In its most populous county, Hennepin, UCare Minnesota has the cheapest Silver plan. You can purchase UCare M Health Fairview Silver HSA for $265 per month on average.

Use the table below to find the most affordable health insurance in Minnesota for your county in all the metal tiers.

These rates are for a 40-year-old male in Minnesota looking to purchase health insurance for these counties.

Cheapest Health Insurance Plans in Minnesota by County

Sort by county:

Aitkin

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  • Metal Tier
    Company
    Cheapest Plan
    Monthly Premium
  • Dodge
    Bronze
    Quartz Health Plan MN Corporation
    Select Bronze I202
    $333
  • Fillmore
    Bronze
    Quartz Health Plan MN Corporation
    Select Bronze I202
    $333
  • Freeborn
    Bronze
    Quartz Health Plan MN Corporation
    Select Bronze I202
    $333
  • Goodhue
    Bronze
    Quartz Health Plan MN Corporation
    Select Bronze I202
    $333
  • Houston
    Bronze
    Quartz Health Plan MN Corporation
    Select Bronze I202
    $333

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

If you’re young and don’t need a lot of medical care, you can opt for a low-cost plan with a high out-of-pocket maximum. This allows you to have health insurance in Minnesota without paying an expensive premium per month. If, however, your visits to the doctor increase in a given year or if you have a medical emergency, you may have to pay more out of pocket.

The cheapest health insurance plan in Minnesota with a high out-of-pocket maximum comes from UCare Minnesota. Their UCare M Health Fairview Bronze only costs $189 per month on average.

Money Geek looked at health insurance plans in Minnesota with out-of-pocket maximums of $8,250 and above to determine the cheapest option.

UCare Minnesota

UCare Minnesota offers the cheapest health insurance plan in Minnesota with a high out-of-pocket maximum. This is a Bronze plan.

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

If you regularly visit your doctor or purchase prescription drugs, opting for a health insurance plan in Minnesota with low out-of-pocket maximums may turn out to be more cost-effective. Although you pay a higher premium each month, you’re likely to reach your limit sooner, resulting in your insurance provider beginning covering your medical expenses earlier.

Comparing plans with out-of-pocket maximums below $4,250, MoneyGeek found the most affordable health insurance option in Minnesota to be Select Gold I403 HSA. With an out-of-pocket maximum of $3,000, you can purchase it from Quartz Health Plan MN Corporation for $456 per month.

Quartz Health Plan MN Corporation

Most plans with low out-of-pocket maximums fall into Gold or Platinum tiers. Quartz Health Plan MN Corporation offers the most affordable Gold health insurance plan in Minnesota for this type of coverage. It requires a more expensive monthly premium but causes your insurance provider to cover costs earlier. Having substantial medical expenses allows you to reach your threshold sooner, making it more cost-effective in the long run.

Cheapest HMO/EPO/PPO Health Insurance Plan in Minnesota

When you’re deciding which type of health insurance plan in Minnesota you’ll buy, you need to consider your medical needs and preferences. Most plans in Minnesota are HMOs, but EPOs and PPOs are also available.

The type with lower rates is Health Maintenance Organization plans, also known as HMOs. These require you to stay within your network to ensure coverage and require a referral if you need to see a specialist. If your in-network providers are easily accessible, it may be a good option. In Minnesota, the Cheapest HMO Silver Plan is UCare M Health Fairview Silver HSA. You can purchase it for an average of $265 per month from UCare Minnesota.

If you want to have the same benefits as HMO plans but want more flexibility regarding referrals for specialists, an Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO) plan may be a better fit. Medica offers the cheapest EPO Silver Plan in Minnesota. Their North Memorial Acclaim Silver Copay costs an average of $284 per month.

If you want additional flexibility through a more expansive network, you can opt for a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plan. These do not require a referral for specialists’ consultations. The downside is that they tend to be more expensive. HealthPartners offers the cheapest PPO Silver Plan in Minnesota. You can purchase their SmartCare $3,000 HSA Silver for an average of $290 per month.

Cheapest Plan in Minnesota With an HSA

You don’t have to wait until you have medical expenses or be in poor health before purchasing health insurance in Minnesota. A Health Savings Account (HSA) may be an attractive option. It allows you to make pre-tax contributions, which could eventually turn into a nest egg.

In Minnesota, you can purchase the most affordable health insurance HSA plans for each tier from the following:

  • Cheapest HSA Bronze Plan: UCare M Health Fairview Bronze HSA provider by UCare Minnesota costs an average of $223 per month.
  • Cheapest HSA Silver Plan: UCare M Health Fairview Silver HSA provided by UCare Minnesota costs an average of $265 per month.
  • Cheapest HSA Gold Plan: Select Gold I404 HSA provided by Quartz Health Plan MN Corporation costs an average of $450 per month

The only downside to having an HSA plan is its high deductible. This may lead to having to use your savings if you have extensive medical expenses.

What to Know About Health Insurance in Minnesota

MoneyGeek’s study used data on private plans from Minnesota’s Insurance Marketplace. It may be possible to find more affordable health insurance options in Minnesota when you apply for a plan.

It’s also worth checking if you qualify for any government healthcare program, such as Medicaid or Medicare. Both are likely to be cheaper than any private plan you find on the Insurance Exchange.

Private Health Insurance on the Minnesota Marketplace

If you are purchasing health insurance from Minnesota’s Insurance Exchange, you can choose between three metal tiers, including Bronze, Silver and Gold. Plans from lower-level categories, such as Bronze, typically cost less per month. Those named after more valuable metals, such as Gold, usually have higher premiums.

To help you understand the metal tiers in Minnesota better, here is an overview of their characteristics:

  • Bronze – Bronze plans require insurance providers to cover around 60% of costs from medical care. They are more affordable options but have high deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums. It may cause you to pay more out of pocket before your policy kicks in.

  • Silver – Silver plans fall midway between Bronze and Gold plans. These cost more than Bronze plans but have lower deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums than Gold plans. You can get additional savings if you qualify for it, which may mean thousands of dollars each year in savings, making Silver plans cost-effective options for health insurance in Minnesota.

  • Gold – Gold plans have lower deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums, which means you pay less out of pocket. They also require insurance providers to shoulder around 80% of your medical expenses. The trade-off is that these have a higher monthly premium.

You might be able to get a premium tax credit on health insurance in Minnesota due to low income. If you earn anywhere between 100% to 400% of the federal poverty level, for example a two-person household with an annual income between $17,420 to $69,680, you may qualify. To see how much savings you can get, use the calculator on healthcare.gov.

Cost-Sharing Reductions (CSR) are available to those with incomes 138% to 250% below the federal poverty level who purchase Silver plans, making them excellent deals. This applies to a two-household in Minnesota earning between $24,040 to $43,550. These reductions allow you to have Gold plan coverages with Silver plan costs. You’ll have lower deductions, copayments or coinsurance and out-of-pocket maximums.

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Cost-Sharing Reductions (CSR) are available to those with incomes 138% to 250% below the federal poverty level who purchase Silver plans, making them excellent deals. This applies to a two-household in Minnesota earning between $24,040 to $43,550. These reductions allow you to have Gold plan coverages with Silver plan costs. You’ll have lower deductions, copayments or coinsurance and out-of-pocket maximums.

Medicaid in Minnesota

If you’re looking for cheap health insurance options in Minnesota, check if you’re eligible for Medicaid. It’s a free government healthcare program, making it the most affordable option if you qualify. Minnesota is a Medicaid expansion state, which means income is the sole factor determining eligibility. If your income falls below the federal poverty line by 138%, Medicaid is an option for you.

Medicare in Minnesota

Another health insurance option in Minnesota is Medicare, which is an additional program from the government. It is available to those 65 or older or those who have a qualifying illness or disability. Unlike Medicaid, which is free, you have to pay for some coverage with Medicare. Compared to purchasing a health insurance plan in Minnesota’s Insurance Exchange, it’s a less expensive option.

Medicare has three parts, each covering a different area:

  • Part A: Covers inpatient hospital stays, some home care services and care from hospices and skilled nursing facilities.
  • Part B: Covers outpatient care, medical supplies, preventive services as well as services from specific doctors.
  • Part D: Covers vaccines and other recommended shots. It also provides coverage for prescription drugs.

Expert Advice: Finding Affordable Health Insurance in Minnesota

  1. How do I take advantage of cost-sharing reductions and tax credits for health insurance in Minnesota?
  2. Outside of plans on the health insurance exchange, where else can I get health insurance in Minnesota?
Lacey Loomer, PhD, MSPH
Lacey Loomer, PhD, MSPH

Assistant Professor of Health Care Management at the University of Minnesota Duluth

Jeanne M. Boeh
Jeanne M. Boeh

Professor of Economics at Augsburg University

Lanlan (Lacey) Chu
Lanlan (Lacey) Chu

Assistant Professor of Economics at St. Catherine University

Li Zhang
Li Zhang

Professor at St. Cloud State University

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 Minnesota for you

MoneyGeek collected plans and premiums for health insurance in Minnesota from the website for MNsure for all available metal tiers and across several age groups. Plans and premiums were analyzed in May 2021. 

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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