If you do not get health insurance through your employer or a government program like Medicare or Medicaid, you have to purchase it through the Missouri insurance exchange.
When looking for the best health insurance in Missouri, it is important to look for a plan that balances cost and coverage. Keep in mind that the cheaper the monthly premium of a plan, the higher the cost of deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums.
For this analysis, MoneyGeek used plans bought through the Missouri insurance marketplace and for people with different ages and coverage levels.
The Cheapest Health Insurance in Missouri by Metal Tier
The cost of health insurance in Missouri depends on the metal tier that you choose. The metal tier system gives policyholders an option to lower their insurance premiums by having higher deductibles or get lower out-of-pocket expenses and more coverage with higher monthly rates.
In Missouri, there are five metal tiers available. These are the Catastrophic, Bronze, Expanded Bronze, Silver and Gold. The average monthly rate for each tier in Missouri are:
- Catastrophic: $297 per month
- Bronze: $410 per month
- Expanded Bronze: $453 per month
- Silver: $569 per month
- Gold: $644 per month
Individuals who have a lot of medical costs may be able to save more by choosing a Gold or Platinum plan since it comes with fewer out-of-pocket expenses. Meanwhile, a relatively healthy person may determine a Bronze or Expanded Bronze is a better and cheaper option.
You can find the plans with the cheapest monthly premiums for each metal tier in the table below. The cost of premiums, deductibles and out-of-pocket maxes in the Missouri marketplace may vary greatly within a metal tier.
Individuals with low income may be eligible for cost-sharing reductions (CSR). It lowers the cost of deductibles for Silver plans, which means you can have access to more coverage.
All premiums provided in the table are based on plans available in the state for a 40-year-old male. The rates are for EPO plan types, which is the most popular type of plan in Missouri.
Cheapest Health Insurance in Missouri by Metal Tier
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- Metal TierPlanCompanyMonthly CostOOP Max
- CatastrophicBalance by Medica CatastrophicMedica$232$8,550
- BronzeWellFirst Bronze Value Copay 8500XWellFirst Health$298$8,500
- Expanded BronzeWellFirst Bronze Copay Plus 8500XWellFirst Health$303$8,500
- SilverWellFirst Silver HSA-E 4500XWellFirst Health$445$6,900
- GoldWellFirst Gold Value Copay 3700XWellFirst Health$449$3,700
The Cheapest Health Insurance in Missouri by Age and Metal Tier
How old you are will affect the cost of health insurance in Missouri. For instance, a 26-year-old typically pays $456 per month for a Silver EPO plan. Meanwhile, a 60-year-old pays an average of $1,208 monthly for a similar plan.
Health Insurance Costs in Missouri by Age and Metal Tier
The cost of health insurance in Missouri increases as you age. While a lower deductible option like a Bronze plan allows you to save on monthly expenses, you will be paying more out of pocket if medical expenses are high.
The average rates featured in this study are based on sample ages only. These do not take into account other factors affecting premiums, such as your income. In some cases, premiums for older people can be cheaper due to tax premiums and other regulations. Actual costs will be different from these estimates. For an accurate quote, you will have to apply for a plan.
Use the table below to compare the costs of different metal tier plans based on your age. To better understand the tiers and find which one is best for you, read MoneyGeek’s guide on Missouri health insurance.
Cheapest Health Insurance in Missouri by Age And Metal Tier
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- PlanCompanyMonthly Rate
- CatastrophicEPOWellFirst Health$187
- CatastrophicEPOOscar Insurance Company$240
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The Cheapest Health Insurance in Missouri by County
Where you live in Missouri plays a role in determining how much your health insurance will cost. Missouri, like other states, has rating areas that insurance providers use to calculate premiums.
The state has 115 counties divided into 10 rating areas. St. Louis County is the most populous county in Missouri. The cheapest Silver plan in the county is Cigna Connect 5500 from Cigna Healthcare at $413 monthly.
Use the table below to find the cheapest plan in your Missouri county for all metal tier types.
MoneyGeek used a sample profile for this analysis. In this case, it is a 40-year-old male in Missouri looking for a health insurance plan in that county.
Cheapest Health Insurance Plans in Missouri by County
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- Metal TierCompanyCheapest PlanMonthly Premium
- AtchisonCatastrophicMedicaSelect by Medica Catastrophic$255
- NodawayCatastrophicMedicaSelect by Medica Catastrophic$255
- HoltCatastrophicMedicaSelect by Medica Catastrophic$255
- AndrewCatastrophicMedicaSelect by Medica Catastrophic$255
- BuchananCatastrophicMedicaSelect by Medica Catastrophic$255
The Cheapest Health Insurance in Missouri With High Out-of-Pocket Maxes
For younger individuals in Missouri who have low medical costs, getting a plan with cheaper premiums and high out-of-pocket maximums may be a better option. Keep in mind that this means you will pay more if you have a medical emergency or visit a doctor a lot during the year.
For a plan with the highest out-of-pocket expense, Balance by Medica Catastrophic offered by Medica is the cheapest option. This type of plan costs $186 monthly on average for a 26-year-old.
MoneyGeek defined a high out-of-pocket plan with maximum out-of-pocket expenses of $8,250 or higher.
If you are looking for affordable health insurance in Missouri for a high out-of-pocket maximum, your best option is Balance by Medica Catastrophic. The plan falls under the Catastrophic metal level, which means you are only eligible to apply if you are under 30 years old or are qualified for the hardship or affordability exemption.
The Cheapest Health Insurance in Missouri With Low Out-of-Pocket Maximums
Missouri residents expecting to have higher medical costs may opt for an insurance plan with higher premiums, which provides cheaper out-of-pocket maximums. While you will pay more monthly, you will be able to reach the maximum limit sooner if you make regular visits to the doctor or spend a lot on prescription drugs. Thus, your insurance provider will start covering costs more quickly.
The cheapest health insurance plan in Missouri for a low out-of-pocket maximum is WellFirst Health’s WellFirst Gold Value Copay 3700X. For a 40-year-old male, this plan costs an average of $449 per month.
For this analysis, MoneyGeek defined a low out-of-pocket max as a plan that costs below $4,250. WellFirst Gold Value Copay 3700 X has maximum out-of-pocket expenses of $3,700 per year, making it the cheapest in terms of out-of-pocket expenses and premium.
WellFirst Gold Value Copay 3700X, the cheapest plan with the lowest out-of-pocket max in Missouri, is a Gold plan. That means its monthly premiums are higher than Silver and Bronze plans. That said, the plan covers more medical expenses if you reach the spending limits.
Cheapest EPO Health Insurance Plan in Missouri
In determining the type of healthcare insurance plan to buy, consider your healthcare needs and preferences. Most plans in Missouri are Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO) plans, which require you to stay in your insurance carrier’s network to cover services except in emergencies. These do not require a referral to see a specialist.
The cheapest EPO Silver plan is the WellFirst Silver HAS-E 4500X provided by WellFirst Health. It costs an average of $445 per month.
Cheapest Plan in Missouri With an HSA
Individuals who are in good health and do not plan to go to the doctor often may choose a Health Savings Account (HSA). These plans tend to be cheaper. You can also make pre-tax contributions, which you can use towards your health expenses. If you do not utilize the money on medical expenses, it can serve as savings.
The cheapest health insurance in Missouri for all available metal tiers with HSA are:
- Expanded Bronze: The WellFirst Bronze HSA-E plan provider by WellFirst Health costs an average of $319 per month.
- Silver: The WellFirst Silver HSA-E 4500X plan provided by WellFirst Health Company costs an average of $445 per month.
It’s important to note that health insurance plans with HSA have high deductibles. That means your savings may be affected if you have a major medical expense.
What to Know About Health Insurance in Missouri
MoneyGeek used sample rates based on private plan data from Missouri marketplaces. However, you may find even cheaper rates when you apply for a plan. Lower-income or older Missouri residents may qualify for Medicaid or Medicare. These are typically cheaper compared to plans in the Marketplace.
Private Health Insurance on the Missouri Marketplace
Health insurance options in Missouri for individuals available on marketplaces are categorized into metal tiers. Plans with the lowest premiums fall under Catastrophic and Bronze levels. However, these have the highest out-of-pocket costs. Meanwhile, Gold plans have lower out-of-pocket costs but higher monthly premiums.
All metal-tier health insurance plans meet state and federal requirements. However, they have different strengths and weaknesses:
- Catastrophic: Catastrophic plans are the most affordable health insurance in Missouri, but they have the lowest possible benefits. Compared to other metal tiers, they also have less coverage. Additionally, deductibles and out-of-pocket costs tend to be high. These are available for those under 30 years old or facing economic hardship.
- Bronze: Compared to Catastrophic plans, these plans have more benefits and lower out-of-pocket costs. These are best for residents who want protection from unexpected medical expenses but do not go to a doctor frequently. That said, Bronze plans still have high out-of-pocket costs.
- Expanded Bronze: In comparison, an Expanded Bronze plan has more coverage and lower out-of-pocket costs than a Bronze plan. While it tends to be more expensive than Catastrophic and Bronze plans, it is cheaper than Silver and Gold tiers.
- Silver: Silver plans have moderate premiums and out-of-pocket costs, which means they are the midway point between the cheapest and most expensive metal tiers. Compared to Catastrophic, Bronze and Extended Bronze policies, Silver plans have cheaper out-of-pocket costs and higher monthly premiums.
- Gold: Generally, Gold plans have the lowest deductibles and out-of-pocket costs across all metal tiers. However, their monthly premiums tend to be the most expensive. This type of plan is best for individuals who think they will need major medical coverage throughout the year.
Missouri residents may get cheaper plans or higher coverage based on their income levels. Those with income between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level could get premium tax credits. In Missouri, these tax credits apply to a two-person household with an income between $17,420 and $69,680 annually. Learn more about this using the Healthcare.gov calculator.
Open enrollment, which is typically between November and December, allows policyholders to enroll in a new healthcare plan or renew an existing policy through the healthcare marketplace. Due to COVID-19, the government extended the enrollment period. If you move or have a change in employment status, you may also apply for a special enrollment period.
Individuals earning from 138% to 250% of the federal poverty level qualify for cost-sharing reductions when they buy a Silver plan. These can help lower deductibles, copayments or coinsurance and out-of-pocket maximums. If you qualify for these deductions, you can get a Gold plan with a Silver plan price. A two-person household with an income of $24,040 to $43,550 is eligible for these reductions.
Medicaid in Missouri
If you are eligible for Medicaid, it would be your cheapest option as it is free. Missouri is set to expand Medicaid starting on July 1, 2021. Residents with income below 138% of the federal poverty level will qualify for Medicaid.
Medicare in Missouri
Missouri residents age 65 or older and those who have qualifying disability or illness may be eligible for Medicare. Unlike Medicaid, this federal healthcare program may come with expenses for some coverage. That said, it is still a more affordable option compared to a plan from a private insurance carrier.
There are three parts of Medicare:
- Part A: This refers to hospital insurance, which covers inpatient hospital stays, hospice care, nursing facility care and some home health care services. This part is free.
- Part B: Part B, also known as medical insurance, covers some doctors’ services, outpatient care, necessary medical supplies and preventive services. Premium rates for Part B are based on the policyholder’s income.
- Part D: The third part is the prescription drug coverage. It covers the cost of prescription drugs, including recommended vaccines. Your plan will determine the cost of this coverage.
Medicare coverages have limitations, so it is important to review the policy before signing.
Expert Advice: Finding Affordable Health Insurance in Missouri
- How do I take advantage of cost-sharing reductions and tax credits for health insurance in Missouri?
- Outside of plans on the health insurance exchange, where else can I get health insurance in Missouri?
Assistant Professor of Economics at Missouri Western State University
Curators' Distinguished Teaching Professor Emerita, Department of Economics at the University of Missouri–St. Louis
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 Missouri for you
MoneyGeek collected plans and premiums for health insurance in Missouri 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
- Healthcare.gov. "How to Buy a Catastrophic Healthcare Plan." Accessed June 13, 2021.
- Healthcare.gov. "How to Pick a Health Insurance Plan." Accessed June 13, 2021.
- Medicare.gov. "What's Medicare?." Accessed June 13, 2021.