The Nebraska insurance exchange allows people who do not have health insurance from an employer or government program like Medicare or Medicaid to purchase private plans. When buying a private health insurance plan, the premium that you pay monthly will determine the kind of coverage you get. Cheaper monthly plans typically have higher out-of-pocket maxes and deductibles.
To help you find affordable health insurance in Nebraska, MoneyGeek identified the cheapest plans for people of different ages and for different plan types. This analysis is based on plans purchased through the Nebraska insurance marketplace.
The Cheapest Health Insurance in Nebraska by Metal Tier
The metal tier system of health insurance in Nebraska allows you to choose plans based on the monthly cost and type of coverage required. Plans with cheaper monthly premiums will typically have higher deductibles and out-of-pocket maxes. This means that you get less medical coverage compared to someone who chooses a plan with high monthly premiums and low out-of-pocket maxes.
In Nebraska, you can choose from four different health insurance tiers, including Catastrophic, Expanded Bronze, Silver and Gold plans. The average Nebraska resident will pay the following monthly premiums depending on the particular tier they choose.
- Catastrophic: $344 per month
- Expanded Bronze: $491 per month
- Silver: $698 per month
- Gold: $707 per month
In spite of having higher premiums, a Gold plan is usually a better option for people with frequent medical expenses since this type of plan has lower out-of-pocket costs. Plans with lower premiums can be costly when you have a lot of medical expenses since the out-of-pocket maxes are high, so you will end up paying more out of pocket.
In the Nebraska marketplace, premiums, deductibles and out-of-pocket maxes may vary greatly within a metal tier. The table below shows the cheapest plans by premium amount for each of the four metal tiers.
In Nebraska, you may qualify for cost-sharing reductions (CSR) if you have a low income. In such cases, a Silver plan is a great option since your deductibles will be much lower than the standard rate.
The plans in this analysis are based on a sample profile of a 40-year-old male based on an EPO plan, which is the only plan type available in Nebraska.
Cheapest Health Insurance in Nebraska by Metal Tier
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- Metal TierPlanCompanyMonthly CostOOP Max
- CatastrophicMedica with CHI Health CatastrophicMedica$275$8,550
- Expanded BronzeMedica with CHI Health Bronze CopayMedica$380$8,300
- SilverMedica with CHI Health Silver CopayMedica$558$8,150
- GoldMedica with CHI Health Gold CopayMedica$548$7,950
The Cheapest Health Insurance in Nebraska by Age and Metal Tier
Age is a big factor in the cost of health insurance in Nebraska. A 26-year-old will pay an average of $559 per month for a Silver plan, while a 60-year-old will pay $1,481 monthly for the same plan. These average rates are based on an EPO plan.
Health Insurance Costs in Nebraska by Age and Metal Tier
As you age, your monthly premiums for health insurance increase. For a low-cost plan like an Expanded Bronze plan, the trade-off is that the out-of-pocket maxes are high. This means that you end up paying more out of pocket for medical expenses if you have an emergency.
The rates in this analysis are based on sample ages. To find out the actual cost for your particular combination of income and age, you will need to apply for a plan from the Nebraska marketplace. Older people who are eligible for certain tax premiums may find that their rates for health insurance from the Nebraska marketplace are even cheaper due to regulations or tax or tax premiums.
You can use the table below to find out the rates for different metal tiers and ages. Our guide on health insurance in Nebraska can also provide you with insights on the most suitable plan for your needs.
Cheapest Health Insurance in Nebraska by Age And Metal Tier
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- PlanCompanyMonthly Rate
- CatastrophicEPOBright Health$213
- CatastrophicEPOBright Health$282
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The Cheapest Health Insurance in Nebraska by County
The cost of your health insurance plan can vary depending on where you live in Nebraska. This is because Nebraska and other states have rating areas that are used when calculating health insurance premiums. Counties that fall within a particular rating area calculate their health insurance premiums in a similar way. The 93 counties of Nebraska are divided into four rating areas.
The cheapest Silver plan in Douglas County, the most populous county in Nebraska, is Medica with CHI Health Silver Copay offered by Medica at $543 per month on average.
If you want to find the cheapest plan in Nebraska for your particular county, you can use the table below.
These plans are for a sample 40-year-old male in Nebraska purchasing a health plan in that county.
Cheapest Health Insurance Plans in Nebraska by County
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- Metal TierCompanyCheapest PlanMonthly Premium
- BurtCatastrophicMedicaMedica with CHI Health Catastrophic$268
- DodgeCatastrophicMedicaMedica with CHI Health Catastrophic$268
- DouglasCatastrophicMedicaMedica with CHI Health Catastrophic$268
- SarpyCatastrophicMedicaMedica with CHI Health Catastrophic$268
- SaundersCatastrophicMedicaMedica with CHI Health Catastrophic$268
The Cheapest Health Insurance in Nebraska With High Out-of-Pocket Maxes
Young people in Nebraska with few medical expenses can opt for a low-cost plan with a high out-of-pocket maximum. With this type of plan, you will pay low monthly premiums, but you will incur high medical expenses if you have an emergency. This means these plans could cost you more overall.
For a 26-year-old in Nebraska, the cheapest health insurance with the highest out-of-pocket maximums is Medica with CHI Health Catastrophic, which Medica provides for $221 monthly on average.
MoneyGeek defines a high out-of-pocket max as a plan with max out-of-pocket expenses of $8,250 or more.
Medica’s CHI Health Catastrophic plan is the cheapest option for high out-of-pocket maximums. However, to be eligible for a Catastrophic plan in Nebraska, you need to be under 30 years of age. People over 30 can only qualify for this plan type if they have a hardship or affordability exemption.
The Cheapest Health Insurance in Nebraska With Low Out-of-Pocket Maximums
If you are a Nebraska resident with higher than average medical expenses, a plan with low out-of-pocket maximums could be the best option. This type of plan will have higher monthly premiums, but the low out-of-pocket maximums mean that you will reach your limit quickly and your insurer will cover your medical expenses faster.
For a 40-year-old in Nebraska, the cheapest health insurance plan with a low out-of-pocket maximum is Medica with CHI Health Bronze HAS provided by Medica. This plan costs $417 per month on average.
The Extended Bronze Plan from Medica has an out-of-pocket maximum of $7,000. This is higher than the $4,250 or below threshold used by MoneyGeek to define a low out-of-pocket maximum plan. However, this plan has the lowest out-of-pocket maximum and the cheapest premiums in Nebraska.
The Extended Bronze plan offered by Medica is the cheapest option with the lowest out-of-pocket maximum in Nebraska. Plans with low out-of-pocket maximums typically have high monthly premiums but offer better coverage for people with frequent medical expenses. Gold plans usually have high monthly premiums but low out-of-pocket maximums.
Cheapest EPO Health Insurance Plan in Nebraska
When purchasing a healthcare plan, it is important to keep in mind your healthcare needs and preferences. In Nebraska, the only type of plan available is an Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO) plan. An EPO plan tends to be affordable, but it will restrict you to a specified provider network except in an emergency. You do not need a referral to see a specialist on an EPO plan.
The cheapest Expanded Bronze health insurance plan in Nebraska is Medica with CHI Health Silver Copay offered by Medica, which costs an average of $417 for a 40-year-old.
Cheapest Plan in Nebraska With an HSA
A Health Savings Account (HSA) plan is a good option for people in Nebraska who are in good health and rarely have medical expenses. An HSA plan is low cost and allows you to build up a nest egg from pre-tax contributions. If you do not spend the contributions on medical expenses, you can save that money.
The cheapest healthcare plan in Nebraska with a Health Savings Account (HSA) option for an average forty-year-old is:
- Expanded Bronze: Medica with CHI Health Bronze HSA provided by Medica at an average of $417 per month.
While an HSA plan has low monthly premiums, the high deductibles attached to this plan mean that you may have to pay out of your savings if you have major medical costs.
What to Know About Health Insurance in Nebraska
In this analysis, MoneyGeek used rates based on private plan data on the Nebraska Healthcare Marketplace. When you apply for a plan, you may find that there are even cheaper plans available in the marketplace. For older people in Nebraska or those with limited income who qualify for Medicare or Medicaid, these state plans are cheaper than any of the options offered in the marketplace.
Private Health Insurance on the Nebraska Marketplace
In Nebraska, private health insurance is available in different metal tier options. The metal tier you choose determines the monthly premiums you pay as well as other features, including deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums. Each tier has its perks and downsides:
- Catastrophic: The lowest tier available is a Catastrophic plan. This type of plan is only available to people under 30 or those who qualify under specific state exemptions. A catastrophic plan has low monthly premiums, so it is the most affordable option for people with limited income and below-average medical expenses.
- Expanded Bronze: An expanded Bronze plan offers better coverage than a Catastrophic plan since it has lower out-of-pocket maximums. This tier is also more affordable than Silver and Gold plans in terms of monthly premiums.
- Silver: Silver plans provide a middle ground for people who want a plan with affordable monthly premiums and low out-of-pocket maximums. On average, Silver plans have low out-of-pocket expenses, so you will not need to pay too much out of pocket for your medical expenses in an emergency. Silver is also more affordable compared to Gold options, which cost more in terms of monthly premiums.
- Gold: Gold plans are a pricey cost option with high monthly premiums. However, this type of plan has low out-of-pocket maximums, which makes it the most suitable option for people who have high medical expenses. When you have high medical expenses, you will reach your out-of-pocket limit quickly and the medical expenses above this limit will be covered under your Gold plan.
Depending on your income level, you may be eligible for cheaper plans or higher coverage than what is listed in this study.
If you live in Nebraska and your income is between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level, you could get premium tax credits. This means that, in Nebraska, if you live in a two-person household making between $17,420 and $69,680 per year, you will qualify for premium tax credits.
If you want to enroll in a new health care plan or renew your existing one through the healthcare marketplace, you can do so during the open enrollment period. The open enrollment period is usually between November and December, but it was recently extended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nebraska residents living in a two-person household with an income of between $24,040 and $43,550 can get cost-sharing reductions if they buy a Silver plan. These reductions are available for people whose income is between 138% and 250% of the federal poverty level. With these reductions, your deductible, copayments or coinsurance and out-of-pocket maximums will be lower. This means you could get Gold plan coverage at Silver rates.
Medicaid in Nebraska
Medicaid is free in Nebraska, making it the cheapest health insurance option for those who qualify. In a Medicaid extension state like Nebraska, you can qualify for Medicaid based only on your income. If your income is below 138% of the federal poverty level, you qualify for Medicaid in Nebraska.
Medicare in Nebraska
Residents in Nebraska 65 years of age and older or those that have specific conditions are eligible for Medicare. Although Medicare is not entirely free like Medicaid, it is one of the most affordable health insurance options for people who qualify for it.
The benefits and premiums that you pay on Medicare can vary depending on the coverage you choose and other qualifying factors. Medicare coverage is usually divided into three parts, each covering a different aspect of healthcare as follows.
- Part A: This part specifically provides hospital insurance which covers you for inpatient hospital stays, hospice care in a skilled nursing facility and eligible home health care. This part of Medicare does not require a premium.
- Part B: This part of Medicare requires a monthly premium and will typically cover you for medical expenses such as outpatient visits, specified doctors' services, medical supplies and preventive services.
- Part D: Your expenses for prescription drugs, including vaccines and other recommended drugs, are covered under Part D of your Medicare plan.
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 Nebraska for you
MoneyGeek collected plans and premiums for health insurance in Nebraska 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. "Hardship Exemptions." Accessed June 17, 2021.
- Medicare.gov. "What's Medicare?." Accessed June 17, 2021.
- Nebraska Department of Health. "Insurance Programs." Accessed June 17, 2021.