The Cheapest Rhode Island Health Insurance for Individuals and Families

The cost of health insurance in Rhode Island on the private market varies based on how much coverage you want. There are four metal tiers in the state of Rhode Island, and Silver plans tend to be a middle-of-the-road option that balance monthly premiums and coverage. On average, these plans cost roughly $422 per month in Rhode Island, with the cheapest Silver plan being the Neighborhood Community plan offered by NHPRI for an average of $328 per month.

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Last Updated: 8/20/2021
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If you don’t get health insurance through the government, for example Medicare or Medicaid, or through your employer, you can find private plans on Rhode Island’s insurance exchange. Keep in mind that the cheaper the plan costs each month, the more you’ll pay out of pocket if you have medical expenses. This is because lower-cost plans typically have higher deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums.

MoneyGeek found the cheapest health insurance plans in Rhode Island for people of differing ages and various plan types in order to match the coverage you need. This analysis is based on plans purchased through Rhode Island’s insurance marketplace.

The Cheapest Health Insurance in Rhode Island by Metal Tier

The price of health insurance in Rhode Island varies based on metal tiers. This system allows you to pay higher monthly premiums to have more coverage or lower monthly premiums with higher potential out-of-pocket costs if you have a medical emergency.

Rhode Island has four metal tiers, including Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. Plans that are lesser metals tend to be cheaper, while plans named after more valuable metals tend to cost more.

The average monthly premium for each tier in Rhode Island includes:

  • Bronze: $269
  • Silver: $422
  • Gold: $435
  • Platinum: $630

Paying more for a Gold or Platinum plan may end up saving you money in the long run if you have many medical costs since you’ll pay more out of pocket for those expenses.

The table below shows the most affordable plan for each metal tier by monthly premium. In the Rhode Island marketplace, premiums, deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums may differ within a particular metal tier.

People who have a low income may be qualified for cost-sharing reductions (CSR), making Silver plans a great deal because the deductibles are lower than usual.

The premiums shown above are for a 40-year-old male sample profile for all types of plans available in Rhode Island. These rates are for HMO, POS or PPO plans, with HMO plans being the most common plans in the state.

Cheapest Health Insurance in Rhode Island by Metal Tier

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  • Metal Tier
    Plan
    Company
    Monthly Cost
    OOP Max
  • Bronze
    Neighborhood INNOVATION
    NHPRI
    $231
    $8,550
  • Silver
    Neighborhood COMMUNITY
    NHPRI
    $328
    $6,750
  • Gold
    Neighborhood PLUS
    NHPRI
    $339
    $6,900
  • Platinum
    VantageBlue Direct Plan 750/1500 Modified
    BCBSRI
    $629
    $1,800

The Cheapest Health Insurance in Rhode Island by Age and Metal Tier

Age can have a major impact on the cost of health insurance in Rhode Island. For example, a 26-year-old purchasing health insurance in Rhode Island will pay an average of $338 monthly for a Silver plan. A 60-year-old will pay an average of $902 per month for the same plan.

Health Insurance Costs in Rhode Island by Age and Metal Tier

The costs shown are averages based on sample ages. They don’t account for specific combinations of income and age. Sometimes, health insurance in the Rhode Island Marketplace can be cheaper for older people because of tax premiums and other regulations. However, you won’t know your exact quote until you apply for a plan.

Residents of Rhode Island can use the table below to see the difference between metal tiers and plan buyer ages. For a more intensive look when deciding what metal tier to buy, read MoneyGeek’s guide on health insurance in Rhode Island.

Cheapest Health Insurance in Rhode Island 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
    NHPRI
    $165
  • Bronze
    HMO
    NHPRI
    $168
  • Bronze
    PPO
    BCBSRI
    $217
  • Bronze
    PPO
    BCBSRI
    $217
  • Silver
    HMO
    NHPRI
    $234
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The Cheapest Health Insurance in Rhode Island by County

While health insurance rates can vary depending on where you live in a state, Rhode Island only has one rating area across its five counties.

In Providence, the most populous county in Rhode Island, the cheapest Silver plan is Neighborhood COMMUNITY, offered by NHPRI, at an average of $328 per month.

Use the table below to view a list of the cheapest plans in each metal tier for your county.

Average premiums are for a 40-year-old male in Rhode Island buying a health insurance plan in that county.

Cheapest Health Insurance Plans in Rhode Island by County

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Bristol

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  • Metal Tier
    Company
    Cheapest Plan
    Monthly Premium
  • Bristol
    Bronze
    NHPRI
    Neighborhood INNOVATION
    $231
  • Kent
    Bronze
    NHPRI
    Neighborhood INNOVATION
    $231
  • Newport
    Bronze
    NHPRI
    Neighborhood INNOVATION
    $231
  • Providence
    Bronze
    NHPRI
    Neighborhood INNOVATION
    $231
  • Washington
    Bronze
    NHPRI
    Neighborhood INNOVATION
    $231

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

Younger people in Rhode Island may want to get a low-cost plan with a high out-of-pocket maximum. This means they get lower premiums but pay extra if they have a medical emergency or visit the doctor frequently in a given year.

The cheapest plan with the highest out-of-pocket costs in Rhode Island is the Bronze Neighborhood Innovation plan offered by NHPRI. This plan costs an average of $189 per month for someone who is 26 years of age

A plan with a high out-of-pocket maximum is one with a maximum out-of-pocket expense of $8,250 or more, as defined by MoneyGeek.

NHPRI

If you are looking for the best health insurance in Rhode Island, NHPRI offers the lowest-cost option for a plan with a high out-of-pocket maximum.

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

If you expect to have higher medical costs than an average person, you might want to consider getting a more expensive plan with lower out-of-pocket maximums in Rhode Island. Even though you’ll pay higher premiums, you’ll reach your maximum limit much sooner, and your insurance company will start covering costs faster, saving you money in the long run.

The cheapest plan with low out-of-pocket maximums is a Platinum VantageBlue Direct Plan 750/1500 Modified from BCBSRI for an average of $629 per month.

MoneyGeek defines a low out-of-pocket max as a plan with one below $4,250.

BlueCross BlueShield of Rhode Island

The cheapest plan with the lowest out-of-pocket maximum in Rhode Island is the VantageBlue Direct Plan 750/1500 Modified from BCBSRI. This is a Platinum plan, so it has higher monthly premiums than Silver or Bronze plans. Fortunately, since it has a low out-of-pocket maximum, the plan will cover more of your medical costs after you hit your limits.

Cheapest HMO/PPO/POS Health Insurance Plan in Rhode Island

Your medical needs and preferences can help you figure out which type of plan to purchase. In Rhode Island, most plans are Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plans. The state also offers Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) and Point-of-Service (POS) plans.

HMO plans typically mandate you stay in your provider network in order to have services covered, but they may have lower premiums. PPO plans are generally more expensive than HMO plans, but they have a larger provider network. POS plans provide coverage in or out of your network, but the cost is usually higher out of network.

MoneyGeek found that, on average, the cheapest Silver plans for each plan type are:

  • HMO: The Neighborhood Community plan offered by NHPRI. This costs $329 per month for the average 40-year-old.
  • PPO: The BlueSolutions for HSA Direct 4100/8200 plan offered by BCBSRI. This costs $456 per month for the average 40-year-old.
  • POS: The BlueCHiP Direct Advance 4650/9300 plan offered by BCBSRI. This costs $401 per month for the average 40-year-old.

Cheapest Plan in Rhode Island With an HSA

Individuals in good health who do not anticipate needing to visit their doctor frequently may opt to purchase a Health Savings Account (HSA). This option costs less and lets you make pre-tax contributions towards medical expenses. Then, if you don't use this money on medical expenses, it can act as savings instead.

In Rhode Island, MoneyGeek determined that the cheapest healthcare plans with a Health Savings Account (HSA) in each available tier are:

  • Bronze: The Neighborhood Economy plan provided by NHPRI. It costs an average of $236 per year for a 40-year-old male.
  • Silver: The Neighborhood Community plan provided by NHPRI. On average, it costs $328 per year for a 40-year-old male.
  • Gold: The BlueSolutions for HSA Direct 1700/3400 plan provided by BCBSRI. It costs an average of $498 per year for a 40-year-old male.

Keep in mind that HSAs can have high deductibles. This means that your savings may suffer if you have an unexpected medical expense.

What to Know About Health Insurance in Rhode Island

The sample rates included in MoneyGeek’s analysis are based on private plan data from Rhode Island’s insurance marketplace. It’s possible that you could find cheaper plans when you apply on the health insurance exchange. Lower-income or older Rhode Island residents may even qualify for Medicare or Medicaid. These options tend to be cheaper than regular Marketplace plans.

Private Health Insurance on the Rhode Island Marketplace

Healthcare plans in the Rhode Island Marketplace are broken into four metal tiers. Bronze plans have the lowest premiums, while Gold and Platinum plans cost more but provide better coverage. Silver plans are a balance between the levels.

Metal-tier health insurance plans fulfill state and federal health insurance requirements. Here are their strengths and weaknesses:

  • Bronze: Bronze plans are great for people who don’t need to see a doctor often and are looking for a cheap policy to protect them in the event of an emergency. Keep in mind that plans have high out-of-pocket costs, making healthcare expensive if you need it.
  • Silver: Silver plans are a middle-of-the-road plan. They have lower out-of-pocket costs than Bronze plans. However, you’ll pay more in monthly rates.
  • Gold: Gold plans have lower deductibles and out-of-pocket costs. However, they can be more expensive than the lower-tier options. That said, if you know you’ll need significant medical coverage in the next year, you could save money by choosing this plan.
  • Platinum: Platinum plans are the most expensive options but have the lowest out-of-pocket costs. If you know that you’ll have high medical expenses, this may be a good plan for you to consider.

Keep in mind that you may qualify for cheaper plans or higher coverage levels depending on your income level.

If your income falls between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level, you might be able to get premium tax credits. A two-person household in Rhode Island making between $17,420 and $69,680 per year can qualify for these credits. Check out the Healthcare.gov calculator for more information.

Open enrollment is the period of time when you can enroll in a new healthcare plan or renew your existing plan through the Healthcare Marketplace. This typically occurs between November and December, however these dates have been expanded due to the pandemic. You could also qualify for a special enrollment period if you move or change your job status.

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You could be eligible for cost-sharing reductions if your income is between 138% and 250% of the federal poverty level. This applies when you purchase a Silver plan. Cost-sharing reductions can lower your deductible, copayments or coinsurance and out-of-pocket maximum. You might even be able to buy Gold plan coverage at Silver plan rates. In 2021, a two-person household earning $24,040–$43,550 may be able to access these lowered rates.

Medicaid in Rhode Island

Medicaid is free, which means it is the most affordable option for eligible residents. Because Rhode Island is a Medicaid expansion state, residents can qualify for it based on income alone. In expansion states, you qualify for Medicaid if your income is below 138% of the federal poverty level, which is $17,774 or less.

Medicare in Rhode Island

Rhode Island residents who are 65 or older or have a qualifying illness or disability may be able to get Medicare. This is a federal healthcare program. Unlike Medicaid, certain parts of Medicare cost money. Fortunately, Medicare plans are typically affordable compared to a policy purchased from a private insurer.

Medicare breaks down into three parts:

  • Part A: This is free and covers hospital stays, care in a skilled nursing facility, hospice care and some home health care services
  • Part B: The cost of this depends on your income, and it covers some doctors' services, outpatient care, certain medical supplies and preventive services.
  • Part D: This varies in cost depending on your plan and is your prescription drug benefit. It includes vaccines and other prescription drugs.

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 Rhode Island for you

MoneyGeek collected plans and premiums for health insurance in Rhode Island from the website for HealthSource RI 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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