The Cheapest Texas Health Insurance for Individuals and Families

In Texas, the cost of health insurance in the private market depends on how much medical coverage you need. Texas has five tiers of plans in its marketplace with different levels of deductibles and out-of-pocket maxes. Of these five tiers, Silver plans tend to offer the best balance of premiums and out-of-pocket max expenses at $495 per month. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas provides the cheapest Silver Plan — MyBlue Health Silver 405 — at an average monthly cost of $390.

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Last Updated: 11/14/2022
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If you're unable to obtain health insurance through your employer or a government program — like Medicare (if you’re 65 or older) or Medicaid — you’ll need to purchase private healthcare coverage through the Texas insurance exchange.

While navigating this marketplace, finding a plan that balances low premiums with adequate coverage can be challenging. Cheaper plans — or plans with lower premiums — tend to have higher deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums. While you pay less for these plans monthly, they cover fewer of your medical expenses.

MoneyGeek identified the best marketplace plans in Texas based on age, coverage level and other factors to make it easier to find coverage that fits your needs.

The Cheapest Health Insurance in Texas by Metal Tier

The cost of health insurance in Texas varies based on the tier you choose. The metal tier system allows you to lower your monthly premiums by taking on higher deductibles and out-of-pocket costs or increase your monthly premiums in exchange for more medical coverage.

In Texas, metal tiers currently available are Catastrophic, Bronze, Expanded Bronze, Silver and Gold. Plans named after more valuable metals have lower deductibles and out-of-pocket costs but cost more per month. The average monthly premiums in Texas for each tier are:

  • Catastrophic: $319 per month
  • Bronze: $380 per month
  • Expanded Bronze: $408 per month
  • Silver: $495 per month
  • Gold: $587 per month

If you're a relatively healthy person, choosing a cheaper tier option — like Bronze or Expanded Bronze — can help you save on monthly premiums. If you expect to incur regular medical expenses, paying more per month could help you avoid high deductibles and uncovered expenses.

The table below shows plans with the lowest monthly premiums for each metal tier. In the Texas health insurance marketplace, premiums, deductibles and out-of-pocket maxes may vary greatly within a given metal tier.

Low-income shoppers can benefit from seeing if they’re eligible for cost-sharing reductions, which apply to Silver plans. These can lower your premiums significantly and give you access to a plan with more coverage.

The premiums in the table above are for a 40-year-old male sample profile for all types of plans available in Texas. These rates are for HMO or EPO plan types, with HMO being the most common in the state.

Cheapest Health Insurance in Texas by Metal Tier

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  • Metal Tier
    Plan
    Company
    Monthly Cost
    OOP Max
  • Catastrophic
    Friday Catastrophic
    Friday Health Plans
    $261
    $8,550
  • Bronze
    Friday Bronze
    Friday Health Plans
    $282
    $8,550
  • Expanded Bronze
    MyBlue Health Bronze? 402
    Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas
    $297
    $8,550
  • Silver
    MyBlue Health Silver? 405
    Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas
    $390
    $8,550
  • Gold
    MyBlue Health Gold? 403
    Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas
    $395
    $8,550

The Cheapest Health Insurance in Texas by Age and Metal Tier

Data from the Texas health insurance marketplace shows how important age is in determining health insurance premiums. For instance, a 26-year-old purchasing a Silver plan (across all HMO and EPO plans) pays an average monthly premium of $396, while someone aged 60 pays approximately $1,051 per month.

Health Insurance Costs in Texas by Age and Metal Tier

As you age, your monthly health insurance premium rises. While you can choose a low-deductible option — such as a Bronze plan — that costs less per month, you’ll pay more out-of-pocket expenses if your medical costs are high.

As you review the available data, keep in mind that sample ages don’t account for how your income can also affect premiums. For example, Older Texans may end up paying less for a health insurance marketplace plan due to tax premiums and other regulatory support services. That said, you won't know your exact quote until you apply for a plan.

The table below shows how the cost of different metal-tiered plans varies based on your age. To learn more about these tiers and decide which is right for you, check out our extensive guide on Texas health insurance options.

Cheapest Health Insurance in Texas by Age And Metal Tier

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Silver

Sort by Age:

40 years

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  • Plan
    Company
    Monthly Rate
  • Catastrophic
    EPO
    Friday Health Plans
    $186
  • Catastrophic
    HMO
    CHRISTUS Health Plan
    $198
  • Catastrophic
    EPO
    Oscar Insurance Company
    $199
  • Catastrophic
    HMO
    Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas
    $251
  • Bronze
    EPO
    Friday Health Plans
    $202
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The Cheapest Health Insurance in Texas by County

Health insurance costs in Texas can differ depending on where you live in the state. Texas is divided into rating areas, and health insurance carriers charge different rates in different regions.

Texas has 254 counties split into 26 rating areas. In Harris County, the most populous county in Texas, the average cheapest Silver plan is MyBlue Health Silver 405, offered by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas at $381 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 sample 40-year-old male in Texas purchasing a health insurance plan in that county.

Cheapest Health Insurance Plans in Texas by County

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Anderson

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  • Metal Tier
    Company
    Cheapest Plan
    Monthly Premium
  • Callahan
    Catastrophic
    Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas
    Blue Advantage Security HMO? 200
    $344
  • Jones
    Catastrophic
    Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas
    Blue Advantage Security HMO? 200
    $344
  • Taylor
    Catastrophic
    Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas
    Blue Advantage Security HMO? 200
    $344
  • Armstrong
    Catastrophic
    Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas
    Blue Advantage Security HMO? 200
    $347
  • Carson
    Catastrophic
    Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas
    Blue Advantage Security HMO? 200
    $347

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

Younger individuals with low medical costs may opt for a plan with lower premiums and higher out-of-pocket maximum expenses. If you go this route, remember that you’ll pay more out-of-pocket if you have high medical costs or an unexpected medical emergency.

The cheapest plan with the highest out-of-pocket expense in Texas is a Friday Catastrophic plan offered by Friday Health Plans. This plan costs an average of $209 per month for a 26-year-old.

For this guide, MoneyGeek defined a high out-of-pocket plan as a plan with maximum out-of-pocket expenses of $8,250 or more annually.

Friday Health Plans

When it comes to the best health insurance in Texas, Friday Health Plans offers the lowest-cost option for a plan with a high out-of-pocket maximum. Because this plan is in the Catastrophic tier, you can only apply if you're 30 or younger or qualify for a hardship or affordability exemption.

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

Individuals who anticipate having high medical costs may decide to purchase a plan with a higher monthly premium and lower out-of-pocket maximum. You’ll pay more per month in premiums, but recurring medical expenses — like doctor’s visits and prescription drugs — will help you reach your maximum out-of-pocket limit relatively quickly. Once you reach this limit, your insurance company will start covering your medical costs.

In Texas, the cheapest option for a plan with a low out-of-pocket maximum is Ambetter Secure Care 15 (2021) from Ambetter from Superior HealthPlan. The average 40-year-old man can expect to pay a $646 monthly premium for this plan.

Typically, MoneyGeek considers any plan with maximum out-of-pocket costs below $4,250 to be a low out-of-pocket maximum plan. While the Ambetter Secure Care 15 (2021) plan has max out-of-pocket expenses that are slightly higher at $4,450 per year, it features the lowest out-of-pocket expenses in the state, as well as the cheapest average premiums.

Ambetter from Superior HealthPlan

The cheapest plan with the lowest out-of-pocket max in Texas is the Ambetter Secure Care 15 (2021). This is a Gold plan, meaning it tends to have higher monthly premiums than Silver or Bronze plans. However, because it has a low out-of-pocket maximum, the plan will cover more of your medical costs once you reach its spending limits.

Cheapest EPO/HMO Health Insurance Plan in Texas

Your healthcare preferences and needs can help you determine the type of plan to purchase. In Texas, most plans are Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plans. The state also offers Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO) plans.

HMO plans usually require you to stay in your provider network to have services covered, but they often have lower premiums. EPO plans are similar to HMO plans, but unlike HMOs, they may not require a referral to see a specialist.

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

  • HMO: The MyBlue Health Silver 405 plan offered by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas. The average 40-year-old will pay $390 per month.
  • EPO: The Friday Silver plan offered by Friday Health Plans. The average 40-year-old will pay $431 per month.

Cheapest Plan in Texas With an HSA

Individuals in good health who do not plan to visit a doctor frequently may decide to purchase a Health Savings Account (HSA). These plans cost less and allow you to make your own pre-tax contributions to use towards medical expenses. If you don't use this money on health expenses, it can act as savings.

In Texas, MoneyGeek found that the cheapest healthcare plans with a Health Savings Account (HSA) option in each available tier are:

  • Expanded Bronze: The Friday Bronze HSA plan offered by Friday Health Plans. It costs an average of $337 per year for a 40-year-old male.
  • Silver: The Ambetter Balanced Care 25 HSA (2021) plan offered by Ambetter from Superior HealthPlan. On average, it’s priced at $480 per year for a 40-year-old male.

Note that plans with HSAs tend to have high deductibles, so your savings may take a significant hit if you have an unexpected medical cost.

What to Know About Health Insurance in Texas

Note that the sample rates included in MoneyGeek’s analysis are based on private plan data from Texas’ insurance marketplace. You may be able to find even cheaper plans when you apply for one on the health insurance exchange. Lower-income or older Texas residents may also qualify for Medicaid or Medicare, which tend to be cheaper than Marketplace plans.

Private Health Insurance on the Texas Marketplace

Healthcare plans in the Texas Marketplace are broken into several metal tiers. Catastrophic and Bronze plans have the lowest premiums but the highest out-of-pocket costs. Gold and Platinum plans feature higher monthly premiums but lower total costs.

Metal-tier health insurance plans all meet state and federal health insurance requirements, but they each have their strengths and weaknesses:

  • Catastrophic: Catastrophic plans offer the lowest possible benefits, with less coverage, high deductibles and high out-of-pocket costs. These plans are only available to people who are under 30 or facing economic hardship. While Catastrophic plans don’t offer much in the way of coverage, the cost is extremely low, and it can help you avoid incurring hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical debt after a medical emergency.
  • Bronze: Bronze plans offer more benefits and lower out-of-pocket costs than Catastrophic plans. They are excellent for people who rarely need to see a doctor and are looking for a cheap policy to protect them in an emergency. However, these plans still have high out-of-pocket costs, making healthcare expensive. -** Expanded Bronze**: The Expanded Bronze plan covers a little more than the Bronze plan and has slightly lower out-of-pocket costs. It’s more expensive than Bronze or Catastrophic plans but more affordable than the other available plans on the marketplace.
  • Silver: Silver plans are the midway point between Catastrophic coverage and Platinum coverage. They have lower out-of-pocket costs than Catastrophic, Bronze and Extended Bronze policies, but their monthly premiums are higher to compensate for the difference.
  • Gold: Gold plans have significantly lower deductibles and out-of-pocket costs than any of the plans mentioned above but can be significantly more expensive than the lower-tier options. However, if you know you’ll need major medical coverage in the next year, you may save money overall by choosing a Gold plan.
  • Platinum: Platinum plans have the lowest out-of-pocket costs and the highest monthly premiums of all the plans in the Texas insurance exchange. People who know they’ll have extremely high medical expenses in the next year may find that the Platinum plan is best for their needs.

Note that you may qualify for cheaper plans or increased coverage based on your income level.

If your income falls between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level, you could get premium tax credits. A two-person household in Texas making between $17,420 and $69,680 per year qualifies for these tax credits. Use the Healthcare.gov calculator to learn more.

Open enrollment is when you can enroll in a new healthcare plan or renew your existing plan through the Healthcare Marketplace. Open enrollment typically falls between November and December, but the government extended these dates due to COVID-19. You may also qualify for a special enrollment period after moving or changing your employment status.

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If your income is between 138% and 250% of the federal poverty level, you’re eligible for cost-sharing reductions when you purchase a Silver plan. These reductions can lower your deductible, copayments or coinsurance, and out-of-pocket maximum. You might be able to buy Gold plan coverage at Silver plan rates if you qualify for these deductions. In 2021, a two-person household making $24,040–$43,550 may be eligible for these reduced rates.

Medicaid in Texas

Medicaid is free, making it the cheapest option for eligible residents. Because Texas has not expanded Medicaid, you can only qualify for this coverage if you meet Texas guidelines. Typically, you must have a very low-income family, have low-income children, be pregnant, or have disabilities to be eligible.

Medicare in Texas

Texas residents who are 65 or older or have a qualifying disability or illness may qualify for Medicare, a federal healthcare program. Unlike Medicaid, some aspects of Medicare have costs associated with them. However, Medicare plans are generally affordable, especially when compared to a policy purchased from a private insurer.

Medicare breaks down into three parts:

  • Part A: This is your hospital insurance, which covers hospital stays, care in a skilled nursing facility, hospice care and some home health care services. It’s free and is called premium-free Part A.
  • Part B: This is your medical insurance, covering some doctors' services, outpatient care, necessary medical supplies and preventive services. Your monthly premium for Part B care depends on your income.
  • Part D: This is your prescription drug benefit, which includes vaccines and other prescription drugs. Costs will vary depending on your plan.

There are limitations to these coverages offered through Medicare, so be sure to review the policy before signing up for 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 Texas for you

MoneyGeek collected plans and premiums for health insurance in Texas 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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