If you do not get your health insurance through your employer or a government program like Medicare or Medicaid, you would have to purchase a private healthcare plan through the Utah insurance exchange.
While looking at this marketplace, it can be a challenge to find a plan that balances premium costs and sufficient coverage in sync with your needs. Plans with lower monthly premiums also have higher deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums. While you would pay less for these every month, they also cover less of your medical expenses. MoneyGeek identified the cheapest and best health insurance plans in Utah based on age, coverage level and different plan types to help you find the right policy for your needs.
The Cheapest Health Insurance in Utah by Metal Tier
The cost of health insurance in Utah varies based on your chosen tier. The metal tier system enables customers to opt for lower monthly premiums with plans featuring higher deductibles and out-of-pocket costs, or to increase monthly premiums to get more coverage.
The metal tiers currently available in Utah are Catastrophic, Bronze, Expanded Bronze, Silver and Gold. Plans named after the more valuable metals usually have lower out-of-pocket limits and deductibles while featuring higher monthly premiums. The average monthly premiums in Utah for each tier are:
- Catastrophic: $277 per month
- Bronze: $340 per month
- Expanded Bronze: $389 per month
- Silver: $536 per month
- Gold: $640 per month
For a relatively healthy person, it can make more sense to choose a lower-tier option like Bronze or Expanded Bronze to save on monthly premium payments. However, if you expect regular medical expenses, you can pay more per month to avoid high deductibles and uncovered expenses.
The table below shows plans with the cheapest monthly premiums for each metal tier. However, within a given metal tier, premiums, deductibles and out-of-pocket maxes can vary greatly within the Utah health insurance marketplace.
Low-income residents can benefit by checking if they are eligible for cost-sharing reductions, which apply to Silver plans. These can result in lower premiums and get you a plan with expanded coverage.
The premiums in this table are for a 40-year-old male sample profile for all plan types available in Utah. These rates are for HMO and EPO plan types, with HMO plans being the most common in the state.
Cheapest Health Insurance in Utah by Metal Tier
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- Metal TierPlanCompanyMonthly CostOOP Max
- CatastrophicValue Catastrophic 8550SelectHealth$249$8,550
- BronzeValue Benchmark Bronze 8550SelectHealth$277$8,550
- Expanded BronzeValue Benchmark Expanded Bronze 6800SelectHealth$286$8,550
- SilverValue Benchmark Silver 6500 - no deductible for office visitsSelectHealth$459$8,550
- GoldConfident Care Gold 1Molina Healthcare$488$6,500
The Cheapest Health Insurance in Utah by Age and Metal Tier
Age is a crucial factor determining costs in the Utah health insurance marketplace. For instance, a 26-year-old customer purchasing a Silver plan (across all HMO and EPO plans) would pay a monthly average of $494, while a 60-year-old would have to pay $1,087 per month on average.
Health Insurance Costs in Utah by Age and Metal Tier
As you age, your monthly health insurance premiums increase. While you can choose a plan with low premiums like a Bronze plan, you will have to pay more out of pocket if your medical expenses are high.
As you take a look at the available data, keep in mind that these sample rates do not account for the effect of your income on the premiums. For instance, older Utah residents might end up paying less for health insurance on account of tax premiums and other regulatory support services. However, you will not know your exact quote until you actually apply for a plan.
The table below shows the variation of cost of different metal-tier plans based on age. To know more about these tiers and decide what is right for you, check out our extensive guide on Utah health insurance options.
Cheapest Health Insurance in Utah by Age And Metal Tier
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- PlanCompanyMonthly Rate
- BronzeHMOMolina Healthcare$184
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The Cheapest Health Insurance in Utah by County
Health insurance costs in Utah can vary based on where you live in the state. Utah is divided into rating areas, and health insurance providers charge different rates in different regions.
Utah has a total of 29 counties divided into six rating areas. In Salt Lake County, the most populous county in Utah, the cheapest Silver plan on average is the Value Benchmark Silver 6500 plan provided by SelectHealth at $443 per month.
Use the table below to find the most affordable plans in each metal tier for your county.
These average premiums are for a sample 40-year-old male customer in Utah purchasing a health insurance plan in that county.
Cheapest Health Insurance Plans in Utah by County
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- Metal TierCompanyCheapest PlanMonthly Premium
- CacheCatastrophicSelectHealthMed Catastrophic 8550$291
- RichCatastrophicSelectHealthMed Catastrophic 8550$291
- Box ElderCatastrophicSelectHealthValue Catastrophic 8550$258
- MorganCatastrophicSelectHealthValue Catastrophic 8550$258
- WeberCatastrophicSelectHealthValue Catastrophic 8550$258
The Cheapest Health Insurance in Utah With High Out-of-Pocket Maxes
For younger individuals with low medical costs, it can make sense to opt for a plan with lower premiums and higher out-of-pocket maximum expenses. If you choose this, remember that you will have to pay more out of pocket if you have high medical costs or unexpected emergencies.
The cheapest health insurance plan with the highest out-of-pocket expenses in Utah is the Value Catastrophic 8550 plan offered by SelectHealth. This costs an average of $230 per month for a 26-year-old shopper.
For this guide, MoneyGeek defined high out-of-pocket expenses as $8,250 or more per year.
When it comes to the best health insurance in Utah, SelectHealth offers the most affordable option for a plan with high out-of-pocket maximums. Since this plan is in the Catastrophic tier, you can only be eligible if you are 30 or younger or qualify for an affordability or hardship exemption.
The Cheapest Health Insurance in Utah With Low Out-of-Pocket Maximums
For individuals who expect high medical costs, a plan with higher monthly premiums and lower out-of-pocket expense limits can make sense. While you pay more every month, your recurring medical expenses like doctor’s visits and prescription drugs ensure that you quickly reach your maximum out-of-pocket limit. From there on, the insurance company will start covering your costs.
In Utah, the cheapest option for a plan with a low out-of-pocket max is the Value Gold 1500 plan offered by SelectHealth. For an average 40-year-old man, the monthly premium would be about $586.
Usually, MoneyGeek considers any plan with a maximum out-of-pocket limit of below $4,250 to be a low out-of-pocket maximum plan. While the Value Gold 1500 plan has higher max out-of-pocket expenses at $6,000 per year, it does feature the lowest out-of-pocket expenses in the state with the cheapest average premiums.
This is a Gold tier plan, which usually has higher monthly premiums than Silver or Bronze plans. However, due to its low out-of-pocket max limit, it will cover more of your medical costs once you reach the spending limit.
Cheapest HMO/EPO Health Insurance Plan in Utah
You should consider your healthcare needs and preferences while choosing the right type of health insurance plan. In Utah, most plans are of the Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) variety. Utah also offers Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO) healthcare plans.
HMO plans are reasonably priced and require you to remain in your provider network to receive coverage. EPO plans are similarly priced, but you might not require a referral to visit a specialist.
For each plan type, MoneyGeek found that the cheapest options in Utah are:
- HMO: The Value Benchmark Silver 6500 plan offered by SelectHealth. The average 40-year-old will pay $459 per month.
- EPO: The Cigna Connect 5000 plan offered by Cigna Healthcare. The average 40-year-old will pay $468 per month.
Cheapest Plan in Utah With an HSA
Individuals enjoying good health who do not need frequent doctor visits can opt for a Health Savings Account (HSA) plan. These are less expensive and allow you to make pre-tax contributions to use for medical expenses. If you do not use the money on medical expenses, it can count as savings.
In Utah, MoneyGeek found that the cheapest healthcare plans with an HSA option is:
- Expanded Bronze: The Value Expanded Bronze 6900 HSA Qualified plan offered by SelectHealth. For the average 40-year-old male, the average cost is $301 per year.
It is important to note that HSAs usually have higher deductibles, so your savings can take a hit if you encounter unforeseen medical costs.
What to Know About Health Insurance in Utah
Please note that the sample rates included in MoneyGeek’s analysis are based on private plan data acquired from the Utah insurance marketplace. If you apply for a policy yourself on the health insurance exchange, you might find an even cheaper plan. Lower-income residents or seniors in Utah might also qualify for Medicaid or Medicare, which are usually much cheaper than private health insurance.
Private Health Insurance on the Utah Marketplace
In Utah, health insurance plans are divided into several metal tiers. Catastrophic and Bronze plans have the lowest premiums but come with the highest out-of-pocket costs. Gold plans, on the other hand, have high monthly premiums but lower overall costs.
While all of these health insurance plans conform with state and federal health insurance requirements, each tier has pros and cons you should know about.
- Catastrophic: Catastrophic plans offer the lowest possible benefits, with less coverage, high out-of-pocket costs and high deductibles. These plans are only available to people who are under 30 or living under conditions of financial 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 case of a medical 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 cheaper than the other available plans on the marketplace.
- Silver: Silver plans are between Expanded Bronze coverage and Gold coverage. They have lower out-of-pocket costs than Catastrophic, Bronze and Extended Bronze policies, but their monthly premiums are usually higher.
- 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 will need major medical coverage in the near future, you may save money overall by choosing a Gold plan.
Based on your income level, you might qualify for more affordable plans or those with enhanced coverage options.
You can get premium tax credits if your income falls between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level. In Utah, a two-person household with a total income between $17,420 and $69,680 per year would qualify for these tax credits. Use the HealthCare.gov calculator to learn more.
Open enrollment is when you can renew your existing plan or enroll in a new healthcare plan through the marketplace. This typically falls between November and December, although the dates have now been expanded due to COVID-19. You might also qualify for a special enrollment period after moving or changing your employment status.
If your income is between 138% and 250% of the federal poverty level, you would be eligible for cost-sharing reductions when purchasing a Silver plan. This can result in lower deductibles, out-of-pocket maximums and copayments and coinsurance. If you qualify for these deductions, you might even be able to buy a Gold plan for Silver plan prices. In Utah, a two-person household with an income between $24,040 and $43,550 per year would be eligible.
Medicaid in Utah
As Medicaid is free, it is the cheapest option for eligible residents in Utah. Since Utah is a Medicaid expansion state, you can be eligible for the program based on income alone if your income is below 138% of the federal poverty level.
Medicare in Utah
Residents of Utah aged 65 and above might qualify for Medicare, a federal healthcare program, if they have a qualifying illness or disability. Unlike Medicaid, certain aspects of Medicare have associated costs. However, Medicare plans are usually affordable, especially when compared with private insurance policies.
Medicare can be broken down into three parts:
- Part A: Hospital insurance covers hospital stays, hospice care, care in a skilled nursing facility and some healthcare services. This is called premium-free Part A and is free of cost.
- Part B: Medical insurance covers the services of some doctors, outpatient care, important medical supplies and preventive services. The monthly premium for Part B depends on your income.
- Part D: Prescription drug coverage includes prescription drugs and vaccines. The costs vary depending on your plan.
The coverages offered through Medicare can have certain limitations, so make sure that you understand the policy clearly before signing up for benefits.
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 Utah for you
MoneyGeek collected plans and premiums for health insurance in Utah 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