Arizona residents have many health insurance options beyond those offered under the Silver tier. Health Net and UnitedHealthcare offer the lowest monthly premiums for Gold and Bronze plans, respectively. Blue Cross Blue Shield's Expanded Bronze plans are the most affordable in Arizona, while Oscar has the cheapest Catastrophic plan.
MoneyGeek also found the best health insurance in Arizona by analyzing providers and plans balance cost and service.
Most Affordable Health Insurance in Arizona
Cheapest Health Insurance in Arizona by Metal Tier
Health Net’s Clear SELECT Silver with Select Providers is the most affordable Silver-tier health insurance in Arizona.
Health insurance plans are divided into metal tiers, with the highest level commonly offering the most comprehensive coverage. You can find the cheapest health insurance by metal tier and their average monthly premiums below:
- Catastrophic: Secure (approximately $290 per month)
- Bronze: UHC Bronze Essential ($3 T1 Preferred Rx) (approximately $295 per month)
- Expanded Bronze: Blue AdvanceHealth Bronze - PimaFocus Network (approximately $302 per month)
- Silver: Clear SELECT Silver with Select Providers (approximately $361 per month)
- Gold: Clear SELECT Gold with Select Providers (approximately $416 per month)
By paying a higher premium, you can generally lower your out-of-pocket maximums. Opting for a lower metal tier means you’ll pay higher out-of-pocket costs, but this could be a wise choice if you don’t anticipate needing much medical care.
Metal tiers are a group of plans that represent increasing cost-sharing levels on policies, with Platinum being the most expensive and Bronze/Catastrophic being the least expensive. Silver plans tend to be best for younger and healthier buyers who want a balance between lower premiums and higher deductibles.
Resource: Learn more about metal tiers
Cheapest Silver Plans in Arizona
MoneyGeek found that Clear SELECT Silver with Select Providers is the most affordable Silver health insurance in Arizona. Health Net offers this at around $361 per month. In this tier, the three cheapest plans are:
- Clear SELECT Silver with Select Providers from Health Net: roughly $361 per month
- Blue AdvanceHealth Silver - PimaFocus Network from Blue Cross Blue Shield: roughly $365 per month
- Focused SELECT Silver with Select Providers from Health Net: roughly $371 per month
Silver plans usually balance cost and coverage, making them suitable for people with moderate health needs. MoneyGeek recommends HMO plans in the table below since they are the most accessible to residents of Arizona.
Cheapest Gold Plans in Arizona
The lowest-cost Gold plan is Health Net's Clear SELECT Gold with Select Providers. The monthly cost is around $416. Overall, Arizona’s three cheapest health insurance Gold plans are:
- Clear SELECT Gold with Select Providers from Health Net: around $416 per month
- CMS Standard Gold SELECT from Health Net: around $417 per month
- Everyday SELECT Gold with Select Providers from Health Net: around $421 per month
Gold plans are one of the most expensive options on the market, but they also offer more benefits than lower-tier plans, and you’ll generally pay lower out-of-pocket costs.
Cheapest Bronze Plans in Arizona
UnitedHealthcare’s UHC Bronze Essential ($3 T1 Preferred Rx) is the most affordable option for this tier, costing around $295 per month. The three cheapest Bronze plans are:
- UHC Bronze Essential ($3 T1 Preferred Rx) from UnitedHealthcare: approximately $295 per month
- UHC Bronze Standard $9,100 Deductible from UnitedHealthcare: approximately $295 per month
- Medica Pinnacle Bronze Standard ($0 Non-Urgent Virtual Care with Designated Providers) from Medica: approximately $322 per month
Bronze plans are typically the least expensive among the standard health insurance options, but they usually cover the lowest percentage of your out-of-pocket medical costs.
Cheapest Expanded Bronze Plans in Arizona
Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Blue AdvanceHealth Bronze - PimaFocus Network costs around $302 monthly in the state. The three cheapest health plans in Arizona are:
- Blue AdvanceHealth Bronze - PimaFocus Network from Blue Cross Blue Shield: roughly $302 per month
- UHC Bronze Value $7,500 Deductible 2 (Unlimited $0 Virtual Urgent Care + $0 Primary Care Visits, $3 T1 Preferred Rx) from UnitedHealthcare: roughly $316 per month
- UHC Bronze Value HSA from UnitedHealthcare: roughly $316 per month
Expanded Bronze plans are similar to Bronze plans but offer more services and coverage. They may have higher copays or deductibles than a Bronze plan.
Cheapest Catastrophic Plans in Arizona
Oscar’s Secure plan is the most affordable option in this tier, at around $232 per month for a 26-year-old. Catastrophic plans may have the lowest premiums, but the medical expenses you pay can be very high. They are also only available to individuals under 30.
Cheapest Health Insurance in Arizona for Those With Low Income
You may be eligible for cost-sharing reductions if your income is less than 250% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). These reduce your out-of-pocket costs every time you need treatment. The cheapest plan is Health Net's Clear SELECT Silver with Select Providers, with the maximum out-of-pocket cost adjustments as follows:
- Income lower than $20,385 per year (less than 150% of FPL): Clear SELECT Silver with Select Providers ($550 MOOP)
- Income from $28,386 to $27,180 per year (151% to 200% of FPL): Clear SELECT Silver with Select Providers ($1,500 MOOP)
- Income from $27,181 to $47,565 per year (201% to 250% of FPL): Clear SELECT Silver with Select Providers ($4,200 MOOP)
These cost-sharing estimates are only based on individuals looking to buy Silver plans in Arizona and will differ if your household includes more than one person.
Cost-sharing plans may cost the same as or a little more than traditional health insurance, but they pay a higher share of your medical expenses. For example, the MOOP cost for Clear SELECT Silver with Select Providers is $550 at $361 per month for those whose income falls below 150% of FPL, while the average income earner may have around MOOP $5,400 for that price. This can be a good choice if you want a low deductible or to reduce your out-of-pocket exposure when it comes time to pay your doctor or hospital bills.
The Cheapest Health Insurance in Arizona by Plan Type
Arizona residents have access to several different health care plans, the most common of which is an HMO. The other type of insurance you'll come across is a PPO. MoneyGeek found the least expensive health insurance plan for this:
- PPO: Blue PPO Standardized Silver - Statewide PPO Network from Blue Cross Blue Shield (approximately $677 per month)
HMOs are usually cheaper than PPOs and require patients to pay more out of pocket if they want to see providers outside their network. PPOs don't have as many network restrictions as HMOs, so they're often more flexible when it comes to seeing specialists without prior approval from your primary care physician.
HMOs and PPOs are the two types of insurance plans to choose from in Arizona.
- An HMO is a type of health plan that requires you to use doctors and hospitals in the plan's network unless it’s an emergency. If you choose a doctor outside the network, you may have to pay out of pocket.
- Although more expensive, a PPO is like an HMO because it requires you to receive medical care from doctors and hospitals that are part of the network. The benefit is that you can go see any doctor that’s out of your network without a referral.
Cheapest Health Insurance in Arizona by County
It’s possible that some health insurance carriers sell their plans exclusively within certain regions of Arizona, so some counties may not have access to the same plans and premiums. Compare the cheapest Silver plan in Maricopa, Arizona’s most populated county, with the one in Greenlee, the state’s least populated county:
- Maricopa County: BannerAetna Silver S (Unlimited Free 98point6 Telehealth & MinuteClinic Visits) from Aetna (around $359 per month)
- Greenlee County: Clear Silver from Health Net (around $487 per month)
You can browse Silver plans that are available in your county.
Health Insurance Costs in Arizona by Age and Metal Tier
Health insurance premiums vary by metal tier. As a rule of thumb, lower-level metal tiers are cheaper but have higher deductibles. Here's a representation of how the average monthly premium increases for a 40-year-old in Arizona based on metal tier:
- Bronze: approximately $373
- Catastrophic: approximately $290
- Expanded Bronze: approximately $480
- Silver: approximately $1,247
- Gold: approximately $1,556
Costs also vary by age. For example, a Silver plan for middle-aged adults costs $1,247 per month on average, $891 for young adults and $2,649 for seniors.
What to Know About Arizona Health Insurance
MoneyGeek gathered information from private health insurance providers to determine the most affordable available options in Arizona for different demographics. Plans can be purchased during the annual open enrollment period.
Low-income earners, seniors and people with disabilities may apply for Medicaid or Medicare, which are government programs that provide health care for lower costs. These options may suit you better if you are in any of these groups.
Private Health Insurance in the Arizona Marketplace
Health insurance in Arizona must be purchased during an enrollment period, which runs from November 1 to December 15 of each year. During open enrollment, you can enroll in a new health plan or make changes to an existing plan. Coverage starts at the beginning of the next calendar year.
If you miss the marketplace open enrollment period, you may still be able to choose a marketplace plan if you qualify for a special enrollment period (SEP). You may qualify for a SEP if you lose your job, relocate, have or adopt a child or get married.
What Are Health Insurance Metal Tiers?
Health insurance in Arizona comes in different levels, including Bronze, Catastrophic, Expanded Bronze, Silver and Gold. Each tier has its pros and cons.
- Bronze: The Bronze tier features lower premiums but higher deductibles, copays and co-insurance. It’s best for people who may not need a substantial amount of medical attention.
- Catastrophic: Catastrophic plans are only available to people under 30 or those who qualify for a hardship exemption from the individual mandate. These plans have lower premiums than other types of plans but may have high deductibles.
- Expanded Bronze: In addition to covering all of the benefits required by the Affordable Care Act, Expanded Bronze plans may provide more generous coverage than basic Bronze plans at a slightly higher premium.
- Silver: Silver plans are often considered “benchmark” plans because they pay for a good chunk of health care costs for an average person at a higher price than Bronze and Catastrophic plans. Cost-sharing reductions are also possible, allowing you to save more.
- Gold: The most expensive tier of health insurance in Arizona, Gold plans offer more comprehensive coverage and are better suited for people who need great medical care. With a Gold plan, you are less likely to spend out of pocket for medical services, but you will typically pay higher premiums.
Medicaid in Arizona
The Arizona Medicaid program can help you afford care for yourself and your family by paying for medical bills, doctor's visits and prescriptions. It often covers what Medicare doesn’t, such as assisted living and personal care fees.
People with Medicaid usually don’t pay anything for covered medical expenses, but they may be charged a small copayment for certain outpatient services and other similar fees.
Eligibility depends on an individual’s eligibility as well as their household income level. Apart from those with limited resources, the program is also intended for people with disabilities and those who are pregnant.
Medicare in Arizona
Medicare is the federal government’s health insurance program for people over 65. It may also cover some people with disabilities or specified illnesses. It covers hospital and medical insurance, prescription drugs and other benefits.
Health care costs for people with Medicare come in the form of monthly premiums for medical and drug coverage as well as additional amounts you may need to pay when you get care.
Access the latest MoneyGeek guides on additional Medicare plans to get comprehensive protection against health care fees. It looks at the best Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement for Arizona residents.
Arizona Health Insurance Frequently Asked Questions
Health insurance can be confusing since it continuously evolves as regulations and trends change over time. MoneyGeek answers some of the most common questions so that you know what to look for when getting health insurance in Arizona.
About Mark Fitzpatrick
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. "What’s the difference between Medicare and Medicaid?." Accessed January 13, 2023.
- HealthCare.gov. "Special Enrollment Period (SEP)." Accessed January 13, 2023.
- HealthCare.gov. "Federal poverty level (FPL)." Accessed January 13, 2023.