In Michigan, Silver is not the only metal tier available. Other tiers with varying deductibles, premiums and maximum out-of-pocket (MOOP) limits can be found. The most affordable option for each tier differs. For instance, Molina offers the most affordable Gold plans. Blue Cross Blue Shield is the cheapest for Bronze, and US Health and Life Insurance Company is the most affordable for Expanded Bronze plans.
MoneyGeek also found the best health insurance in Michigan by analyzing providers and plans balance cost and service.
Most Affordable Health Insurance in Michigan
Cheapest Health Insurance in Michigan by Metal Tier
The least expensive Silver plan available to Michigan residents is the MyPriority Silver 5500 - Ascension St. John Providence Network from PriorityHealth, which costs $341 a month. Silver plans are generally pricier than Bronze plans but offer more comprehensive coverage.
The most affordable health insurance plans in each metal tier include:
- Bronze: Blue Cross® Local HMO Bronze Secure from Blue Cross Blue Shield at $236 per month
- Catastrophic: Secure from Oscar at $233 per month
- Expanded Bronze: Ascension Personalized Care Balanced Bronze 2 from US Health and Life Insurance Company at $246 per month
- Gold: Confident Care Gold 8 from Molina at $353 per month
- Silver: Ascension Personalized Care Low Premium Silver from US Health and Life Insurance Company at $330 per month
Choosing a higher metal tier plan such as Gold or Silver may require more expensive monthly payments; however, these plans are usually worth it as they offer more benefits and lower MOOPs than lower-premium plans.
Metal tiers are groupings of health insurance plans based on their value. Gold plans are typically more expensive in premiums but less costly in out-of-pocket expenses.
Silver plans offer a balance between cost and coverage and may provide more affordable deductibles for those on a budget.
Young and healthy buyers may prefer less expensive tiers, while those expecting high medical expenses may want higher-tier plans.
Resource: Learn more about metal tiers
Cheapest Silver Plans in Michigan
In Michigan, MyPriority Silver 5500 - Ascension St. John Providence Network from PriorityHealth is the most affordable Silver plan at $341 per month, on average. The three least expensive Silver plans and their respective providers are:
- MyPriority Silver 5500 - Ascension St. John Providence Network from PriorityHealth: $341 per month
- Constant Care Silver 8 from Molina: $346 per month
- Constant Care Silver 1 from Molina: $349 per month
A Silver plan is an excellent option if you want a balance between cost and coverage. They are less expensive than Platinum plans but more expensive than Bronze plans. Silver plans provide more coverage than Bronze plans, but not as much as higher-tier plans such as Gold or Platinum.
Though not necessarily the cheapest, the most accessible plan in Michigan is an HMO. MoneyGeek focuses its recommendations on HMO plans in the table below.
Cheapest Gold Plans in Michigan
The most affordable Gold plan in Michigan is the Confident Care Gold 8 from Molina, with a monthly cost of $353. The top three cheapest Gold plans in Michigan are as follows:
- Confident Care Gold 8 from Molina: $353 per month
- Confident Care Gold 1 from Molina: $353 per month
- Confident Care Gold 1 + Vision from Molina: $359 per month
Gold tier plans cost more but provide more extensive coverage and lower out-of-pocket expenses than less expensive plans.
Cheapest Bronze Plans in Michigan
The most affordable Bronze plan in Michigan is the Blue Cross® Local HMO Bronze Secure from Blue Cross Blue Shield, costing approximately $236 per month.
The cheapest Bronze plans in Michigan are:
- Blue Cross® Local HMO Bronze Secure from Blue Cross Blue Shield: $236 monthly
- Blue Cross® Metro Detroit HMO Bronze Secure from Blue Cross Blue Shield: $251 per monthly
- Bronze Simple - Standard from Oscar: $267 per month
Bronze offers low-cost, basic coverage with higher copays, limited coverage and higher deductibles than Silver or Gold plans. You'll pay more out of pocket for medical services with this metal tier.
Cheapest Expanded Bronze Plans in Michigan
US Health and Life Insurance Company offers Michigan's lowest-priced Expanded Bronze plan, Ascension Personalized Care Balanced Bronze 2, for an average of $246 monthly.
- Ascension Personalized Care Balanced Bronze 2 from US Health and Life Insurance Company: $246 monthly
- Ascension Personalized Care Balanced Bronze 1 from US Health and Life Insurance Company: $249 monthly
- Ascension Personalized Care Standard Expanded Bronze from US Health and Life Insurance Company: $251 monthly
Expanded Bronze is between Bronze and Silver, providing more coverage than Bronze but at a higher cost. It's ideal for those wanting more coverage than Bronze without paying Silver's higher premium, though coverage is still not as comprehensive as Silver.
Cheapest Catastrophic Plans in Michigan
In Michigan, there are several affordable Catastrophic health insurance plans available. Oscar's Secure plan offers the lowest monthly rate of approximately $187 for a 26-year-old buyer.
Other budget-friendly Catastrophic plans include:
- Secure from Oscar: $187 per month
- Covenant PHP Exclusive Healthy from Physicians Health Plan: $209 per month
- Sparrow PHP Exclusive Healthy from Physicians Health Plan: $212 per month
Catastrophic health plans usually come with lower premiums and high out-of-pocket expenses; they are typically offered to young adults under 30 or those who meet specific income requirements.
Cheapest Health Insurance in Michigan for Those With Low Income
If your income is below 250% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) in Michigan, you're eligible for cost-sharing reductions (CSRs) provided by the federal government. This means you'll pay less out of pocket for a health plan.
Ascension Personalized Care Low Premium Silver from US Health and Life Insurance is the most affordable plan for low-income individuals.
The maximum out-of-pocket (MOOP) cost for this plan is outlined below.
- Income lower than $20,385 per year (less than 150% of FPL): Ascension Personalized Care Low Premium Silver ($1,200 MOOP)
- Income from $28,386 to $27,180 per year (151% to 200% of FPL): Ascension Personalized Care Low Premium Silver ($2,100 MOOP)
- Income from $27,181 to $47,565 per year (201% to 250% of FPL): Ascension Personalized Care Low Premium Silver ($7,250 MOOP)
In Michigan, cost-sharing reductions are only available for Silver plans. If you have more members in your household, the cost-sharing reductions will also fluctuate.
The Ascension Personalized Care Low Premium Silver plan is an example of a cost-sharing plan that does not affect the monthly premium amount. Instead, policyholders pay the same $330 average monthly premium regardless of their income level.
However, the maximum out-of-pocket (MOOP) for those with incomes below 150% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) is only $1,200, compared to the $8,900 average MOOP cost for a standard plan. This is because cost-sharing plans allow the health insurance company to pay a larger share of medical expenses, reducing the amount the policyholder has to pay out of pocket.
The Cheapest Health Insurance in Michigan by Plan Type
In Michigan, various types of health insurance plans exist beyond the most common Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plans. These include Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) and Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO) plans. MoneyGeek’s research has identified the most cost-effective health insurance plans in Michigan for PPO and EPO plan types.
- PPO: Blue Cross® Premier PPO Silver from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan ($545 per month)
- EPO: Ascension Personalized Care Low Premium Silver from US Health and Life Insurance Company ($330 per month)
PPO plans offer more freedom to choose providers, while EPO plans provide lower premiums and more predictable out-of-pocket costs.
Michigan residents have access to a variety of health insurance plan types, including Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs) and Exclusive Provider Organizations (EPOs).
- Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs): HMOs require members to choose a primary care provider (PCP) from within their network of participating providers. The PCP coordinates all health care services, including referrals to specialists, and members must get a referral from their PCP for specialist care.
- Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs): PPOs offer members more flexibility in their choice of providers, as members can access care from both in-network and out-of-network providers.
- Exclusive Provider Organizations (EPOs): EPOs members can access providers within the network of EPOS but cannot receive care from any out-of-network providers. Unlike both HMOs and PPOs, EPOs do not require members to choose a primary care physician, and referrals are not needed to see specialists.
Cheapest Health Insurance in Michigan by County
Due to the varying availability of health plan types across Michigan, the cheapest plan in one county may be less affordable in another.
For instance, the average monthly premium for the least expensive Silver plan in Wayne County, the largest county in the state, is likely to differ from that of the cheapest Silver plan in Keweenaw County, the smallest county in Michigan.
- Wayne County: Ambetter Virtual Access Silver - Virtual PCP selection required from Ambetter ($311 per month)
- Keweenaw County: Blue Cross® Preferred HMO Silver Saver from Blue Cross Blue Shield ($586 per month)
You can easily search for Silver plan options in your county using the table below.
Health Insurance Costs in Michigan by Age and Metal Tier
The cost of health insurance premiums can be affected by a person's age and the tier of the metal plan they select. To illustrate, the average monthly premium for a 40-year-old in Michigan changes depending on the metal tier.
- Catastrophic: $840
- Bronze: $955
- Expanded Bronze: $1,029
- Silver: $1,370
- Gold: $1,654
As the policyholder ages, costs for the same Silver plan in Michigan generally increase. On average, it costs $979 per month for young adults (around 18 years old), $1,915 for middle-aged adults and $2,909 for seniors.
What to Know About Michigan Health Insurance
MoneyGeek gathered data from private health insurance plans to determine Michigan's most affordable health insurance options. During the open enrollment period, people can browse the plans and select the one that best fits their chosen coverage level and other needs.
Alternatively, those who qualify may be eligible for more affordable health insurance through government-funded programs, such as Medicaid and Medicare. Medicaid is available to those with lower incomes, while Medicare is for seniors or those with a disability.
Private Health Insurance in the Michigan Marketplace
The open enrollment period for private insurance plans is typically from November 1 to January 15. During this time, buyers are given the opportunity to purchase health insurance from the marketplace.
It is important to note that if you wish to have coverage beginning on January 1, 2024, you must enroll by December 15, 2023. Taking advantage of early enrollment gives you more time to make changes to your plan before the end of the period.
Eligible Michigan residents may purchase private health insurance during a special enrollment period, separate from open enrollment.
Qualifying events such as marriage, relocation, loss of income, childbirth and the like will grant you the opportunity to apply for or make changes to your health insurance. Typically, those who qualify have up to 60 days before or after the event to apply.
What Are Health Insurance Metal Tiers?
Michigan offers the following metal tiers for health insurance plans:
- Silver: Silver plans offer a balance between affordability and coverage. The premiums are higher than Bronze plans, but the deductibles and out-of-pocket costs are lower. Silver plans also offer cost-sharing reductions, which can even lower out-of-pocket costs.
- Gold: Gold plans have the highest monthly premiums but the lowest deductibles and out-of-pocket costs. These plans are the best option for those who need frequent medical care or have high medical expenses.
- Catastrophic: Catastrophic plans are only available to those under 30 and those with a hardship exemption. These plans have the lowest monthly premiums but the highest deductibles and out-of-pocket costs. These plans are best for those who rarely need medical care and are looking for an affordable option.
- Bronze: Bronze plans have the lowest premiums. However, they also have the highest out-of-pocket costs. This can include copays, co-insurance and deductibles. Patients may have to pay up to 40% of their medical expenses. While these plans may not cover all of a patient's costs, they are helpful for those who rarely go to the doctor and do not require major medical care.
- Expanded Bronze: An Expanded Bronze plan is similar to the traditional Bronze plan but has lower out-of-pocket costs and higher premiums. This plan may be more appropriate for someone who needs more medical services but still wants to keep their overall costs low.
Knowing what metal tier is best for you can be a difficult decision. It is important to consider your current and expected medical needs, budget and the availability of cost-sharing reductions when deciding which plan is best for you.
Medicaid in Michigan
If you are on a tight budget, you may qualify for Medicaid in Michigan. This government-funded health care program offers free medical care to those who meet the state's qualifications. Generally, this includes pregnant women, those from low-income households and those with disabilities.
Medicare in Michigan
If you are 65 years of age or older or have a qualifying disability or illness, you may be eligible for Medicare, a government health care program. Although you will have to pay for some coverage, it may be more cost-effective than purchasing a private plan from the insurance exchange.
Medicare consists of three parts: Part A, Part B and Part D.
- Part A: Inpatient hospital care, skilled nursing facility care, hospice care and home health care.
- Part B: Doctor visits, outpatient care, medical supplies and preventive services.
- Part D: Prescription drug coverage.
Professional Insights on Affordable Health Insurance In Michigan
- What factors should individuals and families in Michigan consider when selecting a plan with the lowest out-of-pocket maxes?
- Are Health Savings Accounts (HSA) a viable option for those looking for the cheapest coverage in Michigan?
- Are there any special considerations that should be taken into account when selecting a plan in Michigan for people with pre-existing conditions?
- In your view, what can be done to make health insurance more affordable in Michigan?
Advisor and Investment Research Analyst at Summit Financial Consulting
Michigan Health Insurance Frequently Asked Questions
If you're looking for budget-friendly health insurance in Michigan, you may have a lot of questions about the cost and availability of different plans. MoneyGeek provides answers to some of the most commonly asked questions.
About Mark Fitzpatrick