UCare Minnesota offers the cheapest Bronze, Silver and Gold plans in Minnesota.
Minnesota offers unique health insurance metal tiers with differences in premiums, deductibles and maximum out-of-pocket (MOOP) costs. Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) are the baseline plan type in this state. Rates will vary depending on factors like age, coverage needs and income.
If you are looking to balance monthly premiums with quality claims and coverage, MoneyGeek analyzed the best health insurance in Minnesota.
Most Affordable Health Insurance in Minnesota
Cheapest Health Insurance in Minnesota by Metal Tier
The UCare M Health Fairview Silver HSA plan from UCare Minnesota is the cheapest Silver health insurance plan in Minnesota. More valuable metal tiers like Gold and Platinum plans offer more coverage but are usually more expensive than the lower-tier metals.
The cheapest health insurance plans in Minnesota by metal tier are:
- Catastrophic: UCare M Health Fairview Core ($126 per month for a 26-year-old)
- Bronze: UCare M Health Fairview Bronze HSA ($256 per month)
- Silver: UCare M Health Fairview Silver HSA ($288 per month)
- Gold: UCare M Health Fairview Gold ($359 per month)
More valuable metal tiers like Gold typically cost more in premiums, but the trade-off is that they have lower out-of-pocket maximums and deductibles.
The health insurance marketplace categorizes plans into metal tiers that vary in cost and coverage benefits. Valuable metal tiers like Gold and Platinum have high monthly premiums but typically low out-of-pocket maximums.
Less valuable metal tiers like Bronze cost less in premiums but have high out-of-pocket expenses, so they are better suited for young people in good health who do not expect frequent health care services. For those anticipating more medical expenses, it is worth investing in a more valuable tier like Gold to get better coverage and lower any out-of-pocket costs.
Silver plans are mid-tier, so they offer a balance of premiums and coverage. These plans also include the opportunity to lower your deductibles if you are low-income.
Cheapest Silver Plans in Minnesota
The cheapest Silver plan in Minnesota is UCare M Health Fairview Silver HSA from UCare Minnesota at an average rate of $288 monthly.
The most affordable Silver plans in Minnesota are:
- UCare M Health Fairview Silver HSA from UCare Minnesota: $288 per month
- UCare M Health Fairview Silver from UCare Minnesota: $296 per month
- UCare Silver HSA from UCare Minnesota: $374 per month
Silver plans are a mid-tier option that balances costs and coverage, so they are ideal if you are looking for affordable health insurance in Minnesota and average out-of-pocket maximums.
HMO plans are the most accessible for residents of Minnesota. This is why the recommendations in this section are focused on HMOs, even if they're not necessarily the cheapest options.
Cheapest Gold Plans in Minnesota
UCare M Health Fairview Gold from UCare Minnesota is the cheapest Gold plan in Minnesota at an average of $359 per month.
The most affordable Gold plans in the state are:
- UCare M Health Fairview Gold from UCare Minnesota: $359 per month
- North Memorial Acclaim by Medica Gold Copay $0 PCP from Medica: $365 per month
- Select $2,000 w/Copay Gold from Health Partners: $366 per month
Gold plans offer broad coverage and low out-of-pocket maximums. This tier is ideal if you have frequent health care expenses, but it will likely have higher monthly premiums than Gold or Bronze plans.
Cheapest Bronze Plans in Minnesota
The cheapest Bronze plan in Minnesota is UCare M Health Fairview Bronze HSA from UCare Minnesota at an average of $256 monthly.
The cheapest Bronze plans in Minnesota are:
- UCare M Health Fairview Bronze HSA from UCare Minnesota: $256 per month
- North Memorial Acclaim by Medica Bronze Copay from Medica: $259 per month
- North Memorial Acclaim by Medica Bronze Share Plus Metro from Medica: $259 per month
Bronze plans are ideal if you don’t anticipate recurring medical expenses and are looking for cheap health insurance in Minnesota. However, the out-of-pocket maximums are high, so there is a trade-off compared to higher-tier plans.
Cheapest Catastrophic Plans in Minnesota
UCare M Health Fairview Core from UCare Minnesota is the cheapest Catastrophic plan in Minnesota, with an average premium of $126 per month for 26-year-olds.
The three cheapest Catastrophic plans are:
- UCare M Health Fairview Core from UCare Minnesota ($126 per month)
- North Memorial Acclaim by Medica Catastrophic from Medica ($133 per month)
- Bold by M Health Fairview and Medica Catastrophic from Medica ($138 per month)
Catastrophic plans are the cheapest plans on the market. However, the low monthly premiums associated with these plans mean that the deductibles are very high. These plans are best for people who are in good health.
If you are eligible for premium tax credits, you may qualify for cost-sharing reductions (CSRs) on Silver plans. CSRs do not lower your plan’s premium rate but lower other costs associated with your plan, such as deductibles, out-of-pocket maximums and copayments.
If you qualify for CSRs, most of your expenses will be covered when you need care, meaning that you do not need to incur high out-of-pocket costs.
Cheapest Health Insurance in Minnesota by Plan Type
In Minnesota, Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plans are the most common plan type, but the health insurance exchange offers other types of plans as well.
The most affordable Silver plans from other plan types are:
- EPO: North Memorial Acclaim by Medica Silver Copay from Medica ($302 per month)
- PPO: Select $3,500 HSA Silver from Health Partners ($305 per month)
HMO plans are typically more affordable but offer limited flexibility since you are restricted to a specified provider network and will require a referral to see a specialist. PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) plans and EPO (Exclusive Provider Organization) plans offer more flexibility in provider networks but are typically more expensive than HMOs.
When buying health insurance in Minnesota, you can choose from HMO, PPO or EPO plans, with HMO being the most common.
- HMO: This is the most affordable plan type, but these plans tend to offer limited flexibility. HMOs restrict you to a specific network of providers, and you usually need a referral to see a specialist.
- EPO: These plans also restrict you to in-network providers, except in the event of an emergency. These plans are typically more expensive, but they have the added benefit of not requiring a referral to see a specialist.
- PPO: These plans typically cost more than HMOs but offer a more comprehensive network of providers. Referrals are also not required to see a specialist.
Cheapest Health Insurance in Minnesota by County
The availability of some health insurance plans in Minnesota can vary depending on where you live. Location can also affect rates. A cheap policy in one county might be more expensive in another.
You can use the table below to see which Silver plans are available in your area and compare rates by county.
Health Insurance Costs in Minnesota by Age and Metal Tier
Health insurance premiums in Minnesota can vary significantly depending on the metal tier you choose.
The average health insurance rates for a 40-year-old in Minnesota by metal tier are:
- Catastrophic: $175 per month (for a 26-year-old)
- Bronze: $351 per month
- Silver: $401 per month
- Gold: $464 per month
Valuable metal tier plans like Gold have more expensive premiums but offer low out-of-pocket maximums. In comparison, low-tier plans like Bronze have low monthly premiums but high out-of-pocket maximums. Cheaper plans usually mean spending more when you access health care services.
Age is a significant factor in health insurance costs, with premiums increasing as you age. For instance, a Silver plan in Minnesota costs an average of $279 for an 18-year-old but $612 for a 60-year-old.
What to Know About Minnesota Health Insurance
MoneyGeek bases its analysis of cheap health insurance in Minnesota on data from private health insurance plans. These plans are available during open enrollment and offer different coverage levels to suit individual needs.
You may qualify for federal programs like Medicaid and Medicare if you are low-income, have a qualifying disability or are 65 years or older. These plans are typically cheaper than private health insurance plans.
Private Health Insurance in the Minnesota Marketplace
You can enroll in a Minnesota private health insurance plan during open enrollment from November 1 to January 15 each year. Remember that if you want your coverage to start on January 1, you must enroll in a plan by December 15. Early enrollment also means that you have more time to modify your plan before the enrollment period ends.
If you miss the open enrollment period, you may still be eligible to apply for a plan under special enrollment. The special enrollment period is available to those with qualifying life circumstances, such as losing health insurance coverage, getting married or having a baby.
Medicaid in Minnesota
In Minnesota, you may qualify for Medicaid if your income falls below 138% of the Federal Poverty Level. Medicaid is a free federal health care program, so it is Minnesota’s most affordable health insurance for those who meet the eligibility criteria.
In Medicaid expansion states like Minnesota, income is the only factor determining Medicaid eligibility.
Medicare in Minnesota
If you are 65 or older or have a qualifying disability, you may be eligible for Medicare in Minnesota. Medicare is a government-sponsored health insurance program that offers coverage in three parts.
- Part A: Covers hospitalization, including inpatient hospital stays, eligible home and hospice care and care in qualified nursing facilities.
- Part B: Covers outpatient care, including medical supplies, preventive services and services from specific doctors.
- Part D: Covers prescription drugs, including vaccines and other recommended shots.
MoneyGeek also reviewed the best Medicare Advantage plans in Minnesota to help you find the best plans.
Expert Advice: Finding Affordable Health Insurance in Minnesota
- How do I take advantage of cost-sharing reductions and tax credits for health insurance in Minnesota?
- Outside of plans on the health insurance exchange, where else can I get health insurance in Minnesota?
Professor at St. Cloud State University
Assistant Professor of Economics at St. Catherine University
Professor of Economics at Augsburg University
Assistant Professor of Health Care Management at the University of Minnesota Duluth
Minnesota Health Insurance Frequently Asked Questions
It’s common to have questions about cost and availability when shopping for health insurance. We answered frequently asked questions to help you learn more.
About Mark Fitzpatrick
- HealthCare.gov. "When Can You Get Health Insurance?." Accessed May 25, 2023.