In addition to Silver plans, Missouri offers other metal tiers with different deductibles, premiums and out-of-pocket maximums. WellFirst Health has the cheapest plans for Gold and Bronze tiers, while Oscar offers the most affordable Silver-tier plans.
MoneyGeek also found the best health insurance in Missouri by analyzing providers and plans balance cost and service.
Most Affordable Health Insurance in Missouri
Cheapest Health Insurance in Missouri by Metal Tier
The cheapest Silver plan for Missouri residents is Silver Simple - PCP Saver from Oscar at $472 a month. The cost of health insurance varies by metal tier. A more expensive plan usually provides more comprehensive coverage.
Oscar and WellFirst Health offer the cheapest plans in Missouri depending on the metal tier. The following are the cheapest health insurance plans by metal tier with an average monthly premium per plan:
- Catastrophic: WellFirst Catastrophic Safety Net (Free Transportation) ($274 per month)
- Bronze: WellFirst Bronze Standard 9100X (Free Virtual Visits & Transportation) ($319 per month)
- Expanded Bronze: WellFirst Bronze Copay PCP 8000X (Free Virtual Visits & Transportation) ($336 per month)
- Silver: Silver Simple - PCP Saver ($472 per month)
- Gold: WellFirst Gold HSA HDHP 2000X (Free Transportation) ($492 per month)
Plans with lower premiums only cover basic health care costs. Pricier metal tiers (like Gold or Platinum) provide more coverage and lower out-of-pocket costs.
Metal tiers are used to categorize plans in the health insurance exchange. Higher-value metals (e.g., Gold) tend to cost more in premiums but have lower out-of-pocket costs.
Healthy and young people may prefer less valuable metals. But, those who have the means or frequently owe medical expenses may benefit more from valuable metals.
With Silver plans, you can reduce your deductibles and enjoy affordable coverage if you have a low income.
Resource: Learn more about metal tiers
Cheapest Silver Plans in Missouri
In Missouri, Oscar offers the cheapest Silver plan. A Silver Simple - PCP Saver plan costs $472 per month on average. These are Missouri's top three cheapest Silver plans:
- Silver Simple - PCP Saver from Oscar: $472 per month
- Silver Classic - Standard from Oscar: $477 per month
- WellFirst Silver Copay PCP 4500X (Free Virtual Visits & Transportation) from WellFirst Health: $482 per month
Health insurance plans with Silver coverage are popular due to their lower deductibles and decent coverage. Moreover, Silver plans offer cost-sharing reductions (based on eligibility) that can reduce your monthly payments.
Cheapest Gold Plans in Missouri
The WellFirst Gold HSA HDHP 2000X plan from WellFirst Health is the most affordable Gold plan in Missouri, costing about $492 per month. These three Gold plans are the cheapest in the state:
- WellFirst Gold HSA HDHP 2000X (Free Transportation) from WellFirst Health: $492 per month
- WellFirst Gold Copay PCP 2000X (Free Virtual Visits & Transportation) from WellFirst Health: $506 per month
- WellFirst Gold Value Copay PCP 4000X (Free Virtual Visits & Transportation) from WellFirst Health: $528 per month
The deductibles for Gold plans are usually higher than those of cheaper plans, so you don't have to pay as much for health care services before your plan begins to chip in. However, unlike Silver plans, Gold plans don't offer cost-sharing reductions.
Cheapest Bronze Plans in Missouri
The cheapest Bronze plan in Missouri is the WellFirst Bronze Standard 9100X plan from WellFirst Health, which is approximately $319 per month. In addition to these, you can choose from:
- WellFirst Bronze Standard 9100X (Free Virtual Visits & Transportation) from WellFirst Health: $319 per month
- WellFirst Bronze Value Copay 9050X (Free Virtual Visits & Transportation) from WellFirst Health: $338 per month
- Bronze Simple - Standard from Oscar: $373 per month
Bronze plans have the highest deductibles despite having the lowest premiums. You’re responsible for most or all of your routine medical expenses.
Cheapest Expanded Bronze Plans in Missouri
WellFirst Health's WellFirst Bronze Copay PCP 8000X plan is the cheapest Expanded Bronze plan available in Missouri, at about $336 per month. Within this tier, the three lowest-priced plans are:
- WellFirst Bronze Copay PCP 8000X (Free Virtual Visits & Transportation) from WellFirst Health: $336 per month
- WellFirst Bronze Standard 7500X (Free Virtual Visits & Transportation) from WellFirst Health: $344 per month
- WellFirst Bronze Copay Plus 9050X (Free Virtual Visits & Transportation) from WellFirst Health: $345 per month
Typically, Expanded Bronze plans cover one major service and one office visit before your deductible is met. It's subject to a copay.
Cheapest Catastrophic Plans in Missouri
The cheapest Catastrophic plan in Missouri is the WellFirst Catastrophic Safety Net plan at $220 per month. Other affordable Catastrophic plans for 26-year-olds are:
- WellFirst Catastrophic Safety Net from WellFirst Health: $220 per month
- Balance by Medica Catastrophic from Medica: $242 per month
- Secure from Oscar: $261 per month
Catastrophic plans typically offer the lowest monthly premiums but come with very high deductibles. They’re an affordable way to protect yourself from worst-case scenarios but not great for routine health care.
Cheapest Health Insurance in Missouri for Those With Low Income
Cost-sharing reductions are available for Missouri residents who earn less than 250% of the FPL (Federal Poverty Level).
According to MoneyGeek, the most affordable insurance plan for low-income Missouri residents is Silver Simple - PCP Saver from Oscar, with maximum out-of-pocket expenses as follows:
- Income lower than $20,385 per year: Silver Simple - PCP Saver ($1,550 MOOP)
- Income from $28,386 to $27,180 per year: Silver Simple - PCP Saver ($3,000 MOOP)
- Income from $27,181 to $47,565 per year: Silver Simple - PCP Saver ($7,200 MOOP)
Missouri only offers cost-sharing reductions on Silver plans. The income numbers pertain to an individual and vary by household size.
There is no impact on your premium amounts from cost-sharing plans. In exchange, you wouldn't have to pay as high a deductible, copay or out-of-pocket maximum as you otherwise would.
The Silver Simple - PCP Saver plan, for instance, might cost policyholders an average of $472 a month, regardless of their income level.
A significant difference occurs in the out-of-pocket maximum (MOOP). An average standard plan has an out-of-pocket maximum of $8,900. In contrast, a low-income (below 150% of the FPL) individual's MOOP is only $1,550.
The Cheapest Health Insurance in Missouri by Plan Type
Missouri's only available plan type is an Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO). Except in an emergency, you must stay within your EPO plan's network. But unlike HMOs, you may not always need a referral for specialist care.
MoneyGeek's findings indicate that this is the most affordable EPO health plan in Missouri:
- EPO: Silver Simple PCP Saver from Oscar ($472 per month)
While EPO plans cost more for Missourians, they offer greater flexibility in terms of seeing out-of-network doctors and receiving care from specialists without referrals.
EPO plans are available in Missouri when you shop for health insurance. Unfortunately, they're the only types available in the state.
- Like HMOs, EPO plans require members to seek health care services from providers in their network. Nevertheless, EPOs often have a wider network of providers and may not require a referral to see a specialist.
Cheapest Health Insurance in Missouri by County
Plan type availability isn't constant across Missouri. What's cheapest in one county may not be the cheapest in the next.
Consider the following comparison of the cheapest premiums for Missouri’s biggest county, St. Louis, and its smallest county, Worth:
- St. Louis: Anthem Silver Pathway X 5800/40% Standard ($402 per month)
- Worth: CMS Standard Silver ($552)
Use the table below to see what Silver plan options are available in your county.
Health Insurance Costs in Missouri by Age and Metal Tier
Age and metal tier also affect health insurance premiums. The following table shows how metal level influences a 40-year-old's average monthly premium in Missouri:
- Bronze: $457
- Catastrophic: $350
- Expanded Bronze: $513
- Silver: $588
- Gold: $700
Policyholders' costs also rise with age. For example, the average cost of a Silver plan in Missouri for young adults is $420 per month. For middle-aged adults, it's $588. For seniors, it's $1,248.
What to Know About Missouri Health Insurance
Using data from private health insurance plans, MoneyGeek ranked Missouri's cheap private health insurance. These plans are available to interested buyers during the open enrollment period, where you can choose which plan best fits your individual needs and coverage levels.
Those living in Missouri may also qualify for government-sponsored health insurance programs such as Medicaid and Medicare. Low-income individuals can apply for Medicaid, while seniors and people with disabilities can apply for Medicare.
Private Health Insurance in the Missouri Marketplace
Private insurance plans usually have an open enrollment period between November 1 and January 15. During this time frame, buyers are allowed to purchase health insurance.
Enrollment for coverage that begins January 1 must be completed by December 15. During early enrollment, you can adjust your plan before the period ends.
The special enrollment period, which occurs outside the open enrollment period, is also available to Missouri residents who qualify.
You may be eligible for special enrollment if you experience an event like marriage, relocation, job loss or maternity. Usually, you can apply for or change your health insurance up to 60 days before or after the event.
What Are Health Insurance Metal Tiers?
There are several types of health insurance plans in Missouri: Bronze, Catastrophic, Expanded Bronze, Silver and Gold. Lower monthly premiums and higher deductibles are associated with less valuable metals.
- Bronze: The premiums are lower, but the deductibles are higher. It's best to choose these plans if you're relatively healthy and anticipate fewer visits to the doctor and specialists. Chronically ill individuals shouldn't choose this product.
- Catastrophic: A catastrophic plan is also available to individuals with a hardship exemption or who are under 30 years old. Although the premiums for these plans are typically the cheapest, the MOOP costs tend to be the highest.
- Expanded Bronze: The cost-sharing is a little higher than that of Bronze plans, but it's still less than that of Silver plans.
- Silver: Premiums and MOOP costs are moderate, which makes it the most popular choice. With cost-sharing reductions, Silver plans can reduce copays, co-insurance and deductibles.
- Gold: The premiums are higher than those for Silver and Bronze plans, but if you receive regular medical care, your out-of-pocket expenses should be lower.
Medicaid in Missouri
Under Medicaid, individuals with low or no income can receive free or low-cost medical coverage.
Medicaid eligibility in Missouri is based on several factors, including income. It may also be available to expectant mothers, individuals with disabilities and children whose parents or guardians are low-income.
Medicare in Missouri
Similarly, Medicare is a government-sponsored health care program that offers much lower premiums than marketplace plans. If you're 65 or older and have a qualifying illness or disability, you can apply for the program.
The Medicare program is divided into three parts. Each covers a different set of services:
- Part A: Covers hospital stay, hospice care, home care and services received in facilities with skilled nurses
- Part B: Pays for doctor's and preventative services fees and outpatient treatment
- Part D: Covers prescription drugs, vaccinations and other shots
Expert Advice: Finding Affordable Health Insurance in Missouri
- How do I take advantage of cost-sharing reductions and tax credits for health insurance in Missouri?
- Outside of plans on the health insurance exchange, where else can I get health insurance in Missouri?
Curators' Distinguished Teaching Professor Emerita, Department of Economics at the University of Missouri–St. Louis
Assistant Professor of Economics at Missouri Western State University
Missouri Health Insurance Frequently Asked Questions
Cheap health insurance in Missouri may be difficult to find if you don't know the costs or options available. Below are answers to the most commonly asked questions on MoneyGeek.
About Mark Fitzpatrick
- HealthCare.gov. "Health Plan Categories: Bronze, Silver, Gold & Platinum." Accessed January 13, 2023.
- HealthCare.gov. "Special Enrollment Period." Accessed January 13, 2023.
- HealthCare.gov. "Federal poverty level (FPL)." Accessed January 13, 2023.