Choosing a metal tier other than Silver can affect premiums and out-of-pocket costs. In Missouri, Medica is the cheapest option for Bronze, Catastrophic and Expanded Bronze tiers, while Ambetter offers the lowest rates on Gold plans.
If you're looking to balance monthly premiums with quality claims and coverage, MoneyGeek also analyzed the best health insurance in Missouri.
Most Affordable Health Insurance in Missouri
Cheapest Health Insurance in Missouri by Metal Tier
Health insurance expenses fluctuate based on metal tiers, which often offer a trade-off between higher monthly premiums and reduced out-of-pocket costs, or vice versa.
Silver plans are particularly popular as they offer a good balance of monthly premiums and out-of-pocket expenses. The most affordable option in the Silver tier in Missouri is the Cox HealthPlans Silver Standard $5,900 Deductible offered by Cox HealthPlans at a monthly cost of $503. If you're aiming for lower monthly premiums, Bronze plans might suit your budget better despite their potentially higher out-of-pocket costs.
Here are the most affordable health insurance plans from each metal tier:
- Catastrophic: Balance by Medica Catastrophic ($286 per month)
- Bronze: WellFirst by Medica Bronze Standard 9100X ($365 per month)
- Expanded Bronze: WellFirst by Medica Bronze Copay PCP 8000X ($401 per month)
- Silver: Cox HealthPlans Silver Standard $5,900 Deductible ($503 per month)
- Gold: Clear Gold by Ambetter ($587 per month)
For more information on affordable options, explore cheap health insurance plans that cater to a variety of needs and budgets.
Consumers can choose from four metal tiers in the Missouri health insurance marketplace: Bronze, Expanded Bronze, Silver and Gold. Each tier represents a general level of coverage and is associated with a different balance between monthly premiums and out-of-pocket expenses, such as deductibles, copayments and co-insurance.
Bronze plans typically have the lowest monthly premiums but come with the highest out-of-pocket costs when receiving medical care. Expanded Bronze offers slightly more coverage, generally with modest premiums and out-of-pocket costs. Silver and Gold plans have higher monthly premiums but substantially lower out-of-pocket expenses.
For individuals with incomes below 250% of the Federal Poverty Line, cost-sharing reductions (CSRs) are available on Silver plans. CSRs lower the amount you pay for deductibles, copayments and co-insurance, making out-of-pocket medical expenses more affordable.
Cheapest Silver Plans in Missouri
The most cost-effective Silver tier health plan in Missouri is the Cox HealthPlans Silver Standard $5,900 Deductible at a monthly cost of $503.
The top three most affordable Silver plans in Missouri are:
- Cox HealthPlans Silver Standard $5,900 Deductible ($503 per month)
- Cox HealthPlans Silver Connect 9 $6,000 Deductible ($512 per month)
- Silver Classic Standard from Oscar ($515 per month)
Silver plans are well-suited for individuals who anticipate needing moderate health care services. They offer a good balance between monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs when care is needed. For those who qualify for cost-sharing reductions, enrolling in a Silver plan can further decrease copayments, co-insurance, and deductibles, making healthcare more accessible and affordable.
Cheapest Gold Plans in Missouri
The most affordable Gold plan in Missouri is the Clear Gold plan offered by Ambetter, with a monthly cost of $587.
The three most affordable Gold health plans in Missouri are:
- Clear Gold from Ambetter ($587 per month)
- Standard Gold from Ambetter ($596 per month)
- Everyday Gold from Ambetter ($597 per month)
Gold plans are well-suited for individuals who expect to need frequent medical care or prefer the security of lower out-of-pocket costs when accessing health services.
Cheapest Bronze Plans in Missouri
The most affordable Bronze plan for Missourians is the WellFirst by Medica Bronze Standard 9100X offered by Medica at a monthly cost of $365.
The three most affordable Bronze health plans in Missouri by monthly cost are:
- WellFirst by Medica Bronze Standard 9100X from Medica ($365 per month)
- Balance by Medica Bronze Standard from Medica ($385 per month)
- Cox HealthPlans Bronze Preferred $9,450 Deductible from Cox HealthPlans ($429 per month)
Bronze plans are ideal for policyholders who want lower monthly premiums and are comfortable with higher out-of-pocket costs when accessing care. Consumers who choose Bronze plans prioritize having coverage for major health events over more comprehensive day-to-day medical costs.
Cheapest Expanded Bronze Plans in Missouri
The WellFirst by Medica Bronze Copay PCP 8000X plan is the most affordable option in the Expanded Bronze tier in Missouri, with a monthly cost of $401.
The top three most economical Expanded Bronze plans in Missouri are:
- WellFirst by Medica Bronze Copay PCP 8000X ($401 per month)
- WellFirst by Medica Bronze Copay Plus 9400X ($410 per month)
- Balance by Medica Expanded Bronze Standard ($413 per month)
Expanded Bronze plans are ideal for individuals seeking health insurance with relatively low monthly premiums but slightly more coverage than standard Bronze plans.
Cheapest Catastrophic Plans in Missouri
The most affordable Catastrophic plan in Missouri is the Balance by Medica Catastrophic, with a monthly cost of $229.
The two most affordable Catastrophic health insurance plans in Missouri are:
- Balance by Medica Catastrophic ($229 per month)
- WellFirst by Medica Catastrophic Safety Net ($236 per month)
Catastrophic plans are available only to adults under 30 or those with a hardship exemption. These plans have low monthly premiums but high out-of-pocket costs, so they're best for those who want to minimize monthly expenses while having a safety net for major medical events. They are not recommended for those who have frequent or ongoing health care needs.
Cheapest Health Insurance in Missouri for Those With Low Income
Individuals in Missouri earning up to 250% of the federal poverty level are eligible for cost-sharing reductions (CSRs) on Silver insurance plans. These CSRs help reduce health care costs by lowering deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses.
The most affordable Silver plan for Missourians earning between $14,580 and $21,870 is the Cox HealthPlans Silver Standard $5,900 Deductible plan, with a maximum out-of-pocket cost (MOOP) of $1,800.
The two most affordable Silver plan options are:
- Cox HealthPlans Silver Standard $5,900 Deductible ($503 per month; $1,800 MOOP)
- Cox HealthPlans Silver Connect 9 $6,000 Deductible ($512 per month; $1,000 MOOP)
CSRs in Missouri are available only with Silver plans. The income figures mentioned are for single individuals and will vary for larger households.
Cost-sharing reductions (CSRs) are discounts that lower the amount you pay for deductibles, copayments and co-insurance on Silver health insurance plans. They are available to individuals earning between 100% and 250% of the federal poverty level.
For example, for the Cox HealthPlans Silver Standard $5,900 Deductible plan, without CSRs, the maximum out-of-pocket cost is $7,200. At a higher CSR level of 94% actuarial value (AV), the same plan's maximum out-of-pocket cost decreases significantly to $1,800.
Cheapest Health Insurance in Missouri by Plan Type
EPO (Exclusive Provider Organization) plans are the only plan type available in Missouri.
The most affordable EPO plan in Missouri is the Cox HealthPlans Silver Standard $5,900 Deductible, with a monthly cost of $503.
- EPO: Cox HealthPlans Silver Standard $5,900 Deductible from Cox HealthPlans ($503 per month)
The most common plan type in Missouri is the Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO) plan.
EPO plans typically offer a moderate balance between lower costs and provider flexibility. You don't need to select a primary care physician (PCP) or need referrals to see specialists. The main downside is that out-of-network care is usually not covered except in emergencies.
Cheapest Health Insurance in Missouri by County
Health insurance rates and the availability of certain plans varies by county in Missouri. For example, the most affordable plan in the largest and smallest counties by population, Jackson and Worth, respectively, are as follows:
- Jackson: Silver Classic Standard from Oscar ($479 per month)
- Worth: Silver Classic Standard from Oscar ($552 per month)
The following table outlines all available plans in each county in Missouri.
Health Insurance Costs in Missouri by Age and Metal Tier
Age plays a big part in health insurance prices in Missouri. A Silver plan costs an 18-year-old $430 per month on average, but a 60-year-old pays around per month $1,280 — that's an $850 difference.
Metal tiers also impact costs. A Bronze plan for a 40-year-old costs $412 on average, but a Gold plan at the same age is $650. The Gold plan costs $238 more and offers better benefits.
Using rates from 2023, the chart below highlights how health insurance premiums within the same metal tier are typically more expensive for older adults.
What to Know About Health Insurance in Missouri
MoneyGeek broke many of the health insurance options in Missouri, including private insurance in the marketplace with different metal tiers, Medicaid and Medicare.
Private Health Insurance in the Missouri Marketplace
The open enrollment period in Missouri typically aligns with the federal timetable, generally starting on November 1st and ending on December 15th each year. Residents can shop for private health insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace during this window. If you miss the December 15th deadline, you won't be able to obtain coverage unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). SEPs are triggered by specific life events such as getting married, having a baby or losing other health coverage.
Medicaid in Missouri
Medicaid is a joint federal and state program that provides health care coverage to eligible low-income individuals and families, pregnant women, elderly adults and people with disabilities. In Missouri, eligibility is determined by income, family size and specific criteria such as being a state resident and a U.S. national, citizen or permanent resident. The program covers various health care needs, including doctor visits, hospital care and long-term services, tailored to support those who might otherwise be unable to afford adequate health care.
Medicare in Missouri
Medicare is a federal health insurance program primarily for individuals aged 65 and older, though it also covers younger people with certain disabilities or end-stage renal disease. Medicare is divided into parts: Part A (hospital insurance) covers inpatient hospital stays and some home health care. Part B (medical insurance) covers doctor visits and outpatient care. Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage, is an alternative to Original Medicare (Parts A and B) and often includes additional benefits. Part D covers prescription drugs.
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?
Assistant Professor of Economics at Missouri Western State University
Curators' Distinguished Teaching Professor Emerita, Department of Economics at the University of Missouri–St. Louis
Missouri Health Insurance FAQ
When looking for health insurance, you may have questions about cost and availability. MoneyGeek responded to frequently asked questions about cheap private health insurance in Missouri to help you learn more.
About Mark Fitzpatrick