Aetna offers the most affordable Bronze and Silver plans in New Jersey, whereas Oscar has the least expensive Gold plan. These metal tiers have varying premiums, deductibles and maximum out-of-pocket (MOOP) costs designed to meet a buyer’s specific health care needs.
EPOs are the most common plan type in New Jersey, but how much you’ll pay for a plan depends on your age, income and coverage level.
If you are looking to balance monthly premiums with quality claims and coverage, MoneyGeek analyzed the best health insurance in New Jersey.
Most Affordable Health Insurance in New Jersey
Cheapest Health Insurance in New Jersey by Metal Tier
New Jersey's most affordable Silver health insurance plan is Aetna's Silver 1: Aetna Whole Health network ($0 MinuteClinic + $0 CVS Health Virtual Care) + Ped Dental.
The overall cost of health insurance depends on a plan's metal tier. Generally, the more valuable ones, like Platinum and Gold, provide more coverage but have higher premiums. Here are the cheapest health insurance plans for different metal tiers:
- Catastrophic: Secure ($248 per month for a 26-year-old)
- Bronze: Bronze: Aetna Whole Health network (MinuteClinic + CVS Health Virtual Care) HDHP ($356 per month)
- Silver: Silver 1: Aetna Whole Health network ($0 MinuteClinic + $0 CVS Health Virtual Care) + Ped Dental ($399 per month)
- Gold: Gold Classic - PCP Saver ($0 Virtual Care) ($669 per month)
Although you will pay more each month for a plan in a higher metal tier, your MOOP costs will be lower, which is ideal if you need medical attention often.
Metal tiers are groupings of health insurance plans on the Marketplace that dictate how costs are split between you and your insurance provider. The more valuable metals (e.g., Gold is more valuable than Silver) tend to have more expensive premiums but cheaper out-of-pocket expenses.
Younger buyers or individuals in good health often prefer less expensive metal tiers, while those who can afford higher premiums or anticipate frequent medical care may choose more comprehensive metal tiers. Silver plans balance affordable premiums with coverage, with the option to lower deductibles if you have a low income.
Cheapest Silver Plans in New Jersey
Aetna’s Silver 1: Aetna Whole Health network ($0 MinuteClinic + $0 CVS Health Virtual Care) + Ped Dental is the cheapest Silver plan in New Jersey, costing an average of $399 per month. These Silver plans charge the lowest monthly rates in the Garden State:
- Silver 1: Aetna Whole Health network ($0 MinuteClinic + $0 CVS Health Virtual Care) + Ped Dental from Aetna: $399 per month
- Silver 2: Aetna Whole Health network ($0 MinuteClinic + $0 CVS Health Virtual Care) + Ped Dental from Aetna: $406 per month
- Silver 1: Aetna Whole Health network ($0 MinuteClinic + $0 CVS Health Virtual Care) from Aetna: $432 per month
Silver plans are considered middle-of-the-road options, balancing affordable premiums and quality coverage. Those who choose Silver plans may also be eligible for cost-sharing reductions, depending on their income.
Cheapest Gold Plans in New Jersey
Oscar offers the least expensive Gold plan in New Jersey. Its Gold Classic - PCP Saver ($0 Virtual Care) costs approximately $669 per month. Consider these Gold plans if you’re looking for affordable premiums:
- Gold Classic - PCP Saver ($0 Virtual Care) from Oscar: $669 per month
- Gold 1008 from WellCare: $677 per month
- Gold: Aetna Whole Health network ($0 MinuteClinic + $0 CVS Health Virtual Care) from Aetna: $709 per month
Gold plans have lower out-of-pocket costs but more expensive premiums. With this metal tier, your insurance provider will pay for a bigger portion of your medical expenses, making it ideal if you need health care services more often.
Cheapest Bronze Plans in New Jersey
In New Jersey, Aetna offers the most affordable Bronze plan. An average Bronze: Aetna Whole Health network (MinuteClinic + CVS Health Virtual Care) HDHP plan costs $356 per month. Here are the top three cheapest plans in this metal tier:
- Bronze: Aetna Whole Health network (MinuteClinic + CVS Health Virtual Care) HDHP from Aetna: $356 per month
- Bronze: Aetna Whole Health network (MinuteClinic + CVS Health Virtual Care) HDHP + Ped Dental from Aetna: $356 per month
- Bronze: Aetna Whole Health network ($0 MinuteClinic + $0 CVS Health Virtual Care) from Aetna: $371 per month
Bronze plans offer the cheapest monthly premiums but have higher deductibles, meaning you’ll pay more out of pocket if you require medical services.
Cheapest Catastrophic Plans in New Jersey
The cheapest Catastrophic plan is Secure from Oscar. It costs an average of $248 per month for 26-year-olds.
There are three Catastrophic plans available in New Jersey. They are:
- Secure from Oscar ($248 per month)
- Horizon Advantage EPO Essentials from Blue Cross Blue Shield ($296 per month)
- IHC Local Value Simple Saver from AmeriHealth ($331 per month)
Catastrophic plans can serve you in emergencies and feature low monthly premiums. However, the deductibles are very high, and you will have to pay more out of pocket before the plan kicks in. Catastrophic plans are available to people under 30.
If you qualify for a premium tax credit, you may also be eligible for a cost-sharing reduction (CSR) on Silver plans. This benefit does not affect your premiums but helps reduce other expenses associated with your plan, such as deductibles, copays and out-of-pocket maximums.
With a cost-sharing plan, your insurance provider will cover a larger portion of your health care expenses. You won't have to pay as much out of pocket when seeking medical services.
Cheapest Health Insurance in New Jersey by Plan Type
The Health Insurance Marketplace has different plan types to meet your specific budget and health care needs. Some plan types may have a limited network of health care providers, while others may cover the cost of out-of-network services. We recommend determining which plan types are available in your state to select the best one for your circumstances.
The Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO) is the only available plan type in New Jersey. Among EPO plans, Aetna's Silver 1: Aetna Whole Health network ($0 MinuteClinic + $0 CVS Health Virtual Care) + Ped Dental is the most affordable Silver plan, with an approximate cost of $399 per month.
You will find that Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO) plans are the most common type offered in New Jersey's Marketplace. Like HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) plans, EPOs require you to stay within your insurer’s network of health care providers for medical services — except in an emergency. However, they tend to have more providers to choose from. They may also not require a referral to see a specialist.
Cheapest Health Insurance in New Jersey by County
Not all health insurance plans are widely available in New Jersey, and the rates for the available ones may vary based on your exact location. The cheapest plan in one county may not be the least expensive in another.
We examined plans available in every county in New Jersey and their average rates. Refer to the table below to review the Silver plans offered in your county.
Health Insurance Costs in New Jersey by Age and Metal Tier
Your health insurance expenses can vary based on your age and metal tier. Take a look below to see how much a 40-year-old in New Jersey can expect to pay for a plan based on its metal tier:
- Catastrophic: $292 per month (for a 26-year-old)
- Bronze: $460 per month
- Silver: $571 per month
- Gold: $905 per month
Although getting a Bronze plan is an excellent way to save on premiums, you will spend more out of pocket if you seek medical treatments or services. Gold plans may be more expensive monthly, but your insurance provider will cover more of your medical costs.
Health insurance costs increase as you age. For example, the average monthly price of a Silver plan in New Jersey for teens is $408, while the same policy costs $1,409 per month for seniors.
What to Know About New Jersey Health Insurance
We used data from private health insurance plans to determine the most affordable health insurance in New Jersey. Buyers can explore these plans during the open enrollment period and select the best option that meets their specific coverage level and health care needs.
When shopping around for a plan, check if you are eligible for government-sponsored health programs like Medicaid or Medicare. The former is available to low-income individuals, while the latter is for seniors or those with a disability.
Private Health Insurance in the New Jersey Marketplace
Generally, you can only enroll in or change health plans during the open enrollment period, which begins on November 1. If you purchase a plan before December 15, your coverage will start on January 1. The open enrollment period ends on January 15.
If you miss the open enrollment period, you may still be able to purchase a marketplace plan during a special enrollment period. Specific life events, like marriage, having a baby, losing health care coverage or moving to a new location, determine your eligibility for this period.
Medicaid in New Jersey
An alternative to the private health insurance market in New Jersey is Medicaid, which is a federal and state program that offers coverage to eligible low-income individuals. This includes individuals with income below 138% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), pregnant women, individuals at least 65 years old or people with permanent disability.
Medicare in New Jersey
New Jersey residents aged 65 and older or those with a disability or illness may qualify for Medicare. This government-sponsored program subsidizes health care services for qualified individuals. It has three parts:
- Part A (Hospital Insurance): Covers inpatient stays, care in a skilled nursing facility, hospice care and some home health care.
- Part B (Medical Insurance): Covers specific doctor services, preventive services, medical supplies and outpatient care.
- Part D (prescription drug coverage): Covers the cost of prescription drugs and vaccines or shots.
New Jersey Health Insurance Frequently Asked Questions
If you're shopping for health insurance, you will likely have questions about the cost and availability of plans. To help you in decision-making, we addressed some commonly asked questions about health insurance in New Jersey.
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