Health insurance premiums, out-of-pocket maximums and deductibles differ from one metal tier to the other. Community Health Choice has the most affordable Silver, Expanded Bronze and Gold plans in Texas. CHRISTUS offers the cheapest Catastrophic plans, while Moda offers the lowest premium for Bronze plans.
If you are looking to balance monthly premiums with quality claims and coverage, MoneyGeek analyzed the best health insurance in Texas.
Most Affordable Health Insurance in Texas
Cheapest Health Insurance in Texas by Metal Tier
The cheapest health insurance in Texas for the Silver tier is the Community Select Silver 019 (Limited Network, No Deductible for PCP, Specialists & Generics, Free 24/7 Telehealth) Plan from Community Health Choice.
Health insurance costs vary depending on the metal tier. Plans with higher premiums often provide more comprehensive coverage. Pricier metal tiers, such as Gold and Platinum, also feature lower out-of-pocket maximums and deductibles.
In Texas, the most affordable health insurance plans across each tier and their monthly premiums are as follows:
- Catastrophic: CHRISTUS Catastrophic - 3 free PCP Visits, includes Virtual ($314 per month)
- Bronze: Moda Select Texas Standard Bronze ($321 per month)
- Expanded Bronze: Community Select Bronze 016 (Limited Network, No Deductible for PCP & Generics, Free 24/7 Telehealth) ($323 per month)
- Silver: Community Select Silver 019 (Limited Network, No Deductible for PCP, Specialists & Generics, Free 24/7 Telehealth) ($445 per month)
- Gold: Community Select Gold 022 (Limited Network, No Deductible for PCP, Specialists & Generics, Free 24/7 Telehealth) ($393 per month)
Marketplace health insurance plans are categorized into metal tiers. These are groupings based on the plan cost; the more valuable a metal tier is, the higher the monthly premium. For instance, Silver plans will be more expensive than Bronze but cheaper than Gold. Higher premiums translate to lower out-of-pocket maximums and vice versa.
Less valuable metal tiers, like Bronze, may be ideal for healthy, young buyers that don’t regularly use medical services, whereas older individuals may consider more valuable tiers, like Gold, if they plan to have more medical expenses.
If your earnings are below 250% of the FPL, you can opt for Silver plans, which balance monthly premium costs and deductible amounts. Silver plans include CSRs.
Resource: Learn more about metal tiers
Cheapest Silver Plans in Texas
Community Select Silver 019 (Limited Network, No Deductible for PCP, Specialists & Generics, Free 24/7 Telehealth) from Community Health Choice is the cheapest Silver health insurance plan in Texas. The average cost for this policy is $445 per year.
The three cheapest Silver plans in Texas are:
- Community Select Silver 019 (Limited Network, No Deductible for PCP, Specialists & Generics, Free 24/7 Telehealth) from Community Health Choice: $445 per month
- Cigna Connect 3000 from Cigna: $475 per month
- Silver S: Aetna network of doctors & hospitals + $0 walk-in Clinic + $0 Telehealth 24/7 from Aetna: $478 per month
Silver plans are the best if you need a policy with fair premiums and out-of-pocket maximums. CSRs can also significantly reduce your total costs for qualified buyers.
The plans recommended below are all HMOs since they are the most accessible type in Texas. However, this doesn't necessarily mean that they are the cheapest plans in the state.
Cheapest Gold Plans in Texas
Community Health Choice’s Community Select Gold 022 (Limited Network, No Deductible for PCP, Specialists & Generics, Free 24/7 Telehealth) is the cheapest Gold health insurance plan in Texas, with an average cost of $393 per month.
The top three Gold plans to consider are:
- Community Select Gold 022 (Limited Network, No Deductible for PCP, Specialists & Generics, Free 24/7 Telehealth) from Community Health Choice: $393 per month
- MyBlue Health Gold 403 from Blue Cross Blue Shield: $402 per month
- Cigna Simple Choice 2000 from Cigna: $424 per month
Gold plans are more expensive, but you will pay less out of pocket for health care services, making it a good option for those that frequently need care.
Cheapest Bronze Plans in Texas
Moda Select Texas Standard Bronze from Moda is the most affordable Bronze plan in Texas, at an average of $321 per month.
The top three cheap plans in this tier include:
- Moda Select Texas Standard Bronze from Moda: $321 per month
- Cigna Simple Choice 9100 from Cigna: $333 per month
- Cigna Connect 8900 from Cigna: $334 per month
Health insurance buyers may consider Bronze plans if they need a plan with a low monthly premium. Since Bronze plans feature high deductibles, they’re best for those who infrequently need medical care.
Cheapest Expanded Bronze Plans in Texas
Community Health Choice’s Community Select Bronze 016 (Limited Network, No Deductible for PCP & Generics, Free 24/7 Telehealth) plan is the cheapest Expanded Bronze plan in Texas. The average cost for this policy is $323 per month.
The plans with the lowest premiums are:
- Community Select Bronze 016 (Limited Network, No Deductible for PCP & Generics, Free 24/7 Telehealth) from Community Health Choice: $323 per month
- MyBlue Health Bronze 402 from Blue Cross Blue Shield: $332 per month
- Moda Select Bronze 8700 ($0 Virtual Care $2 Rx Value Tier) from Moda: $333 per month
Expanded Bronze plans offer better coverage than Bronze plans, including coverage for a major medical service before you pay the deductible amount. Your plan may, however, feature co-insurance or copay.
Cheapest Catastrophic Plans in Texas
The cheapest Catastrophic health insurance plan in Texas is CHRISTUS Catastrophic - 3 free PCP Visits, includes Virtual ($314 per month), costing about $251 per month.
The most affordable plans for a 26-year-old buyer are:
- CHRISTUS Catastrophic - 3 free PCP Visits, includes Virtual from Christus Health: $251 per month
- Blue Advantage Security HMO 200 from Blue Cross Blue Shield: $284 per month
Catastrophic plans feature very low monthly premiums and high deductibles. This plan is best for those under the age of 30 that want medical insurance to cover unexpected illnesses or injuries only. Policyholders are expected to cover the cost of preventative care.
Cheapest Health Insurance in Texas for Those With Low Income
Texans whose annual earnings are below 250% of the FPL qualify for CSRs, which can reduce health care costs by lowering their deductible amount and out-of-pocket expenses. The percentage reduction varies depending on your income.
According to MoneyGeek’s findings, the most affordable plan for low-income Texas residents is Community Select Silver 019 (Limited Network, No Deductible for PCP, Specialists & Generics, Free 24/7 Telehealth) from Community Health Choice.
Depending on your income, your MOOP will be as follows:
- Income lower than $20,385 per year: Community Select Silver 019 ($1,500 MOOP)
- Income from $28,386 to $27,180 per year: Community Select Silver 019 ($3,000 MOOP)
- Income from $27,181 to $47,565 per year: Community Select Silver 019 ($7,250 MOOP)
You can only get cost-sharing reductions in Texas if you purchase a Silver plan. The figures for income included above apply to single individuals and may differ based on the size of your household.
Qualifying for a cost-sharing plan doesn’t reduce your monthly premium. Instead, you will pay lower amounts for your deductible, out-of-pocket maximum and copay.
The Community Select Silver 019 (Limited Network, No Deductible for PCP, Specialists & Generics, Free 24/7 Telehealth) standard plan, the cheapest Silver plan in Texas, costs $445 and has a MOOP of $9,100. If your income is below 150% of the FPL, your premium remains the same, but the MOOP is reduced to $1,500.
The Cheapest Health Insurance in Texas by Plan Type
The most popular health insurance plan type in Texas is the Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plan. Buyers not interested in HMOs may also find Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO) plans and other plan types on the marketplace.
From MoneyGeek’s research, the cheapest EPO plan in Texas is the following:
- EPO: University Community Care Plan by Community First - Silver Plan Standard ($504 per month)
EPO plans have a larger network of providers than HMOs, especially during emergencies. They also provide the flexibility of getting care from specialists without a referral. You may consider EPO plans if you are willing to pay slightly more than HMO plans.
HMO plans are the most common in Texas, followed by EPO plans.
- While the cheapest plans, HMO plans have the least amount of coverage options, as you’re limited to in-network providers unless it’s an emergency. Policyholders must also see their primary care providers before getting a referral to consult a specialist.
- EPO plan holders can also only access care from doctors, specialists and hospitals within their network, unless it’s an emergency. Unlike an HMO plan, you may not need a referral from a primary care doctor to see a specialist.
Cheapest Health Insurance in Texas by County
The health insurance plan types available in Texas may vary based on your county of residence. The most affordable option also differs for each location.
Comparing the cheapest Silver plans in Texas between Harris, the largest county, and Loving, the smallest, we can see the following differences in plan options and cost:
- Harris County: Focused Value Silver and CMS Standard Silver Value from Ambetter from Superior Health Plan ($443 per month)
- Loving County: CMS Standard Silver Value from Ambetter from Superior Health Plan ($415 per month)
The following table lists the available plan types in different counties.
Health Insurance Costs in Texas by Age and Metal Tier
How much you pay for health insurance per month will also depend on your age and the metal tier you select.
A 40-year-old in Texas will pay the following average cost for each respective plan type:
- Bronze: $767
- Catastrophic: $350
- Expanded Bronze: $807
- Silver: $1,142
- Gold: $998
Premium cost will vary as you age. For instance, for Silver plans, 18-year-olds in Texas pay an average of $816 per month, while 40-year-olds pay $1,142 per month.
What to Know About Texas Health Insurance
To rank the cheapest health insurance in Texas, we utilized private plan data from providers across the state. During open enrollment, you can view different plan types and coverage levels on the market exchange.
If your earnings are below the FPL, you may opt to check if you qualify for Medicaid, and if you are a senior buyer or have a disability, consider applying for Medicare.
Medicaid and Medicare are better and cheaper alternatives to private health insurance in Texas.
Private Health Insurance in the Texas Marketplace
Every year, you can enroll for private health insurance between November 1 and January 15. During this time, you can browse the marketplace for plans and choose the one that best fits your needs.
If you want your coverage to go into effect by January 1, you must enroll or change your plan by December 15. Coverage for those who enroll and pay their premiums after December 15 starts on February 1.
A special enrollment period is available to individuals who miss the open enrollment period and have experienced a qualifying life event.
Qualifying life events include losing your job, getting married, having a baby, moving and more.
What Are Health Insurance Metal Tiers?
In the Texas private insurance marketplace, you will find plans across different metal tiers, including Catastrophic, Bronze, Expanded Bronze, Silver and Gold.
The monthly premium and out-of-pocket maximum vary for each tier, with more valuable tiers having higher monthly premiums.
- Catastrophic: These plans have the lowest monthly premiums and highest copays, co-insurance and deductibles. Only those under the age of 30 are eligible for these plans.
- Bronze: These plans have higher deductibles and lower premiums. Bronze plans are the best for individuals who need health care services less frequently, as they will pay more out of pocket for care.
- Expanded Bronze: Offer more coverage than Bronze plans but less coverage than Silver plans. Unlike Silver plans, these aren’t eligible for CSRs.
- Silver: Silver plans are the most popular due to their moderate premiums and out-of-pocket costs. If you have a low income, you may qualify for CSRs with a Silver plan.
- Gold: Plans in this tier have a higher monthly premium and lower deductible. They are ideal for buyers who frequently need medical services.
Medicaid in Texas
Medicaid is the most affordable health insurance option for eligible Texans. To qualify for this free government program, you must have a low income or meet other requirements. You may also qualify for coverage if you are pregnant or have a disability.
Medicare in Texas
Seniors aged 65 and older in Texas may also apply for Medicare, a government-funded program that offers lower health insurance premiums than private plans. You can also apply if you have a qualifying disability or illness.
Medicare has three components:
- Part A covers the cost of hospital stays, nursing facilities, hospice care costs and other health care services. It is premium free.
- Part B is the medical insurance component that pays for consultation, medication, outpatient care and preventive services.
- Part D pays for vaccines and prescription medications. The cost depends on your plan type.
Expert Tips on Finding the Cheapest Texas Health Insurance for Individuals and Families
- When can I shop for health insurance on the Texas health insurance exchange?
- How do I take advantage of cost-sharing reductions and tax credits for health insurance in Texas?
- Outside of plans on the health insurance exchange, where else can I get health insurance in Texas?
Program Director, Healthcare Leadership B.S., University of Louisville
Texas Health Insurance Frequently Asked Questions
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 Texas to help you learn more.
About Mark Fitzpatrick