Virginia residents can choose from a variety of other metal tiers, though each has its own set of deductibles, premiums and maximum out-of-pocket costs. For instance, Kaiser Permanente offers the cheapest Bronze and Platinum plans in Virginia, while Blue Cross Blue Shield provides the least expensive Catastrophic plan.
MoneyGeek also found the best health insurance in Virginia by analyzing providers and plans balance cost and service.
Most Affordable Health Insurance in Virginia
Cheapest Health Insurance in Virginia by Metal Tier
For the typical Virginia resident, Aetna's Innovation Health - Aetna Silver S (Telehealth and $0 MinuteClinic Visits at CVS) plan is the most affordable Silver option, averaging $343 per month.
Metal tiers are used to determine the cost of health insurance. Coverage under a more expensive plan is likely to be more extensive. The typical monthly premiums for the least expensive Virginia policies are as follows, organized by metal tier:
- Catastrophic: BlueChoice HMO Young Adult 9100 from Blue Cross Blue Shield ($163/month)
- Bronze: KP VA Bronze 7500/40% from Kaiser Permanente ($282/month)
- Expanded Bronze: Innovation Health - Aetna Bronze (Low Premium + Telehealth + $0 MinuteClinic Visits at CVS) from Aetna ($261/month)
- Silver: Innovation Health - Aetna Silver S (Telehealth and $0 MinuteClinic Visits at CVS) from Aetna ($343/month)
- Gold: Innovation Health - Aetna Gold S (Telehealth and $0 MinuteClinic Visits at CVS) from Aetna ($348/month)
- Platinum: KP VA Standard Platinum 0/10/Vision from Kaiser Permanente ($484/month)
The cheapest health insurance plans typically only cover basic medical expenses, whereas those in the higher metal categories (such as Gold or Platinum) provide a broader range of medical services and have lower out-of-pocket maximums.
Metal tiers are plan groupings found in health insurance. For instance, Gold usually costs more than Silver in terms of premiums but often costs less in out-of-pocket expenses.
Individuals who are younger and in better health may like to purchase plans from less expensive metal tiers, while those who anticipate significant medical bills may prefer Gold or Platinum plans.
Silver plans typically offer a good balance of adequate coverage and reasonable pricing, and those with limited incomes can get cost-sharing reductions to make these plans more affordable.
Resource: Learn more about metal tiers
Cheapest Silver Plans in Virginia
In Virginia, Aetna has the most affordable Silver plan options. Aetna Silver S (Telehealth and $0 MinuteClinic Visits at CVS) plans cost $343 a month, on average. In Virginia, the three cheapest Silver plans are as follows:
- Innovation Health - Aetna Silver S (Telehealth and $0 MinuteClinic Visits at CVS) from Aetna: $343 per month
- Innovation Health - Aetna Silver 3 (Telehealth and $0 MinuteClinic Visits at CVS) from Aetna: $355 per month
- Innovation Health - Aetna Silver 2 (Telehealth and $0 MinuteClinic Visits at CVS) from Aetna: $358 per month
Silver health insurance policies are popular because they provide sufficient coverage with lower deductibles in comparison to Bronze plans. They are also usually cheaper than Gold and Platinum plans and are a good choice for those who qualify for cost-sharing reductions.
The plans recommended in the table below are all HMO plans. This plan type is the most accessible in Virginia.
Cheapest Gold Plans in Virginia
Aetna offers the cheapest Gold plan in Virginia: Innovation Health - Aetna Gold S (Telehealth and $0 MinuteClinic Visits at CVS) at around $348 per month. The three cheapest plans include:
- Innovation Health - Aetna Gold S (Telehealth and $0 MinuteClinic Visits at CVS) from Aetna: $348 per month
- Cigna Simple Choice 2000 from Cigna: $365 per month
- Cigna Connect 2100 Enhanced Asthma COPD Care from Cigna: $365 per month
The deductibles associated with Gold plans are often lower than those associated with cheaper plans. A Gold plan may be worthwhile if you frequently require medical attention since it provides more coverage and has lower out-of-pocket expenses.
Cheapest Bronze Plans in Virginia
For the cheapest Bronze plan in Virginia, the KP VA Bronze 7500/40% plan from Kaiser Permanente costs approximately $282 per month. The most affordable plans include:
- KP VA Bronze 7500/40% from Kaiser Permanente: $282 per month
- Piedmont Bronze 9100 from Piedmont Community Health Plan: $285 per month
- Cigna Simple Choice 9100 from Cigna: $285 per month
The monthly premiums for Bronze plans are typically lower than those for Silver or Gold plans, but the deductibles are larger, so you may have to pay for a lot of your basic treatment out of pocket.
Cheapest Expanded Bronze Plans in Virginia
The Innovation Health - Aetna Bronze (Low Premium + Telehealth + $0 MinuteClinic Visits at CVS) plan from Aetna is the cheapest Expanded Bronze plan in Virginia, costing around $261 per month. The top three cheapest plans in this tier include:
- Innovation Health - Aetna Bronze (Low Premium + Telehealth + $0 MinuteClinic Visits at CVS) from Aetna: $261 per month
- Innovation Health - Aetna Bronze S (Low Premium + Telehealth + $0 MinuteClinic Visits at CVS) from Aetna: $276 per month
- Innovation Health - Aetna Bronze (Low Premium + Telehealth + Low-Cost MinuteClinic Visits at CVS) from Aetna: $280 per month
Most Expanded Bronze plans cover the cost of office visits and one major service before the deductible is met. However, there may be a copay or co-insurance requirement.
Cheapest Catastrophic Plans in Virginia
The BlueChoice HMO Young Adult 9100 plan from Blue Cross Blue Shield is the cheapest Catastrophic plan in Virginia, costing around $131 per month for a 26-year-old buyer. The top three cheapest plans in this tier include:
- BlueChoice HMO Young Adult 9100 from Blue Cross Blue Shield: $131 per month
- KP VA Catastrophic 9100/0/Vision from Kaiser Permanente: $154 per month
- Anthem HealthKeepers Catastrophic X 9100 from Anthem (BCBS): $204 per month
Catastrophic health insurance plans have the cheapest premiums and very high deductibles. You’ll need to cover the cost of routine medical expenses yourself, as these plans mostly provide coverage for serious medical emergencies.
Cheapest Platinum Plans in Virginia
The cheapest Platinum plan in Virginia is the KP VA Standard Platinum 0/10/Vision plan from Kaiser Permanente at $484 per month. The three cheapest plans include:
- KP VA Standard Platinum 0/10/Vision from Kaiser Permanente: $484 per month
- KP VA Platinum 500/20/Vision from Kaiser Permanente: $503 per month
- KP VA Platinum 0/15/Vision from Kaiser Permanente: $511 per month
Although Platinum plans have the highest premiums, they also have the lowest out-of-pocket costs. This makes them a good choice for people who need a lot of medical care.
Cheapest Health Insurance in Virginia for Those With Low Income
For Virginians with incomes at or below 250% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), the state offers subsidies that lower out-of-pocket expenses. This can reduce the cost of health care for those who need it.
Innovation Health - Aetna Silver S (Telehealth and $0 MinuteClinic Visits at CVS) from Aetna is the most affordable plan for low-income individuals in Virginia, according to MoneyGeek, with the following maximum out-of-pocket cost changes according to your income:
- Income lower than $20,385 per year: Innovation Health - Aetna Silver S (Telehealth and $0 MinuteClinic Visits at CVS) ($1,700 MOOP)
- Income from $28,386 to $27,180 per year: Innovation Health - Aetna Silver S (Telehealth and $0 MinuteClinic Visits at CVS) ($3,000 MOOP)
- Income from $27,181 to $47,565 per year: Innovation Health - Aetna Silver S (Telehealth and $0 MinuteClinic Visits at CVS) ($7,200 MOOP)
Cost-sharing discounts are only available in Virginia for Silver plans. Note that these values may change if you have more than one person in your household.
Cost-sharing plans do not affect the cost of your premium. Instead, they reduce your deductible, copayments and out-of-pocket maximum by requiring your health insurance provider to cover a bigger portion of your medical costs.
The average monthly premium for both the standard and low-income Innovation Health - Aetna Silver S (Telehealth and $0 MinuteClinic Visits at CVS) plans is $343 per month. The out-of-pocket limit (MOOP) is a major point of difference, with the average MOOP for someone with an income below 150% of the FPL being just $1,700 compared to the regular plan's $8,900.
The Cheapest Health Insurance in Virginia by Plan Type
In Virginia, the most popular health insurance option is an HMO plan. Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans and Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO) plans are two alternatives.
MoneyGeek found the following Virginia EPO and PPO plans to be the cheapest:
- EPO: Silver S: Aetna Network of Doctors & Hospitals + Telemedicine + $0 MinuteClinic visits at CVS from Aetna ($366 per month)
- PPO: BluePreferred PPO HSA/HRA Silver 2750 80%/60% from Blue Cross Blue Shield ($521 per month)
If you're willing to pay a little extra each month, PPO and EPO plans provide you more freedom to visit specialists without a referral, unlike HMO plans.
Virginia residents can choose among HMO, EPO and PPO health plans while searching for coverage:
- HMO plans are typically the most affordable but also the most rigid. Policyholders are obligated to use in-network hospitals and doctors (except in emergencies). Specialist appointments require a referral from your primary care physician.
- EPO plans require patients to see doctors who are part of its network in order to get coverage. However, EPOs typically have access to more doctors and specialists and may waive referral requirements.
- PPO plans are more expensive than HMO ones, but their provider network is far more extensive. A referral is not required to see a specialist.
Cheapest Health Insurance in Virginia by County
It's possible that the plan you want isn't offered where you live. Plan availability can vary from county to county. As a result, the cheapest plan in one county may not be the cheapest plan in another.
For instance, check out the differences between the cheapest Silver plans for the largest and smallest counties in Virginia: Fairfax and Highland, respectively.
- Fairfax County: Innovation Health - Aetna Silver S (Telehealth and $0 MinuteClinic Visits at CVS) by Aetna: $343/month
- Highland County: Piedmont Silver 5800 by Piedmont Community Health Plan: $346/month
Look through the table below to see what Silver plans are offered in your county.
Health Insurance Costs in Virginia by Age and Metal Tier
Health care premiums can change with a person's age and the metal tier level of their policy. You can see the impact of metal levels on the typical Virginian's monthly premium at the age of 40:
- Catastrophic: $468
- Bronze: $580
- Expanded Bronze: $639
- Silver: $1,399
- Gold: $1,506
- Platinum: $1,929
A policyholder's premiums often rise with age. In the state of Virginia, for instance, the average monthly cost of a Silver plan for a 26-year-old is $1,121, while the same plan costs $2,972 for a 60-year-old.
What to Know About Virginia Health Insurance
MoneyGeek identified the cheapest health insurance in Virginia across several providers. During the open enrollment period, shoppers may compare the available plans and choose one that best meets their needs.
Residents of Virginia can also see if they qualify for more affordable federal health programs like Medicaid and Medicare. People with low incomes can qualify for Medicaid, while those 65 and older or those with disabilities can enroll in Medicare.
Private Health Insurance in the Virginia Marketplace
The private insurance open enrollment period typically runs from November 1 to January 15. During this time, you can buy plans from the Health Insurance Marketplace.
Please be aware that the deadline to sign up for coverage is December 15 if you want coverage to begin by January 1.
Outside of the annual open enrollment period, residents of Virginia who qualify may also buy private health insurance during a special enrollment period.
Events like marriage, relocation, job loss and having a baby make you eligible for special enrollment. Health insurance applications and changes are normally accepted up to 60 days before or after this date.
What Are Health Insurance Metal Tiers?
Catastrophic, Bronze, Expanded Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum are the levels of coverage available in Virginia's health insurance plans. The monthly premium is cheaper and the deductible is higher for more affordable metals, generally speaking.
- Catastrophic: These plans are only available to those under 30 years old (or those with hardship exemptions) who want a way to protect themselves from dire illnesses or injuries. They have low premiums and high deductibles, and you'll pay out of pocket for most routine care.
- Bronze: These plans include low monthly payments but large deductibles. People who are generally healthy and don’t expect to need much health care may benefit from one of these plans.
- Expanded Bronze: These have higher cost-sharing guidelines compared to Bronze plans but are cheaper than Silver plans. Compared to Bronze plans, Expanded Bronze plans cover at least one major service before the deductible kicks in.
- Silver: Many people choose Silver plans since their premiums and out-of-pocket expenses are both reasonable. If you qualify for cost-sharing, you may get lower copayments, co-insurance and deductibles.
- Gold: These have higher monthly premiums than the Silver and Bronze plans but lower out-of-pocket costs for more frequent care.
- Platinum: With the highest premiums per month, almost all of your medical expenses will be covered. This is recommended for those who have frequent health care needs.
Medicaid in Virginia
If a person meets the income requirements, they are able to enroll in Medicaid, a government program that offers free or low-cost medical coverage.
Medicaid qualification criteria in Virginia include various factors in addition to income. For instance, women who are expecting a child and people who are blind or disabled may qualify.
Medicare in Virginia
In addition to Medicaid, Medicare is another government-funded health care program that is far more affordable than insurance purchased on the open market. Residents of Virginia who are 65 or older or who have a qualifying sickness or disability are eligible.
Medicare Part A is hospital insurance that pays for skilled nursing facility stays, hospice care, some home care and care provided by registered nurses. Part B pays for outpatient care, as well as visits to the doctor and other preventive services. Part D pays for medically necessary medications and injections.
Virginia Health Insurance Frequently Asked Questions
There are a variety of factors that might affect the price and availability of health insurance plans in Virginia. To help you develop your understanding of the topic, here are the answers to some frequently asked questions.
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- HealthCare.gov. "Federal poverty level (FPL)." Accessed January 13, 2023.