Individuals often find difficulty in navigating through the Oklahoma healthcare system. Finding cheap and affordable, high-quality health plan proves to be an even greater challenge today for the residents of this state. However, the health insurance market in Oklahoma is changing with more health insurance providers foraying into the state and giving tough competition to the existing health insurers. Individuals can find affordable and cheap health plans in Oklahoma while shopping through the state exchange, but the best plan will vary from county to county in which an individual lives, and the tier of coverage that fits their needs. Before the Affordable Care Act was enacted by Congress in 2010, there was only one health insurer, Blue Cross Blue Shield in the entire state. Later other health insurers also joined the state thereby reducing the cost of the health plans and also made healthcare services more competitive.
Average Health insurance Costs in Oklahoma
Health insurance is not cheap in Oklahoma and the average monthly cost of health care premiums for a 40-old year in 2020 is $588 in Oklahoma. However, the amount will significantly reduce if an individual qualifies for a subsidy. There are a few factors in the ACA marketplace that determine the amount which individuals have to pay for their health insurance:
Individuals shopping for health plans in the Oklahoma marketplace just like any other marketplace will have the option to choose from four levels of plans namely, Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Plans of all these four levels offer the same benefits but plans of the lower level have a low monthly premium and high out-of-pocket costs.
Some of the individuals qualify for subsidies based on their income and size of family that allow them to have lower monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs.
Area of Living
Individual’s health insurance plan premium amount varies depending upon the area or county in which they live. People are required to enter their zip code to determine the price that they have to pay for their plans.
Though an individual’s age cannot prevent them from enrolling in a health plan but the cost of their monthly premium surely gets change with their age.
As the Affordable Care Act, health insurers are allowed to charge higher premiums from tobacco users, and they can be charged up to 50% higher premiums.
Find Best and Cheap Health Insurance Plans in Oklahoma
Individuals can find cheap health insurance plans in Oklahoma through the state exchange but the best plan will depend on the county in which they live and the tier of coverage that fits their needs. The best health insurance plans in Oklahoma vary by county because not all the plans are available in every county, and the plan also changes according to the county. For instance, the silver 4 plan from Bright Health insurer was available only in three counties of Oklahoma but it was the cheapest plan available. Higher metal tier plans like Gold plans have expensive monthly premiums compared to Silver and Bronze plans but have lower out-of-pocket expenses like copays, deductibles, and coinsurance. Therefore, individuals having recurring medical costs due to chronic medical conditions or individuals who are worried due to the high costs of an unexpected sickness should consider purchasing a higher metal tier plan. Alternatively, individuals who are healthy and young and wish to keep their monthly premium low should consider a plan of the lower metal tier, as this will be best for them.
Gold Plans are Best for Individuals Expecting High Medical Costs
Gold health plans have the lowest cost if individuals need to use their health insurance because these plans have lower deductibles and copays, though the premium is high. Therefore, individuals having high expected medical costs or who wish to avoid paying high out-of-pocket costs for an unexpected medical condition must opt for Gold plans. The cheapest Gold plan in Oklahoma in 2020 is Harmony by Medica Gold Share.
Silver Plans are Best for Low-income Individuals having Average Medical Costs
Individuals who are looking for lower out-of-pocket costs than a Bronze plan and affordable monthly premium than Gold plan will find Silver plans as the best option for them. This middle-ground option is also eligible for cost-sharing reduction subsidies for low-income individuals that further lower their out-of-pocket expenses. Silver plans pay for 70% of the individual’s medical costs whereas individuals are accountable for the remaining 30%.owever, the Silver plans may cover up to 94% under the CSR subsidies. The Silver 4 is the cheapest Silver plan in Oklahoma.
Bronze and Catastrophic Plans are Best for Young and Healthy Individuals
Bronze and Catastrophic plans are highly affordable plans in terms of monthly premium but have the highest out-of-pocket costs. Individuals under 30 years of age or who qualify for an exemption are only eligible to purchase a Catastrophic plan. Though Bronze plans are available to everyone, and these plans have lower monthly premium but higher out-of-pocket costs compared to Gold and Silver plans. Therefore individuals who are expecting few medical expenses or who can afford high out-of-pocket costs in case of a medical emergency will find the Bronze plan as the best option. The cheapest Bronze plan in Oklahoma is Bronze 2 and the cheapest Catastrophic plan is Harmony by Medica Catastrophic.