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Cheap Medical Insurance - 10 Most Affordable Health Plans For 2018

Edward Neeman | Published: June 14, 2018

Family and doctor saving money

Open Enrollment 2018 already came to a close this past December, and Open Enrollment 2019 won’t start until November, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find cheap medical insurance right now! First Quote Health has put together a list of the cheapest medical insurance options that you can enroll in today. These plans will help you save money, while still giving you the peace of mind of being covered in the event of a medical emergency.

1. Medicaid

If you qualify for Medicaid, then this is the medical insurance plan for you. Medicaid is funded jointly by the federal and state governments. Those who are eligible will have access to the same benefits as a marketplace or private health insurance plan and still receive the same high-quality care.

The best part about Medicaid is that you can enroll at any time, and it provides free or low-cost coverage for anyone who is eligible. It’s hard to beat free, which is exactly why Medicaid is your cheapest option for health coverage in 2018.

2. Supplemental Coverage

Supplemental coverage is not real medical insurance. In essence, you are giving up most benefits, and in return, you get a low monthly premium. Supplemental coverage only pays out a lump sum of cash for a qualifying medical expense, so you can forget about benefits like preventive care. It’s not recommended to have supplemental insurance as your only source of coverage, but if it’s your last resort, some coverage is better than none.

3. Short-Term Health Insurance Plans

Short-term plans are back thanks to the executive order signed by President Trump late last year known simply as Obamacare Relief. Short-term medical insurance plans offer little in terms of coverage, but their low cost makes them a great choice for the young and healthy. You probably won’t get your pre-existing conditions covered or preventive services paid for, but if you come down with any serious injury or illness, short-term plans will be there to save the day.

Short-term plans aren’t offered through the marketplace, so you won’t be eligible for subsidies, but should still be cheaper than it’s counterparts. Plus, you can enroll in short-term medical plans at any time, so if you’re looking to get covered today, get started here with First Quote Health.

4. Student Health Insurance

If you’re a student in college, your school’s medical insurance plan will be your cheapest option. Student insurance plans are usually subsidized or discounted. Even though these plans are cheap, schools work closely with health insurance companies to provide comprehensive coverage, so you still have access to major medical benefits. Obviously, these plans are only available to students, so if you’re not in school, or your school doesn’t offer healthcare plans, you should try finding something else.

5. Catastrophic Coverage (High Deductible)

Generally speaking, you need to be under 30 years old to qualify for catastrophic health coverage. For those who are eligible, catastrophic plans offer low premiums with high deductibles. You can enroll in catastrophic coverage through the marketplace, which is good and bad.

The good news about catastrophic plans is that since they are sold through the marketplace they are required to offer minimum essential coverage. The bad news, they can only be purchased during Open Enrollment, or if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. See if you qualify for a catastrophic plan today with First Quote Health.

6. Subsidized Marketplace Plans

The marketplace has some of the cheapest medical insurance plans available, especially if you qualify for a federal subsidy. Subsidies are available to anyone who decides to enroll in marketplace plans during the Open Enrollment Period, or Special Enrollment Period. The catch is that your income has to fall between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level.

7. Private Medical Insurance Plans

Yes, private medical insurance plans can actually save you money. The private sector is alive and well and packed with competition. Although you won’t be eligible for subsidies, private plans sold outside the marketplace may already be cheaper than plans you find in the marketplace.

If you haven’t explored the private health insurance market, you’re doing yourself a disservice. First Quote Health lets you compare medical insurance quotes in your area in under 5 minutes. See what you can be saving today by entering your zip code here.

8. Employer-Sponsored Plans (Group Coverage)

If you work for a company that offers free benefits, that should be your first option. Employer sponsored coverage, also known as group health coverage, is usually discounted by health insurance companies who are competing for business. On top of the discounted rates, employers usually split the cost with their employees, which makes group coverage one of the cheapest medical insurance options available.

9. Medishare Plans

Full disclaimer here, Medishare plans are not medical insurance plans. However, if you are enrolled in a Medishare plan, you will be exempt from paying a tax penalty for not having health insurance in 2018.

Medishare plans are religiously based plans and are sometimes referred to as Christian Healthcare Ministries. The plans work in a similar fashion to medical insurance, but the catch is they rely on community members to pay the bills for others in need, and plans are not backed by the government.

These plans are significantly cheaper than most medical insurance plans, but there are some stipulations. The first being that they don’t cover preventive services and the second is they don’t cover medical services that are considered unbiblical. For example, your birth control and abortion would not be covered if you are enrolled in a Medishare plan.

If you are looking to save money on health insurance, and have strong Christian values, it would be worth getting a Medishare quote.

10. Bronze Level Marketplace Plans

You’re probably aware that medical insurance plans through the marketplace have been getting more expensive each year, but luckily bronze plans are still affordable. Bronze level marketplace plans are the cheapest (with the exception of catastrophic plans) medical insurance plans sold through the marketplace.

Bronze plans still cover all the minimum essential benefits and protect you from expensive medical bills. However, they do come with high deductibles, just like catastrophic plans. If you don’t have a history of medical problems or any pre-existing conditions, a Bronze plan may be right for you.

There you have it, the 10 cheapest medical insurance plans for 2018. Feel free to explore any of these options through First Quote Health, or even speak to one of our live agents.