Get affordable Cincinnati health insurance coverage in minutes. We help you find all of the top companies in the Hamilton County area and their best low-cost Marketplace plans. The quotes that we provide are always the direct rates published by each insurer. You can either purchase coverage "direct" or with help. Queen City Exchange personal plans are often 30%-55% less expensive than Ohio group policies.
Ohio Health Marketplace Plans
You can also reduce your premium if you qualify for a federal tax subsidy that is automatically deducted from your rate. Depending on how many persons are to be covered, and your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI), the savings could be substantial. The Obamacare subsidy could potentially pay your entire premium. You can also choose to enroll in a plan that is not subsidized, and there are many low-cost options in Southwestern Ohio.
Also available are policies that are "off" the Marketplace and do not utilize subsidies to change the premium. Often, the number of available physicians and hospitals is higher when enrolling in this type of policy. For example, the Cleveland Clinic and Bethesda North Hospital (pictured below) are sometimes considered "in-network" for many unsubsidized policies, but not available (other than an emergency) for Exchange coverage.
During Open Enrollment, the federal subsidy is applied to the price of each Marketplace plan. "Catastrophic" policies, which are available to any applicant under age 30, are the only options that can not receive federal aid. Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze policies are fully-eligible.
NOTE: If you are over age 30 and qualify for "financial hardship," you may be able to enroll in a catastrophic contract. However, often, a Bronze-tier plan will cost the same (or less), and may be a more suitable choice. The two available "catastrophic" policies are:
Humana Basic 7150 HMOx - Three pcp and mental health office visits are provided with a $15 copay. Additional visits must deductible. Policy deductible is $7,150 and coinsurance is 0%. Urgent Care, ER, and prescription drugs must also meet deductible.
Anthem BCBS Catastrophic Pathway X PPO 7150 - $40 pcp office visit copay for the first three visits. $7,150 deductible with maximum out-of-pocket expenses of $7,150 and 0% coinsurance.
Many Exchange policies utilize different provider networks than past traditional plans. Generally, the new networks are thinner, and don't include as many physicians, specialists or medical facilities. Therefore, it's important to verify (in advance) that your own doctors will continue to give you their negotiated discounted prices.
You can also purchase policies if you miss Open Enrollment. Many of the top-rated companies (UnitedHealthcare and others) offer plans that are designed to provide benefits until you are eligible for the next Open Enrollment. Although some features are not available (maternity, for example), the cost is very low and a policy can be issued the same day you apply.
Companies Offering Coverage
Most of the big Ohio companies offer inexpensive options in the area. These carriers include Anthem Blue Cross, Medical Mutual, Aetna, UnitedHealthOne, HealthSpan, Humana, Assurant and a few other smaller companies. Kaiser and SummaCare are very reputable companies but don't have active networks in the southern part of the state. Premier, a new company (2015) should be considered only if you live North of the I-270 Interchange (off I-75).
Kaiser Permanente sold its block of business in the northern part of the state to Catholic Health Partners. Regulatory approval was given and HealthSpan Partners was created and now offers private policies. More than 75,000 members have made the transition to their new provider. Their main service area is in the Western and Southern portion of the state. We expect the provider list to expand in 2015 and 2016.
Catholic Health Partners (CHP) (now called Mercy Health) maintains a big presence in Hamilton and surrounding counties and also recently purchased a portion of SummaCare's block of business. CHP is considered a very consumer-friendly organization and is a very well-respected entity in the medical care business. HealthSpan now handles the insurance portion of their business. We anticipated that by 2016, they would be able to compete very favorably with Anthem. Now we realize that it only took until 2015.
Hamilton And Surrounding Counties
Rates in Hamilton county tend to be lower than areas in the Northern portion of the state. Some of the lower-cost counties in the area include Hamilton, Warren, Clermont and Butler. Other surrounding counties also enjoy low rates such as Clinton, Brown, Montgomery and Highland.
A typical medical plan in Southwestern Ohio will cost approximately 10%-20% less than similar policies in the Akron, Toledo and Cleveland areas. However, the cost of a plan in the Columbus area is typically similar to rates in this area.
Recently, Medical Mutual rates have become extremely competitive in Hamilton County. Here you can review their HSA plans which are among their most popular policies. As a non-profit company, MM seems to be able to constantly (almost every year) offering popular policy options to both individuals and small businesses. They also include the Cleveland Clinic in their provider network.
Reasons for more favorable prices in these areas include lower office visit, specialist and diagnostic testing charges, reduced hospital costs and less medical claims in recent years. For example, a family of four in the Cincinnati area can often pay $2000 less per year than a similar family in a neighboring state (such as Indiana or Kentucky).
Insurers in our state are able to negotiate lower costs and the savings is passed to you. Compared to other large Midwestern cities, such as Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis and St. Louis, you'll find local rates to be substantially lower from every company. Although the Affordable Care Act legislation has closed the gap, typically, if you move out of Ohio, expect your premiums to increase.
The Exchange (we have discussed this extensively on other pages and in our blog) has shaken things up for many persons buying their own plans. You may want to let us guide you through a very complex quoting and application process.
Although nobody can be turned down, there are many changes from past years, including the federal tax subsidies, special taxes on medical devices and persons that don't purchase qualified coverage, and a framework of options called "metal" plans. We'll help you find the best plan, and also easily enroll for coverage, so you can avoid the confusion of the federal website.
Other factors that influence rates include age, smoking status, household income, and where you live. As an experienced local broker since 1980, We research and compare the most affordable options for you. We also believe it is important to consider only the major "A" rated companies and avoid any type of "medical discount" plan.
The Cheapest Health Insurance In Cincinnati
Rates for most single and family households are typically lower than prices from 2010-2013. We listed several Bronze-tier examples below. Our hypothetical household consists of two adults (ages 40) with one child (age 15). The combined household income is $45,000, resulting in subsidy eligibility that reduces the premium by approximately $318 per month. Prices shown below are monthly:
$147 - CareSource Just4Me - $40 office visit copay and $6,600 deductible. Limited provider network.
$159 - Ambetter Essential Care 1 - $6,500 deductible with no coinsurance to satisfy.
$166 - Ambetter Essential Care 2 - $5,000 deductible with 40% coinsurance.
$168 - Ambetter Essential Care 3 - $6,000 deductible with three free primary care physician visits.
$225 - HealthSpanOne Bronze 6000 HSA - $6,000 deductible and HSA-eligible.
$231 - Humana Bronze 5750/Cincinnati/Northern KY HMOx - $5,750 deductible with no coinsurance.
$240 - Aetna Bronze Deductible Only HSA - $6,300 deductible and no coinsurance.
Your free quote only includes high quality companies that offer a wide range of policy options. Although fewer carriers initially participated in the Marketplace, competition among the smaller number of players has increased and there are now 16 companies that can legally write a policy.
Unlike many online services, we never charge any fee for our services. Not even a penny! The quotes are free, our advice is completely unbiased and always based on current information, and the application process is much quicker than you expect.
And...for your entertainment...we made a YouTube video about medical insurance in the Cincinnati area.