The average cost of health insurance in Arizona is $503 per month. This represents a 5% increase in cost since the 2021 plan year.
Arizona residents can buy cheap health insurance plans through the state marketplace, or low-income households may be eligible for coverage through Arizona’s Medicaid expansion.
To help you find the best health insurance plan for your family, we evaluated all policies on the state exchange to find those with the lowest premiums.
In most of Arizona, the cheapest Silver health insurance plan is Blue AdvanceHealth Silver – Neighborhood Network, which has the lowest premium in 11 of 15 Arizona counties.
Health insurance plans on the Arizona exchange are divided into metal tiers, which indicate the benefits you would receive from a policy as well as its out-of-pocket costs and premiums.
To help you find a cheap health insurance plan for yourself, we compared all those listed on the Arizona marketplace and identified the most affordable policies in each metal tier.
The actual cost of a health insurance policy will vary depending on your age in addition to the policy you choose and the number of people covered.
As you can see below, the cost of a health insurance plan in Arizona is 22% cheaper for a 21-year-old than for a 40-year-old, which translates to an average savings of $125 per month for the average Silver plan.
A 60-year-old, on the other hand, would end up paying $648 per month more than a 40-year-old for the same level of coverage.
Finding your best health insurance coverage in Arizona
If your household income falls below 138% of the federal poverty level, you may qualify for Arizona’s expanded Medicaid program to gain health insurance coverage.
For those who don’t qualify, the county you live in, your household income and expected medical expenses will all help determine the best cheap health insurance plan available through the Arizona marketplace.
Different health plans are available in different counties. For example, a Pima resident would have different coverage options than a person who lives in Apache.
Within a given Arizona county, you’ll be able to choose from different metal tier health plans, each of which has its own pros and cons.
Lower metal tier plans, such as Bronze and Catastrophic policies, come with the cheapest health insurance premiums.
However, the trade-off is paying higher out-of-pocket costs if you become ill. You may end up covering much higher deductibles and copays than you would if you were to choose a Gold plan.
The Gold plans: Best if you have high expected medical costs
Though Gold health insurance policies come with the highest premiums — on average, they’re almost 20% more expensive than Silver plans in Arizona — your variable expenses will be much lower.
Gold health plans have the lowest cost-sharing features, such as deductibles, copays, and coinsurance, making them the best health insurance option for those with high expected medical expenses.
If you have ongoing prescription needs, for instance, you’ll likely find that Gold plans have the most affordable out-of-pocket expenses for drugs.
The cheapest Gold plan in Arizona is Bright Health Gold 1000 Direct.
The Silver plans: Best for average medical costs or people with low income
Silver plans are eligible for cost-sharing subsidies, so one of these policies is likely to be the best cheap health insurance plan if you’re in a low-income household. Silver policies are also a good middle ground between Gold and Bronze plans, combining affordable monthly premiums with out-of-pocket expenses if you do need medical care.
The cheapest Silver plan in Arizona is Bright Health Silver 4000 Direct.
Bronze and catastrophic plans
The Bronze and catastrophic plans: Best for healthy people with low expected medical costs
Catastrophic plans are only available to people under the age of 30 or for those who meet certain requirements, but we would only recommend these policies for people who are fairly young and healthy.
Similarly, a Bronze plan will likely be the best cheap health insurance policy if you have low expected medical costs and are able to pay the high out-of-pocket expenses in the event that you need medical care.
Though Bronze and Catastrophic health insurance plans have the cheapest monthly premiums, their high deductibles, copays and coinsurance mean you may face a particularly large bill before your coverage kicks in.
The cheapest Bronze plan in Arizona is Ambetter Essential Care 1 through Health Net of Arizona, Inc. The cheapest catastrophic plan is Bright Health Catastrophic 8700 Direct.
Arizona Short-Term Health Insurance
For the 792,000 uninsured Arizona residents, a short-term health plan can be a cheap way to get basic health insurance to fill a temporary need.
In Arizona, this type of coverage is called “short-term limited duration (STLD) health insurance”. Through Senate Bill 1109, the Arizona Legislature made it legal to get STLD health insurance up to 364 days with the option to renew coverage for up to 36 months.
You should take note that short-term health insurance plans are not compatible with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). So they don’t count as qualified, major medical coverage that must offer all 10 essential health benefits.
You can also be denied a short-term insurance policy based on your health status or a pre-existing condition.
However, there are many situations when enrolling in Arizona short-term health insurance can be beneficial, such as when:
- You don’t have health insurance or can’t afford major medical coverage
- You’re in between jobs
- You’re waiting for coverage to become effective at a new job
- You’ve aged out of your parent’s health plan because you turned 26
- You missed the open enrollment period (OEP) to get ACA health insurance
- You don’t qualify for a Special Enrollment Period to buy an ACA plan at any time throughout the year
Free Health Insurance Arizona
How do I get free health insurance in Arizona?
You may qualify for free or low-cost health insurance in Arizona through Medicaid. Medicaid plans provide coverage for services such as doctor visits, immunizations, prescriptions, and other essential health care needs. For eligibility and application information, visit the Arizona Medicaid page.
Nearly 1.3 million Arizonans are enrolled in Medicare as of 2020. Among those Medicare beneficiaries, 85% qualify based on age (65 or older).
The other 15% qualify because of disabilities, who are generally under 65. Arizonans have several options for Medicare benefits. The default option is Original Medicare, which includes Part A hospital and Part B medical insurance.
Original Medicare is managed directly by the federal government and some people are enrolled automatically.
What could be more amazing than Arizona’s Grand Canyon is having access to affordable health insurance. Many Arizona residents qualify for financial assistance to get private medical insurance under Obamacare.
You could even get free or low-cost health insurance in Arizona through public programs like Medicaid.
Arizona and the Affordable Care Act
Like most states, Arizona experienced a rise in the number of insured residents with the passing of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) also called Obamacare.
Back in 2013 when the first open enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace began, Arizona had 1.1 million uninsured residents. By 2016, that number dropped to 681,000–resulting in a 39.1 percent decrease in Arizona’s uninsured population.1
Arizona’s uninsured population is now at 11 percent (as of 2019), which is slightly higher than the U.S. average of 9 percent.
Another way the ACA has helped Arizona residents is through Medicaid expansion. In 2014, Arizona accepted federal funding to expand its Medicaid program to people with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL).
Because of the expansion, 432,100 more adults have access to low-cost or free health insurance through the state’s Medicaid program known as the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS).
Enrollment in the Arizona Health Insurance Marketplace
Arizona uses the federally-run Marketplace at Healthcare.gov for open enrollment, which takes place each year from November 1 to January 15.
This enrollment period is for private individual and family health insurance plans regulated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). You also have access to these plans if you’re a self-employed entrepreneur with no employees.
Arizona’s Marketplace enrollment has declined every year since 2015 when sign-ups peaked at nearly 206,000.
For the 2021 coverage year, a little over 154,000 residents enrolled in Arizona Health Insurance Marketplace plans—slightly less than the previous year when a little over160,000 people enrolled.
Besides enrollment through the public exchange at Healthcare.gov, you can get ACA-qualified coverage in the private Marketplace. This includes buying health insurance directly from a private insurer or connecting with a licensed insurance agent.
Cheapest health insurance plan by county
The lowest-cost health plan and its price will vary based on the region you live in. For instance, you would pay $218 per month less for the Blue AdvanceHealth Silver – Neighborhood Network health plan if you live in Santa Cruz County than you would as a resident of La Paz County.
To help you find the best health insurance plan where you live, we identified the cheapest Silver policies in each county below.
|Couple, age 40
|Couple, age 40 & child
|Ambetter Balanced Care
|UHC Silver Value
|Silver 4000 Direct
Arizona Companies Offering Individual and Family Plans
For 2022, six Arizona health insurance companies offer individual and family plans both in and outside of the federal Marketplace:
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona
- Bright Health Company of Arizona
- Cigna Healthcare of Arizona
- Health Net of Arizona
- Oscar Health Plan
- UnitedHealthcare of Arizona
Arizona Public Health Insurance
Low-income households earning less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level ($24,984 or less per year) make up just a third of Arizona’s population.
This is the typical income level required to qualify for public health insurance through Arizona’s Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
About 22 percent of Arizona’s population is covered through Medicaid and CHIP. The state and the federal government jointly fund these programs.
Arizona Medical Eligibility
Among Arizona residents, ages 19 to 64, one in five get benefits through Medicaid. For children, two in five have Medicaid coverage.
The state’s Medicaid program is called the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS). Depending on your income, you may qualify for free or low-cost coverage through AHCCCS.
Below is a list of who qualifies for Arizona health insurance through AHCCCS:
- Childless adults
- Caretaker relatives of children
- Pregnant women
- Women seeking screening for breast and cervical cancer
- Adults over 65
- People with developmental or physical disabilities
- Individuals who need nursing home care
- Certain individuals enrolled in Medicare
Arizona KidsCare Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
If you have uninsured children (18 and younger) in your household who don’t qualify for Medicaid, they could receive low-cost health insurance through Arizona’s Kids Care program.
Income and household size determine eligibility. If you have a family of four, for example, you must earn no more than $53,004.
If approved, you’ll pay up to $50 a month for one child or up to $70 per month regardless of the number of children.
Individual and Family Health Insurance Companies in Arizona
- Ambetter from Arizona Complete Health
- Bright Health
- HS – Ambetter from Arizona Complete Health
- HS – Banner Health and Aetna Health Plan Inc.
- HS – Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona
- HS – Bright HealthCare from Bright Health Company of Arizona
- HS – Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc
- HS – Medica
- HS – Oscar Health Plan, Inc.
- HS – UnitedHealthcare
- Dental Insurance Carriers in Arizona
- Ameritas Life Insurance Corp
- Dentegra Insurance
- Golden Rule Insurance Company
- HS – BEST Life
- HS – EMI Health
- Independence American Insurance Company
- Standard Life and Accident Insurance Company
Obamacare or ACA expanded Medicaid and Medicare benefits to more people. Medicare offers coverage to individuals with disabilities and seniors over the age of 60, while Medicaid offers health benefits to pregnant women, children, seniors, parents, and people with disabilities. If you have a low income, you can also avail of Medicaid benefits in Arizona.
To be eligible for the Medicare program, you need American citizenship or legal permanent residence in America for a minimum of 5 years.
For Medicaid, the requirement is to be a citizen, legal alien, US national, or have permanent residence.
Important Tips on Health Insurance in Arizona
Arizona health insurance is impacted by various factors that you may not have considered before:
- Body mass index (BMI)
- Tobacco use
- Cost-sharing reductions
- Individual or family
- Pre-existing conditions
- Insurance and medical history
By taking better care of your health, such as quitting smoking, you will actually be able to get a better deal on your insurance plan.