How Much Does Marketplace Health Insurance Cost?

May 27, 2015 : Teresa Shipley Feldhausen

Editor’s Note: Health insurance costs can be high — so it’s understandable if you’re worried about how much a new plan is going to run you. The good news is that, if you’re under 30 and selecting a Marketplace health insurance plan, you have options. You should be able to find the one that’s best for your life and budget. 

If you are under 30, and recently lost health insurance coverage through your parents or your job, you may be signing up for a Marketplace plan. However, the cost of these plans will be a little different from what you’re used to. To avoid filing delays, be sure to report your insurance coverage when filing in 2018.

What should you expect and how much will you pay?

It depends on the type of plan you choose. Many young people choose “catastrophic” coverage, which has cheaper monthly premium payments than a traditional plan but much higher deductibles, usually several thousand dollars. If, for instance, you have a bad car accident, you’ll be protected from major hospital costs once you pay your deductible. Additionally, if you buy catastrophic coverage in the Marketplace, you’ll get three free primary care visits per year as well as free preventative care for services like screenings and vaccinations.

However, catastrophic plans don’t allow you to claim a premium tax credit (PTC). A PTC is money the Marketplace gives your insurance company to help lower the monthly premium payments you must make for your health care plan.

Not everybody can get a PTC. To qualify, you have to meet the following criteria:

  • You have to buy coverage through the Marketplace
  • You can’t be claimed as someone else’s dependent
  • Your income must be below a certain threshold
  • You can’t be eligible to get health care through your employer or another program such as Medicaid

So if you have low income or are partly employed, and your parents no longer claim you on their taxes – in other words, if you’re like many 26-year-olds – you might qualify for a PTC.

The cheapest health care options the Marketplace offers that are still eligible for a PTC are the “Bronze” level plans. You can browse all available health care plans here.

You should also consider if you qualify for Medicaid, a government program that provides free or low cost health care to millions of Americans. Coverage varies from state to state. The Marketplace can also help determine if you’re Medicaid eligible if you fill out an application. If you are eligible for Medicaid, the Marketplace will help you get enrolled in Medicaid.

For more information on health insurance cost and other Marketplace facts, head here.

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Teresa Shipley Feldhausen

Guest Contributor

Teresa is a health and science reporter living in Washington, D.C. She has been a researcher for National Geographic Magazine, a writer and blogger for the Student Conservation Association and a reporter for Idaho newspapers.