Whether you are looking to relocate and are comparison various living costs in your future city, or are simply curious to know where your city falls in terms of the nation’s current health plan costs, we did the work and have your answers. After researching the fifty largest cities in the country and their individual health plans, it is evident that major cities the South-central and Southwestern United States, along with a few other regions, charge the lowest premiums.
In short, we ran quotes for 30-year-old men and women in the nation’s most populous locales, found the lowest cost comprehensive plan, and averaged the numbers together. Each plan had to be within the $2500 deductible range, and offer unlimited doctor’s office visits and 80/20 coinsurance.
Often times, the places we found were the cheapest are also commonly affordable for rent, travel, and other expenses, though this observation was inconsistent among the top 20. As it is difficult to determine whether the same companies will charge the lowest premium in each area, this data should be considered objectively to this particular demographic – the healthy, nonsmoking 30-year-old.
Albuquerque, New Mexico and Baltimore tie as the least expensive cities for individual and family health plans, as of the October 2012 date of the study. The average premium in both cities was $100 per month, though Baltimore may be the winner, as gender is not considered in the underwriting process. In Albuquerque, the regional plan Lovelace charged the least, and Maryland-headquartered Coventry was the most affordable in Baltimore for both male and female applicants.
In Louisville, Kentucky, health insurance is also very inexpensive, averaging $107 per month from Anthem. Several other cities were in a similar price range, representing coastal Virginia, Sin City, the Great Plains, and Ohio. Ohio health plans are typically very affordable, and that their largest city, Columbus, is the least costly, is a good indicator that you can get great access to health care.
Also studying male and female premiums separately, Las Vegas is the cheapest city for a 30-year-old male and Baltimore has the best premiums for females in this age group. Typically, underwriters rate up in age groups of 5 or 10 years before rating up for age, which varies by region as well. So, if you are in your early to mid-30s, your rates stay the same.
Top 10 Low Cost Major Cities for Health Plans
1. Albuquerque, NM: $100
2. Baltimore, MD: $100
3. Louisville, KY: $107
4. Columbus, OH: $110
5. Kansas City, MO: $113
6. Wichita, KS: $114
7. Las Vegas, NV: $115
8. Virginia Beach, VA: $115
9. Detroit, MI: $119
10. Jacksonville, FL: $125
Going beyond the top ten, more populous cities whose rates were fairly low compared to much of the country (notably the West Coast and New York) included Atlanta, Memphis, Phoenix, Philadelphia and Minneapolis.
For the full top 50 cities list, ranked in order with premiums and health plans.