Jessica Fox Last Updated On: August 9, 2023

How to Find Cheap Health Insurance in Pennsylvania

Health insurance is highly recommended by insurance experts and healthcare professionals alike. You deserve the right to affordable healthcare and a good health insurance plan can help you get it. 

Unlike other types of policies such as car insurance, health insurance is not legally required. There is no legal penalty for not carrying health insurance in Pennsylvania. 

However, health insurance is still highly recommended to reduce medical costs and to give you peace of mind. Keep reading to learn how you can find affordable health insurance in Pennsylvania.

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Table of Contents

The Average Cost of Health Insurance Plans in Pennsylvania

The cost of a health insurance policy is dependent on a variety of factors, such as:

  • Age 
  • Gender 
  • Type of plan 
  • Amount of coverage  
  • Smoking/non-smoking 

Due to these variables, there’s no one-size-fits-all number. What you pay versus what a friend would pay could be entirely different given your unique factors. 

What we can do though, is give you the overall average so that you have a baseline to go off of when budgeting for health insurance. The average cost of health insurance in Pennsylvania as of 2023 is $473 per month. 

With this baseline in mind, you can get an idea of whether you’re finding a good deal on health insurance or not. For example, those over 60 should expect to pay more than this average. But if a minimal coverage policy costs over $600, chances are that this is not the plan that you should choose. 

Pennie: The Pennsylvania Health Insurance Marketplace

In order to find the cheapest health insurance in PA, you need to understand how the health insurance marketplace works. 

In Pennsylvania, the marketplace exchange is called “Pennie.” It’s a great place to find the best cheap health insurance policies in Pennsylvania.

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Metal Tier Health Insurance

The exchange offers a range of policy types that are differentiated by a metal tier system. The metal tier describes the price and coverage amount in that kind of policy. Here’s what you need to know about them:
  • Gold Tier Plans: 
    • Lots of coverage 
    • Low deductibles 
    • High premiums 
    • Good for those who expect a lot of healthcare costs 
  • Silver Tier Plans:
    • Substantial coverage 
    • Medium-sized deductibles
    • Medium-sized premiums
    • Good for those with balanced healthcare costs and budget
    • Only tier eligible for cost-sharing reductions 
  • Bronze Tier Plans
    • Less coverage 
    • Large deductibles 
    • Low premiums 
    • Good for those anticipating minimal healthcare costs 
Within these metal tier categories, there is flexibility in terms of how your particular policy will work.

Best Marketplace Providers in Pennsylvania

If you’re looking for low-cost health insurance in PA, the following insurance companies offer the most affordable plans on the exchange:

  • Ambetter from PA health and wellness
  • Capital blue cross
  • Cigna 
  • Geisinger health plan
  • Highmark inc. 
  • Independence blue cross 
  • Oscar
  • UPMC health plan

Note: not all counties will have the same insurance providers available. 

Another benefit to seeking healthcare coverage on the marketplace is that you can qualify for tax subsidies that help cover the cost of health insurance.

Other Ways to Purchase Health Insurance in Pennsylvania

But the Pennie exchange is just one way to purchase health insurance. You can also find health insurance through:

  • An employer-sponsored plan
  • A government-sponsored plan
  • Private insurance provider

Health insurance is a personal business, and everyone has diverse needs. That’s why there are so many different ways to purchase health insurance.

Next, we’re going to walk you through how you can get health insurance from these other sources.

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Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance in Pennsylvania

Depending on your place of work, you may be able to access an employer-sponsored plan. These health insurance plans are created through a partnership between an employer and the insurance provider. The employer often helps subsidize the premiums, to make the coverage more affordable for employees. 

But, because these plans are offered through employers, those who are self-employed or work for a company without this option will have to find their health insurance elsewhere.

Medicare and Medicaid in Pennsylvania

Both Medicare and Medicaid are government-sponsored health insurance plans aimed to provide those in need with affordable coverage. Each program works a little differently.


Medicare is for individuals of retirement age, or those with specific disabilities. Eligible recipients are:

  • 65 years of age or older OR
  • Have End Stage Renal Disease, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, or another qualifying disability

Medicare health insurance offers a flexible range of coverage by being separated into four parts:

  • Part A: Covers inpatient emergency care
  • Part B: Covers outpatient medical care (Part A and B together are known as “Original Medicare”)
  • Part C: Also known as Medicare Advantage, is a Medicare-approved privately purchased health insurance policy from a private insurance provider
  • Part D: Covers cost of prescription drugs

Depending on which parts your Medicare coverage consists of, the cost will differ. But generally speaking, Medicare offers significantly cheaper health coverage than other methods. Keep in mind, you’re automatically eligible for Medicare when you turn 65 and if you don’t enroll right away, you could face fines (unless you have adequate health insurance from another source, like work).


Medicaid provides low income health insurance in PA. Qualifying individuals in Pennsylvania must make the equivalent to or below 138% of the federal poverty level.

As of 2023, 138% of the federal poverty level is:

  • $20,120.40 for a single-income individual
  • $41,400 for a family of four

This means that households making at or below these figures annually are eligible to receive Medicaid.

Those in certain extenuating circumstances can also qualify for Medicaid, including:

  • Pregnant women
  • Teenagers who live alone
  • Parents with sick children
  • People who live with an applicable disability
  • Those who are on Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Because Medicaid is provided to low-income individuals and families, it is typically free of charge. Medicaid includes the following benefits:

  • Vision care
  • Dental care for children
  • Hospitalization and clinic treatment
  • Laboratory and x-ray services
  • Doctor services, nursing services, medical and surgical dental services
  • Family planning and midwife services
  • Nursing facility services for people aged 21 or older
  • Home healthcare for people eligible for nursing facility services
  • Pediatric and family nurse practitioner services
  • Screening, diagnosis, and treatment services for persons under the age 21

If you’re eligible, Medicaid can help you get the coverage you need that you otherwise might not be able to afford, so it’s worth looking into.

Private Insurance Providers in Pennsylvania

The final way to get health insurance in Pennsylvania is through a private insurance company. You can get these plans by contacting these providers and proceeding to purchase a health insurance policy from them. 

You may wish to obtain health insurance from a private provider if: 

  • You are not satisfied with the other of policy options
  • You are not eligible for other types of policies
  • You need a short-term plan to supplement coverage before you are eligible to enroll in another plan 

Keep in mind, you might end up paying more by going private and these plans aren’t regulated by the ACA. Be sure to check out Pennie first when shopping for health insurance plans.

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Open Enrolment Period in Pennsylvania

When purchasing health insurance, you have to do so during an appropriate enrollment period. The open enrolment period in Pennsylvania lasts from November 1 to January 15.  During this six-week period, you are able to purchase a new health insurance policy or make changes to an existing one. You only need to follow the enrolment period guidelines if you are purchasing these types of health insurance:
  • Medicare
  • Employer-sponsored health insurance 
  • Marketplace health insurance 
A special enrollment period happens when extenuating circumstances make it necessary for you to change your health insurance outside the open enrollment period. Some examples of qualifying events are:
  • Losing health insurance unexpectedly or involuntarily, such as:
    • Loss of job
    • Expired Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)
    • Divorce etc.
  • Moving out of your current health insurance plan’s service area
  • Getting married
  • A new baby or an adopted child
  • You no longer qualify for a parent’s plan due to age
Otherwise, set a calendar reminder for open enrollment each year to be sure you’re meeting the deadline.

Tips for Saving on Health Insurance

Now that you know all the different methods of how to get health insurance in Pennsylvania, let’s get some tips on how to save money on health insurance. 

No one wants to overpay for insurance (at least no sane person does)! So here’s how you can find affordable health insurance in Pennsylvania:

  • Compare quotes from different companies 
  • Consider the amount of coverage you are comfortable having 
  • Look into tax subsidies if purchasing on the marketplace exchange 
  • Practice a healthy lifestyle (avoid smoking, avoid high blood pressure habits, etc.) 
  • Look into discounts through insurance providers such as loyalty or alumni 
  • Speak to an insurance expert for advice 

Get started comparing quotes by clicking here for access to free quotes fast.

Ready to Find Cheap Health Insurance in Pennsylvania?

ConsumerCoverage is passionate about keeping consumers informed and their wallets full. Now that you’re armed with the information you need to make an informed choice for your health insurance, we’ve got you covered with access to free quotes and more. 

Click here to get started. Affordable health insurance is at your fingertips.

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