2021 Affordable Health Insurance Plans in North Carolina

North Carolina health insurance enrollment is simple. Visit HealthCare.gov, the federally run Affordable Care Act-compliant marketplace, to find available coverage options in your area and review pricing. North Carolina has extended special enrollment due to COVID-19 that runs through August 15th, 2021. You may still qualify for a special enrollment period to enroll any time after August 15th, 2021, if you have had a qualifying life event.

Highlights and Updates

  • The federal marketplace, HealthCare.gov, offers health insurance for North Carolina residents.
  • The American Rescue Plan is helping North Carolina residents with premium subsidies to help cover health insurance expenses.
  • The special enrollment window is open until August 15th, 2021.
  • You can get short-term health insurance in North Carolina for up to 36 months.
  • On average, the benchmark premium for 2021 health insurance in North Carolina is $516.
  • North Carolina has six insurers offering coverage through the federal exchange: Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, Cigna, Ambetter, Oscar, UnitedHealthcare, and Bright.
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How to Buy Health Insurance in North Carolina

You can obtain health insurance in North Carolina through the federal marketplace if you don’t have coverage through your employer. Plans come in Bronze, Silver, and Gold metal tier categories.

Bronze plans provide the lowest rates, but coverage is sometimes restricted, and deductibles are high. Gold plans are more comprehensive and have lower deductibles, but they come at a higher cost. Subsidies may be available to low-income residents to make insurance more affordable.

How to Apply for Health Insurance in North Carolina

Residents of North Carolina can browse available plans in their region and begin the application process by going to Healthcare.gov, the federal exchange marketplace.

Enter your information to see coverage choices that are tailored to you.

Health Insurance Carriers in North Carolina

North Carolina has six health insurance companies offering coverage on the federal marketplace.

What are the Cheapest Health Insurance Companies in North Carolina?

North Carolina has six health insurance providers offering policies through the federal exchange:

Plan rates and availability vary depending on your zip code. Average health insurance premiums for 2021 have decreased by 8% in North Carolina.

How has Obamacare Helped North Carolina’s Uninsured?

North Carolina has rejected federal assistance for Medicaid expansion under the ACA, leaving over 194,000 residents in a coverage gap. If the state accepted federal funding, approximately 626,000 residents would gain access to health insurance. (Source)

North Carolina Health Insurance Costs Overview

In North Carolina, health insurance is divided into three metal tiers: Bronze, Silver, and Gold.

Bronze plans have high deductibles and limited services, whereas Gold plans have higher premiums but more comprehensive coverage.

How Much Does Health Insurance Cost in North Carolina?

According to the KFF, the average 2021 benchmark premium in North Carolina is $516.

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What is the Cheapest Health Insurance Plan in North Carolina?

The average cost for North Carolina’s lowest-cost Bronze tier premium for 2021 is $350. Silver-tier plans have an average premium of $503, and the average Gold plan is $518.

Cheapest North Carolina Health Insurance Coverage by Metal Tier

Below you’ll find the average cost of coverage under each metal tier, according to the HealthCare.gov website. In this example, price estimates for a 40-year-old male in good health with an income of $75,000 are listed.

Bronze Plans

The Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina’s Blue Value Bronze plan is the most affordable Bronze tier protection with $333 monthly premiums. Coverage has an $8,550 deductible and an out-of-pocket maximum.

Silver Plans

The Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina’s Blue Value Silver 6300 plan is the most affordable Silver-tier coverage with monthly premiums of $507. The plan has a $6,300 deductible, and the out-of-pocket maximum is $8,550.

Gold Plans

The Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina’s Blue Advantage Gold 2500 limited network plan is the most affordable Gold-tier coverage at $499 monthly. The deductible is $2,500, and the out-of-pocket maximum is $8,550.

North Carolina Health Insurance Costs by Occupation

You can acquire health insurance on the federal exchange marketplace if you’re self-employed, an early retiree, or don’t have coverage via your employer.

What is the Average Cost of Health Insurance for a Student in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, dependents can remain on their parent’s insurance until they are 26. Individual coverage with low-cost comprehensive care is also available to students. A student health fee may be added to tuition, therefore allowing students to use medical services.

What is the Average Cost of Health Insurance for the Self-Employed in North Carolina?

Self-employed individuals in North Carolina can view and compare health insurance plans on the federal exchange marketplace. Depending on your household’s size and income, you could qualify for a premium subsidy to help lower your coverage costs.

What is the Average Cost of Health Insurance for Small Business Owners in North Carolina?

Employers with two to 50 employees can obtain health insurance through the SHOP program that helps small businesses in North Carolina. For a 40-year-old with Silver-tier coverage, the lowest average SHOP premium is $391.

North Carolina Health Insurance Costs by Number of Participants

Health Insurance costs in North Carolina vary depending on your household’s size and annual income.

What is the Average Cost of Health Insurance for Families in North Carolina?

The minimum monthly premium for Bronze tier health insurance in North Carolina is $1,214 for a non-smoking couple with two children earning $75,000 per year. A tax credit or rebate covering the entire cost of Bronze tier coverage would be available to a household with this income. There may also be the possibility of opening a Health Savings Account.

What is the Average Cost of Health Insurance for Individuals in North Carolina?

For individuals, the benchmark premium for coverage in North Carolina across all health insurance tiers is $516.

What is the Average Cost of Health Insurance for a Child in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) offers affordable coverage for low-income individuals with children. Children up to 18 years old can get free health insurance to cover essential medical benefits.

Other Types of North Carolina Health Insurance Coverage

Other North Carolina health insurance options include Catastrophic, Short-Term, and Medicaid coverage.

Catastrophic Health Insurance in North Carolina

Catastrophic Health Insurance in North Carolina may be available to anyone under 30 or those who qualify for a hardship exemption. These plans usually have large deductibles of approximately $8,150, and coverage is typically limited for worst-case scenario protection.

Short Term or Temporary Health Insurance in North Carolina

North Carolina residents can purchase Short-Term Health Insurance for up to 364 days and renew coverage for a total of 36 months. North Carolina has nine insurers offering Short-Term coverage: AdvantHealth, Aspen, Companion Life, Everest Prime, Independence American Insurance Company, National General, Pan-American Life Insurance Company, United Healthcare, and the United States Fire Insurance Company.

Low-Income Health Insurance in North Carolina

Low-income residents in North Carolina can apply for Medicaid through the NC Medicaid Division of Health Benefits. Medicaid expansion has not yet been accepted, however, leaving over 208,000 North Carolina residents uninsured.

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