There are several reasonably priced health insurance options available in West Virginia that can be tailored to your specific needs. Most of the plans on offer will even have the option to add on dental and vision insurance. With the lowest-priced health insurance plans costing as little as $493 per month, dental add-ons costing as little as $40 per month, and vision plans costing as little as $7 per month, you’re sure to find a plan that works for you. While coverage and costs vary depending on your age, location, household size, and more, the average monthly cost for a full coverage health insurance plan for residents is $621, but some residents are also eligible for free plans.
West Virginia Health Insurance Companies
West Virginia has several affordable health insurance options, offered by multiple insurers. Two of the biggest companies offering local plans are:
Highmark BCBS West Virginia, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, provides comprehensive coverage at affordable rates. They offer a variety of Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans at all metal levels, both on and off the federal Marketplace.
CareSource West Virginia
CareSource is the second-largest health insurance carrier in West Virginia. They offer several Bronze, Silver, and Gold tier plans, including HSA-eligible plans. While CareSource doesn’t handle HSAs themselves, they do have a partnership with HSA Bank, where members can set up their accounts.
Health Insurance Marketplace in West Virginia
If you’re looking for health insurance in West Virginia, the health insurance Marketplace is a good place to start. Marketplace health insurance, which was created by the Affordable Care Act, offers certain consumer protections, guarantees coverage for pre-existing conditions, and includes coverage for what are known as the “10 essential health benefits”:
- Ambulatory patient services (outpatient care)
- Emergency services
- Pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care (both before and after birth)
- Mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment (including counseling and psychotherapy)
- Prescription drugs
- Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices
- Laboratory services
- Preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management
- Pediatric services, including oral and vision care (but adult dental and vision coverage aren’t essential health benefits)
The ACA-compliant plans offered on the Marketplace are divided into different types, known as metal tiers: Bronze, Silver, and Gold. These tiers do not signal a difference in quality of care, though. The tiers differ in your out-of-pocket costs versus what your plan covers.
It’s important to remember that the Marketplace only offers the plans of participating providers. So unfortunately, while the Marketplace is a great tool, you may not be able to compare every plan available to you.
Whether you want a Marketplace plan, or a plan from a private insurer, an EZ agent can help. We work with all carriers in your state in order to compare all options available.
West Virginia’s Short Term Health Insurance Guidelines
If you’ve missed the health insurance Open Enrollment Period (OEP), or if you need health insurance for a short amount of time, short-term plans are a great option. It’s important to note, though, that these policies tend to only cover the basics, and you can be denied one of these plans if you have a pre-existing condition.
There are some rules around short-term plans, both at the federal and the state level. Some states choose to have their own guidelines separate from federal guidelines, or don’t offer short-term plans at all, but like many states, West Virginia follows federal guidelines for their short-term plan limits. That means you can purchase an initial plan for up to 364 days, and you can renew your plan up to 3 times, giving you just under 3 years of coverage maximum on one plan. You can purchase a new plan after this time.
West Virginia Health Insurance Options
In addition to buying insurance straight from a provider, you also have a few other options to check out. An excellent resource for healthcare might actually be your employer, so speak to them about your group plan options. Typically, purchasing a plan via your employer is less expensive than doing it on your own.
Another strategy is to seek out government assistance. If you are 65 years of age or older or have a qualifying disability, you can enroll in a low-cost Medicare plan. Medicaid provides low-income individuals and families with subsidized or free insurance policies. Your income must be below a certain level in order to qualify for Medicaid.
The best resource at your disposal, though, is an insurance agent. An EZ agent can easily compare all of your available plan options and can ensure the plan you choose is the right choice for you and your family.
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How to Get the Most Savings
The cost of healthcare in West Virginia is one of the highest in the country. In terms of healthcare spending per capita, it is ranked 3rd out of the 50 states. West Virginians pay $12,019 on average per year for healthcare, but there are ways you can lower your healthcare costs.
One thing to think about if you want to lower your premiums is your physical health, especially your body mass index (BMI), since health insurance companies take this into account when determining your rates. The rate of adult obesity in West Virginia is high at 39.70%; if you fall into this category, your insurance premiums can be higher, so consider maintaining a healthy BMI to lower your healthcare costs.
Another red flag for insurance companies is smoking. Adult smokers make up a whopping 25.2% of the population in West Virginia and consider this: smokers may spend up to 50% more for health insurance than nonsmokers. That means quitting can lower your overall healthcare costs, as well your insurance premiums.
But the simplest way to save is to work with an EZ agent. We find all the plans available to you that fit your budget, as well as any discounts you might be eligible for, so you can actually save hundreds of dollars a year. Not only that, but all of the services we offer are free!
West Virginia Health Insurance FAQS
Does West Virginia require you to have health insurance?
As of 2019, there is no longer a federal tax penalty for not having health insurance, and West Virginia does not have a state mandate for health insurance, so no, you are not required to have coverage in West Virginia.
What is the cheapest health insurance in West Virginia?
The cheapest health plan will be a Bronze plan, which can start as low as $493 a month. Remember, though, health insurance plan prices can vary depending on age, zip code, gender, and other factors. More than half of West Virginia residents who qualify for a Marketplace plan can actually get a Bronze plan for free.
How much does health insurance cost in West Virginia?
The average monthly health insurance premium in West Virginia is $621, or $7,452 per year, with plans as low as $493 a month to as high as $1,800. But do not let these numbers scare you. More than half of uninsured people in West Virginia qualify for a $0 Bronze plan and don’t even know it.
Which companies offer health insurance in West Virginia?
There are over 300 health insurance companies in West Virginia, which means there are hundreds of plans available! The top two insurers in your state are CareSource West Virginia, and Highmark West Virginia.
How to Enroll in Health Insurance in West Virginia
There are several ways to enroll in a health insurance plan in West Virginia. One method is to make use of the federal Health Insurance Marketplace, which can be used to compare the plans offered by carriers that participate in the exchange. Additionally, you can sign up directly from the website of the carrier of your choice. You can also enroll through your workplace if your employer offers group health insurance.
Whether you want to enroll through the exchange, directly through an insurance carrier, or through an employer, an EZ agent can help! Our dedicated agent can assist you in comparing plans to be sure you’re picking the best option. In addition to finding any discounts or programs for which you qualify, we can also answer any of your questions. Once we’ve done all this, we’ll walk you through the enrollment process. Enrolling in health insurance can be challenging; let an EZ agent ease your concerns and get you the coverage you need.
If you still have questions, feel free to give us a call at 877-670-3557. When you call, you will be directly connected to a local insurance agent who can answer all of your questions and help you find the health insurance plan that works best for you.