Cheap Health Insurance In Iowa For 2023

WRITTEN BY: Craig Sturgill


Trying to understand deductibles, copays, and monthly premiums can make finding cheap health insurance in Iowa challenging. But, with some understanding, you can find health insurance with the necessary coverage. This article explains all you need to know about health insurance in Iowa so you can find the best plan.

Iowa Open Enrollment Dates For Health Insurance

Health insurance Open Enrollment runs annually from November 1st through January 15th in Iowa.

Health Insurance In Iowa

Iowa Health Insurance Demographics

Demographics are essential factors companies consider regarding your health premiums. Below are some key demographics found in Iowa:

  • Average Household Income: A small percentage of households in Iowa are considered high-income. The average income in the state is $80,316.
  • Median Age Range: The average age of residents has increased from prior years. The median age range in Iowa is 38.5 years.
  • Education: Iowa’s education is one of the significant regional service systems. Approximately 43% of Iowa residents have an associate’s degree or higher.

What Type Of Marketplace Does Iowa Have?

Iowa’s Health Insurance Marketplace was developed from the Affordable Care Act (ACA). With just one application, an individual can view all health insurance options to enroll. Private companies offer the plans, but the Marketplace is in partnership with state and federal governments.

How many people are insured through the Iowa health insurance Marketplace?

There are 59,228 people enrolled through Iowa’s health insurance Marketplace. The amount has increased since 2018, when only just over 53,000 registered.

Did Iowa implement the ACA’s Medicaid expansion?

Iowa implemented the ACA’s Medicaid Expansion plan, called Iowa Health and Wellness Plan (IHAWP), in 2014. The plan expands coverage for low-income individuals and families through two programs. The programs are The Iowa Marketplace Choice and the Iowa Wellness Plan.

When can you purchase ACA insurance in Iowa? 

You can buy ACA health insurance during the Open Enrollment Period in Iowa. The period runs from November 1st to December 15th. Exceptions to enrolling outside of the window need a specific life event. 

Types of ACA Plans In Iowa

Iowa’s health insurance plans fall under four different tiers, which are:

  • Catastrophic
  • Bronze
  • Silver
  • Gold

Iowa allows each insurer to set its prices, so premiums vary depending on multiple factors.

What carriers offer ACA health insurance in Iowa?

Three insurers offer exchange plans in Iowa for ACA health insurance. They are as follows:

  • Oscar
  • Wellmark
  • Medica

Plan eligibility varies from one location to another.

How Much Does Health Insurance Cost In Iowa?

The average health insurance premium costs $445 monthly for a 40-year-old. Premiums vary depending on factors including age, location, and medical needs. The charts below outline the cheapest health insurance plans found in Iowa by tier and county:

Cheapest Health Insurance By Metal Tier In Iowa

The table below shows the cheapest plans for each metal tier level.

Metal TierCheapest PlanMonthly PremiumDeductibleMaximum Out-of-Pocket
Bronze ExpandedBronze Classic$325$7,500$8,700
SilverSilver Simple$430$6,450$8,700
GoldGold Classic$445$3,500$6,000

Cheapest Health Insurance By County

Costs for individual and family plans can vary by location. Here are the rates for the cheapest policies in the five biggest Iowa counties.

County NameCheapest PlanIndividual, Age 40Couple, Age 40Couple, Age 40 & Child
Black HawkSilver Simple$430$855$1,110
JohnsonWellmark Silver$510$1,015$1,320
LinnWellmark Silver$510$1,015$1,320
PolkSilver Simple$430$855$1,110
ScottWellmark Silver$510$1,015$1,320

Are Subsidies Available In Iowa?

Those who enroll and are eligible can qualify for a subsidy. Health insurance subsidies provide tax credits and lower your monthly premium payments. To find out if you are eligible, you can apply online or contact a licensed insurer within your area.

Can You Purchase Off-Exchange Insurance Coverage In Iowa?

You can enroll in a health plan outside the exchange through a private insurer. You still need to enroll during the specified Enrollment Period. Keep in mind many policies are more restrictive off-exchange when paying to treat pre-existing conditions.

Can You Purchase Short-Term Health Insurance In Iowa?

You can purchase short-term health insurance in Iowa with durations of up to one year. You are even granted the ability to reapply for your policy for up to three years of coverage.

Health Coverage Options For Low-Income People In Iowa

Health benefits are available at little to no cost for those who meet income eligibility. Members who meet requirements have access to doctors and hospitals across Iowa.

What Medicare Options Are Available In Iowa?

Residents of Iowa 65 and older, who are ill, or with a disability are eligible for the Medicare program. The options under Medicare are as follows:

  • Original Medicare (Parts A&B): covers in-patient or out-patient hospital and medical, nursing facilities, doctor visits, hospice, and other healthcare services.
  • Part C: Medicare Advantage plans are alternatives to Original Medicare. These plans offer all A&B coverage except for hospice care. Part C is a good choice if you want all your healthcare and drug benefits on one plan.
  • Part D: prescription drug coverage
  • Medicare Supplement/Medigap Plans: These plans help fill in the gaps  Original Medicare doesn’t cover.

Medicaid In Iowa

In Iowa, Medicaid is also called IA Health Link. It’s a jointly funded state and federal health program for residents 65 and older. It covers long-term care at home, in a nursing or assisted living facility.

There are several Medicaid long-term care programs. They have varying medical and financial eligibility requirements and benefits. Iowa residents can apply for Medicaid online or at their local DHS office.

Cheapest Health Insurance Plans In Iowa

Age is a significant factor affecting your individual health insurance cost. For example, the average Silver-tier plan in Iowa for a 26-year-old is around $423 monthly. Below covers the more affordable health insurance plans across the state, depending on need.

Cheapest health plan in Iowa with low out-of-pocket maximums 

You may benefit from a high-premium plan with low out-of-pocket maximums if you have higher medical costs. The most affordable plan in Iowa for low out-of-pocket maximums is Wellmark Gold Modified HMO by Wellmark Health Plan of Iowa, Inc. The cost averages $447 monthly for a 40-year-old.

Cheapest health plan in Iowa with high out-of-pocket maximums 

Young residents of Iowa with minimal healthcare costs can opt for a low-cost plan with higher out-of-pocket maximums. The most affordable plan is Medica Catastrophic, costing an average of $219 monthly for a 26-year-old.

Cheapest health plan in Iowa with an HSA option

You might consider a high-deductible health plan with a Health Savings Plan (HSA) option if you have good health and minimal healthcare needs. Contributions are tax-free, and you can build savings for medical expenses. 

The cheapest HSA option plan in Iowa is in the Expanded Bronze Tier. Wellmark Bronze HDHP HMO plan costs an average of $313 monthly for a 40-year-old individual.

Cheapest HMO/PPO/POS health plans in Iowa 

Iowa offers HMO or EPO plans. Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) are more affordable but have more limitations. Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO) plans allow you to see specialists without referrals.

The cheapest HMO and EPO plans within the Silver Tier in Iowa are:

  • HMO: Wellmark Silver Modified HMO averaging $493 monthly for a  40-year-old
  • EMP: Oscar Silver Saver averaging $485 monthly for a 40-year-old.


Does Iowa have free healthcare?

The Iowa Health and Wellness Plan provides members health benefits at low or no cost. Eligibility depends on age and poverty level and ensuring you aren’t eligible for Medicaid or Medicare benefits.

Who is eligible for Iowa Total Care?

Iowa Total Care services include physical, behavioral, long-term care, and community benefits. To be eligible, applicants must meet certain income levels and the requirements for Medicaid coverage.

How much does Obamacare cost in Iowa?

The cost of Obamacare plans in Iowa depends on many factors. These include coverage level, subsidy qualification, location, age, and whether you are a smoker.

How do college students in Iowa gain access to health insurance?

College students in Iowa can use the ACA Marketplace or insurance options provided by their university.

Do I qualify for Iowa Medicaid?

Those who qualify for Iowa Medicaid must be:

  • Age 65 or older
  • Disabled (according to SS standards)
  • Between the ages of 19 and 64 with income below 133% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL)
  • An Iowa resident and US citizen

What’s the maximum income to qualify for Medicaid in Iowa?

The maximum income level for a family of 4 in Iowa to qualify for Medicaid is $35,908. For an individual, it is $18,075.

How To Buy Cheap Health Insurance In Iowa

Purchasing cheap health insurance in Iowa doesn’t need to be complicated. Decide what level of coverage you need, and then use our online health insurance form to compare plan rates.