Best Health Insurance In North Carolina For 2023


WRITTEN BY: Craig Sturgill

UPDATED: SEPTEMBER 12, 2022 | 1 MIN READ

If you’re a resident of North Carolina, you’re paying an average of $513 each month for health insurance. This is only an average. Your actual rate will depend on your prescription costs, how often you visit the doctor, and more. Learn more about North Carolina health insurance, so you can decide on coverage that best fits your needs.

North Carolina Health Insurance Demographics

Health insurance rates for North Carolina residents also depend on certain demographics. Here’s a quick glance at some key state demographics that will attribute to healthcare costs: 

  • Median Household Income: North Carolina’s median income is $56,642, about 15% less than the U.S. median income of $64,994.
  • Median Age Range: North Carolina’s median age range is 25-34. The state’s largest age group is 35-54.
  • Education: Almost 89% of North Carolinians graduated high school. College graduates make up 32% of the state’s residents. About 6% of the state is currently enrolled. 

What Type Of Marketplace Does North Carolina Have?

North Carolina’s marketplace is federally run. Individuals and families seeking healthcare coverage will apply through Healthcare.gov. This is also the only place where people can receive payment assistance, including premium subsidies and cost-sharing reductions. 

For 2023, ten insurers offer marketplace plans in North Carolina. 

How many people are insured through the North Carolina health insurance marketplace?

During the 2022 open enrollment period, 670,223 people enrolled in private individual market plans in North Carolina. This was a 25% higher enrollment rate than the previous year’s enrollment.  

When can you buy ACA health coverage in North Carolina? 

In North Carolina, the open enrollment period for 2023 coverage is from November 1, 2022 to January 15, 2023. Eligible individuals may also enroll or make changes to their existing coverage during a special enrollment window if they have a qualifying life event. 

Types of ACA Plans In North Carolina

ACA plans in North Carolina have five metal tiers: Catastrophic, Bronze, Bronze Expanded, Silver, and Gold. Your cost depends on whichever tier you choose. 

What carriers offer ACA health insurance in North Carolina?

In 2022, ten insurers offer plans in the North Carolina marketplace, with areas of localized coverage: 

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina
  • Cigna
  • Ambetter/Centene
  • Bright Health
  • Oscar
  • UnitedHealthcare
  • Aetna CVS Health
  • Friday Health Plans
  • Celtic/WellCare
  • AmeriHealth Caritas

Out of the ten companies above, four of them are new for the 2023 enrollment period: Aetna/CVS, AmeriHealth Caritas, Friday Health Plans, and Celtic/WellCare.

How Much Does Health Insurance Cost In North Carolina?

North Carolinians can expect to pay an average of $513 each month for health insurance. This is only an average of expected costs. Your actual rate depends on various factors like gender, location, age, and more. 

Cheapest Health Plans By Metal Tier In North Carolina

North Carolina offers five levels of individual and family health insurance plans. The table below shows the cheapest individual health plans available for each metal tier.

Metal TierCheapest PlanMonthly PremiumDeductibleMaximum Out-of-Pocket
CatastrophicBright Health Catastrophic 8700$220$8,700$8,700
BronzeBlue Local Bronze 8700$310$8,700$8,700
Bronze ExpandedBright Health Bronze 8700$300$8,700$8,700
SilverBright Health Silver 5000$440$5,000$8,700
GoldBlue Local Gold 2500$455$2,500$8,700

Cheapest Silver Health Insurance By County

Health insurance costs vary depending on your location. Below are the cheapest Silver individual and family health plans in the five largest counties in the state.

County NameCheapest PlanIndividual, Age 40Couple, Age 40Couple, Age 40 & Child
CumberlandAmbetter Balanced Care 30$640$1,280$1,660
ForsythBlue Local Silver 6000$445$890$1,155
GuilfordBright Health Silver 5000$440$875$1,135
MecklenburgBlue Home Silver 6000$495$985$1,280
WakeBlue Home Silver 6000$470$935$1,210

Are Subsidies Available In North Carolina?

Two types of subsidies are available for North Carolinians with lower to moderate incomes: cost-share reduction subsidies and premium tax credits. Middle-income earners under the age of 65 who are ineligible for employer, Medicaid, or Medicare coverage may apply for tax credit subsidies via the marketplace.

Can You Buy Off-Exchange Health Coverage In North Carolina?

In North Carolina, residents may buy a standard health insurance plan from private insurers during open enrollment. If you miss open enrollment, you may be eligible to enroll or make changes during a special enrollment period, as long as you have a qualifying life event.

Can You Purchase Short-Term Insurance In North Carolina?

If you’re in-between jobs or waiting for coverage to kick in, short-term insurance can be a good option. North Carolina residents may enroll in short-term coverage that lasts up to 12 months, with the chance to renew for up to 36 months.

Health Coverage Options For Low-Income People In North Carolina

North Carolina provides no-cost or low-cost health coverage for eligible residents via Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

What Medicare Options Are Available In North Carolina?

Over 2 million people in North Carolina are enrolled in Medicare, ranking ninth in the country for Medicare beneficiaries.

North Carolinians with a pre-tax income below 138% of the federal poverty level are eligible for Medicare. In 2022, 15 companies offer Medicare Advantage plans in North Carolina, including Aetna, Cigna, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina. 

Medicaid In North Carolina

Medicaid is available to the following North Carolina residents: 

  • Children aged 0 – 18 living in a home with a pre-tax income up to 170% of the poverty level
  • Adults with household income up to 138% of the federal poverty level (income limits for family sizes apply)
  • Pregnant people with income up to 157% of poverty level

You will not need to wait for an open enrollment period to apply for Medicaid.

Cheapest Health Insurance Plans In North Carolina

In North Carolina, the cheapest health insurance will depend on the coverage offered. Bright Health is the cheapest provider in North Carolina for Catastrophic, Bronze Expanded, and Silver plans. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is the least expensive provider for Gold and Bronze tier plans. 

Cheapest health plan in North Carolina with low out-of-pocket maximums 

The cheapest health insurance in North Carolina with low out-of-pocket maximums is Ambetter Balanced Care 25 HSA, averaging $562 each month for the average 40-year-old person. 

Cheapest health plan in North Carolina with high out-of-pocket maximums 

In North Carolina, those looking for plans with a lower monthly premium should look to Blue Local Catastrophic by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of NC. This plan costs an average of $169 each month for a 26-year-old resident.

Cheapest health plan in North Carolina with an HSA option

North Carolina residents looking for an inexpensive plan with an HSA option should look into the following plans: 

  • HSA Expanded Bronze: Blue Local Bronze 7000, provided by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of NC at an average cost of $299 each month
  • HSA Silver: Ambetter Balanced Care 25 HSA by Ambetter of North Carolina, averaging $562 per month

Cheapest HMO/PPO/POS health plans in North Carolina 

North Carolina residents can choose from HMO, PPO, or POS plans. HMO plans are the most common and affordable type in the state. See below for the cheapest HMO, PPO, and POS plans offered in North Carolina: 

  • HMO: Silver 5000 by Bright Health at $468 each month
  • PPO: Blue Advantage Silver 6300 (broad network) by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of NC at $636 every month
  • POS: Blue Local Silver 6300 (local network with Wake Forest Baptist Health) provided by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of NC at a monthly cost of $428 

North Carolina Health Insurance FAQs

How much does health insurance cost per month in North Carolina?

North Carolina residents pay an average of $513 per month for healthcare coverage.

How do I get health insurance in North Carolina?

Review the types of plans available in North Carolina to find one that fits your healthcare needs by comparing rates from multiple carriers. Then, choose the one that’s best for you and your budget.

Is health insurance expensive in North Carolina?

North Carolina healthcare coverage is pricey. The state ranks 38th in average premium prices, with one being the cheapest and 50th being the most expensive. 

Who is eligible for Obamacare in NC?

North Carolinians at all income levels are eligible for health insurance under Obamacare. 

What’s the income limit for NC Health Choice?

To be eligible for North Carolina Health Choice, you must have a pre-tax annual income below the following amounts: 

Household SizeMaximum Pre-Tax Annual Income
1$27,180
2$36,620
3$46,060
4$55,500
5$64,940
6$74,380
7$83,820
8$93,260

How To Find the Best Health Insurance In North Carolina

North Carolina residents can buy individual and family health coverage during open enrollment. Compare rates online to find the best policy available.