Best and worst states for health insurance costs

Health insurance can be a major expense. And because health insurance costs vary greatly by state, you might be paying more than you would if you lived elsewhere.

To determine the best and worst states for health insurance costs, GOBankingRates ranked all 50 states based on two factors: the average monthly insurance premium and the average annual deductible with a silver plan.

Click through to see where to find the best health insurance.

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The best and worst states for health insurance
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The best and worst states for health insurance

50. Alaska

Average monthly premium: $780
Average silver deductible: $3,750

Not only is Alaska one of the most expensive states to die, it's also one of the most expensive to stay alive and healthy apparently.

Alaska has the highest health insurance premiums by state, which puts it at the bottom of this list. Fortunately, health insurance costs in the state are on the decline, Alaska's KTOO Public Media reported. 

Photo credit: Getty

49. Wyoming

Average monthly premium: $662
Average silver deductible: $3,750

To help keep your costs down, find cheap ways to invest in your health— especially if you live in Wyoming.

Wyoming has the second-highest average monthly premium in the U.S., and those rates went up in 2018 for people with Blue Cross Blue Shield. The insurer announced in August 2017 that Wyoming residents who purchased an insurance plan through the federal health exchange would likely see their premium rates jump by 48 percent, the Casper Star Tribune reported. 

Photo credit: Getty

48. Indiana

Average monthly premium: $552
Average silver deductible: $6,763

Indiana has the second-highest average silver deductible in the country. Despite high deductibles, 168,223 Indiana residents signed up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act during the 2018 enrollment period, which is only 3.7 percent fewer enrollees than the previous year, The Journal Gazette reported. 

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47. New Hampshire

Average monthly premium: $542
Average silver deductible: $6,163

The average silver deductible in New Hampshire is the fifth-highest of all the states. Even with above-average deductibles, the New England state had a higher number of healthcare sign-ups per day in 2017 compared to 2016, the Concord Monitor reported. 

Photo credit: Getty

46. Illinois

Average monthly premium: $559
Average silver deductible: $5,325

Monthly premiums and deductibles are higher in Illinois than in most states. Unsubsidized monthly premiums through the Affordable Care Act marketplace in Illinois increased by 45 percent to 55 percent in 2016, and were expected to rise by another 43 percent in 2018, The State Journal-Register reported. 

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45. Washington

Average monthly premium: $546
Average silver deductible: $5,763

Washington has the sixth-highest average silver deductible and one of the highest monthly premiums in the country.

Washington state insurance commissioner Mike Kreidler recently proposed a reinsurance program that he said will encourage more health plan options in the 2019 individual market and would lower premium increases by up to 10 percent, The Chronicle reported. 

Photo credit: Getty

44. Florida

Average monthly premium: $515
Average silver deductible: $6,913

Florida has the highest average silver deductible of any state, but that didn't stop residents from enrolling. Out of all the states, Florida had the most residents sign up for ACA health insurance in 2017, with 1.7 million enrolled, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

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43. West Virginia

Average monthly premium: $561
Average silver deductible: $4,925

West Virginia is one of the worst states for health insurance costs, with the eighth-highest average monthly premiums of any state. The state was the only one with a decline in marketplace sign-ups in 2017 compared to the same week in 2016, The Charleston Gazette-Mail reported. 

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42. New York

Average monthly premium: $624
Average silver deductible: $2,175

New York is one of the costliest places to live in the U.S., and it has one of the highest average monthly premiums. On the flip side, it also has one of the lowest average silver deductibles.

Although premiums are high, the state did not see as sharp of an increase in costs in 2017 compared to the previous year as some other states did, WNYC reported. 

Photo credit: Getty

41. Ohio

Average monthly premium: $518
Average silver deductible: $6,625

Ohio has the third-highest average silver deductible in the nation. Even with its high deductibles, Ohio saw a 12 percent increase in healthcare enrollment from the previous year, Dayton Daily News reported. 

Photo credit: Getty

40. Vermont

Average monthly premium: $607
Average silver deductible: $2,225

Vermont has the fifth-lowest average silver deductible, but its high average monthly premium makes it one of the worst states for health insurance costs. 

Photo credit: Getty

39. North Carolina

Average monthly premium: $526
Average silver deductible: $5,500

North Carolina ranks among the 10 states with the highest deductible and among the 20 states with the highest monthly premium.

To get the most out of your insurance, try to take advantage of all the benefits your health insurance covers, which might include diet counseling, smoking cessation programs and massage therapy. 

Photo credit: Getty

38. Rhode Island

Average monthly premium: $564
Average silver deductible: $3,775

Average monthly premiums are relatively high in Rhode Island. Fortunately, you can take advantage of the various ways to survive rising healthcare costs, such as asking for generic prescriptions. 

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37. South Carolina

Average monthly premium: $520
Average silver deductible: $5,613

South Carolina has relatively high average silver deductibles. However, one way to save money is to ask the pharmacy for deals on medication. 

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36. Delaware

Average monthly premium: $541
Average silver deductible: $4,717

If you're in a state like Delaware that has a high average health insurance deductible, try to take advantage of telemedicine when applicable. The online services might help you avoid co-pays and save on time spent in waiting rooms. 

Photo credit: Getty

35. Louisiana

Average monthly premium: $578
Average silver deductible: $2,925

People in Louisiana pay high average monthly premiums. To save money, head to a community health fair to receive free or low-cost health screenings. 

Photo credit: Getty

34. Montana

Average monthly premium: $555
Average silver deductible: $3,663

Emergency room visits can be a major expense on top of Montana's high average monthly premiums. Save by visiting a walk-in clinic instead, as they often cost less than emergency room care. 

Photo credit: HuffPost

33. Georgia

Average monthly premium: $495
Average silver deductible: $6,188

In a state like Georgia that has a high average deductible, people can save money in some cases by paying in cash rather than using health insurance. The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons has a useful list of physicians who accept self-pay patients who choose to forgo insurance. 

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32. New Jersey

Average monthly premium: $591
Average silver deductible: $2,075

New Jersey has one of the lowest average silver plan deductibles in the U.S., yet also one of the highest monthly premiums. Just like you can shop around for health insurance, you can also shop around for healthcare services. Take advantage of healthcare cost comparison sites to see the out-of-pocket expenses for certain services and doctors. 

Photo credit: Getty

31. South Dakota

Average monthly premium: $538
Average silver deductible: $3,763

After paying over $500 for monthly premiums, it can be a large financial burden for people in South Dakota to afford services that are not covered by insurance, such as in vitro fertilization. Consider using online lending for affordable financing plans for these services. 

Photo credit: Getty

30. Maine

Average monthly premium: $556
Average silver deductible: $3,000

If you haven't hit your $3,000 deductible yet in Maine and are facing steep prescription costs, check around for options.

People who want to save on prescriptions might want to consider using health apps like GoodRx to check the price of prescriptions and get online coupons. 

Photo credit: Getty

29. California

Average monthly premium: $525
Average silver deductible: $4,138

To save on health costs, California residents should make sure they are only paying for prescriptions they really need. Medication needs can change with age and health. 

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28. Wisconsin

Average monthly premium: $525
Average silver deductible: $4,063

Wisconsin residents might want to find ways to save money on their healthcare. Look for hacks that reduce healthcare costs, such as only using in-network providers. 

Photo credit: Getty

27. Connecticut

Average monthly premium: $530
Average silver deductible: $3,813

Connecticut ranks in the middle of states for the average silver plan deductible, but it's still pretty steep. People who take regular prescriptions can save money by opting for 90-day over 30-day supplies, which usually cost less when broken down by month. 

Photo credit: AOL

26. Massachusetts

Average monthly premium: $554
Average silver deductible: $2,125

Massachusetts residents have one of the lowest average silver deductibles in the country, but a relatively high monthly premium. However, being active can help people save on healthcare costs.

On average, physically active adults have less health-related expenses than those who are sedentary. And it doesn't cost a lot to work out if you opt for a cheap gym membership option

Photo credit: Getty

25. Arizona

Average monthly premium: $453
Average silver deductible: $5,625

If you live in Arizona and want to have lower health expenses, consider getting a dog. Having a pet can help you stay active, which can help reduce the frequency of doctors' visits and obesity-related health risks. 

Photo credit: Getty

24. Texas

Average monthly premium: $480
Average silver deductible: $4,475

Texas residents have a higher average silver deductible than most states. But checking bills carefully is one way to potentially save on healthcare costs. Healthcare bills might contain errors that can save you money if caught and amended.

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23. Missouri

Average monthly premium: $462
Average silver deductible: $5,188

Although the average silver deductible is high in Missouri, you can spend less depending on which plan you choose. If you don't take the time to shop around for a plan and keep the same plan year-to-year, even if your medical needs change, you might end up spending more than you need to on health insurance. 

Photo credit: Getty

22. Virginia

Average monthly premium: $475
Average silver deductible: $4,613

If you live in Virginia and your company offers a wellness program, take advantage of it. Not only can it improve your health, but some employers offer discounts on premiums or added contributions to FSAs or HSAs for participating. 

Photo credit: Getty

21. Maryland

Average monthly premium: $501
Average silver deductible: $3,438

People in Maryland have a relatively low monthly premium and deductible compare to other states. However, people who have a deductible higher than $1,300 and who have the option to use a health savings account might want to take advantage of it. HSA funds grow over time and can be used to cover medical expenses as needed. 

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20. Nevada

Average monthly premium: $445
Average silver deductible: $5,513

Nevada residents who want to save on healthcare bills should consider negotiating them. Call the provider to see if there is wiggle room in the price, or ask for a payment plan if the expense is too high to pay at once. 

Photo credit: Getty

19. Colorado

Average monthly premium: $485
Average silver deductible: $3,638

If a medical procedure seems too costly to have done in Colorado or elsewhere in the U.S., consider having it done abroad.

However, it's important to be aware of the best and worst medical procedures to have done in other countries to avoid serious risks. 

Photo credit: Getty

18. New Mexico

Average monthly premium: $494
Average silver deductible: $3,200

The average deductible is relatively low in New Mexico, so take advantage by bundling costs. Once you've reached your deductible, schedule any more elective medical procedures you are planning to have done for the same fiscal year to avoid having to pay the full deductible again the following year. 

Photo credit: Getty

17. North Dakota

Average monthly premium: $479
Average silver deductible: $3,763

For North Dakota residents who want to save on taxes, don't forget to write off your medical expenses.

If your medical expenses are more than 10 percent of your adjusted gross income, or 7.5 percent if you're age 65 or older, you can deduct them. 

Photo credit: AOL

16. Nebraska

Average monthly premium: $483
Average silver deductible: $3,500

Residents of Nebraska, or any other state, can avoid overpaying for blood work by going directly to a standalone lab. They usually charge less for testing than hospitals or some doctors' offices. 

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15. Kentucky

Average monthly premium: $437
Average silver deductible: $5,025

Health insurance is relatively affordable in Kentucky, so you could save money simply by having insurance. If you're not enrolled, you will have to pay a steep tax fine, as the individual mandate is still in effect for 2018. 

Photo credit: AOL

14. Minnesota

Average monthly premium: $477
Average silver deductible: $3,075

Minnesota residents have a relatively low monthly premium compared to other states. However, if you're married, consider comparing your employer's health benefits to that of your spouse's to determine which offers the best benefits at the lowest cost. Switching to one plan could save you money over being insured separately. 

Photo credit: Getty

13. Arkansas

Average monthly premium: $431
Average silver deductible: $4,788

If healthcare costs are a particularly major concern for you, consider moving from Arkansas to a state that has lower average monthly premiums and deductibles. 

Photo credit: HuffPost

12. Mississippi

Average monthly premium: $432
Average silver deductible: $4,700

Not only does Mississippi have relatively inexpensive health insurance, but it's also the state with the overall lowest cost of living, a previous GOBankingRates study found. 

Photo credit: Getty

11. Michigan

Average monthly premium: $467
Average silver deductible: $3,213

Health insurance costs are some of the lowest in the country in Michigan, where more people are opting for direct primary-care medicine, the Oakland Press reported. 

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10. Iowa

Average monthly premium: $459
Average silver deductible: $3,500

Iowa is one of the best states for health insurance because of its relatively low average monthly premium, but costs have actually increased dramatically from the previous year. Premiums for individual health insurance policies in the state rose by at least 57 percent for 2018, the Des Moines Register reported.

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9. Kansas

Average monthly premium: $452
Average silver deductible: $3,500

Kansas' low average monthly premiums make it the No. 9 best state for health insurance costs. Even though the open enrollment period in Kansas was cut in half from 2016 to 2017, more residents enrolled in 2017 than the previous year, The Kansas City Star reported. 

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8. Oregon

Average monthly premium: $465
Average silver deductible: $2,813

Oregon has one of the lowest average silver deductibles in the U.S. As of January 2018, 95 percent of Oregon residents had some form of health insurance — among the highest rates in the country, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported. 

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7. Pennsylvania

Average monthly premium: $490
Average silver deductible: $1,733

Pennsylvania has the lowest average silver deductible of any state. Even though health insurance costs are relatively low, the state saw a 7 percent dip in enrollment in 2017 compared to the previous year. 

Photo credit: Getty

6. Tennessee

Average monthly premium: $435
Average silver deductible: $3,938

Tennessee is one of the best states for health insurance costs because of its low average monthly premium. Prices increased between 2016 to 2017, but many Tennessee residents found that they were actually able to save money when shopping around for insurance, Nashville Public Radio reported. 

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5. Alabama

Average monthly premium: $439
Average silver deductible: $3,600

Alabama has one of the lowest average monthly premiums, which makes it one of the best states for health insurance costs. During the 2017 open enrollment period, 170,023 Alabama residents signed up for health insurance, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

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4. Idaho

Average monthly premium: $415
Average silver deductible: $3,663

Idaho has the second-lowest average monthly premium in the U.S. The state is currently working on providing more health insurance options for those who cannot afford it, Idaho's KTVB reported. 

Photo credit: Getty

3. Utah

Average monthly premium: $423
Average silver deductible: $2,950

Utah has the third-lowest average monthly premium in the country, as well as one of the lowest average silver deductibles.

Despite low costs, the number of Utah residents who signed up for health insurance through the HealthCare.gov marketplace shrank slightly in 2017 compared to the previous year, the Associated Press reported. 

Photo credit: Getty

2. Oklahoma

Average monthly premium: $445
Average silver deductible: $1,863

Oklahoma has the second-lowest average silver deductible of all the states. In October 2017, a plan to make health insurance costs in Oklahoma even lower was denied by the federal government, Oklahoma City's News 9 reported. 

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1. Hawaii

Average monthly premium: $411
Average silver deductible: $2,750

Hawaii has the cheapest health insurance by state, with the lowest average monthly premium in the country. Premiums remain low despite the fact that most health insurance holders saw a 5.9 percent to 25 percent increase in rates in January 2018, West Hawaii Today reported. 

Photo credit: AOL

Most and Least Expensive States for Health Insurance

Where you live can greatly affect how much you pay for health coverage. The states with the lowest health insurance costs are:

1. Hawaii
2. Oklahoma
3. Utah
4. Idaho
5. Alabama
6. Tennessee
7. Pennsylvania
8. Oregon
9. Kansas
10. Iowa

The states with the highest health insurance costs are:

41. Ohio
42. New York
43. West Virginia
44. Florida
45. Washington
46. Illinois
47. New Hampshire
48. Indiana
49. Wyoming
50. Alaska

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Methodology: GOBankingRates ranked all 50 U.S. states based on two factors: 1) average monthly insurance premium, based on data from United Benefit Advisors, and 2) average annual deductible, based on calculating the average of four popular silver deductibles from each state (used less than four if no more were available), using data from Stride Health. Findings are based on a single male (if asked), 40 years old, non-smoker, $51,640 annual income, which is the median income for individual males according to Census data. GOBankingRates looked at silver plans because they are the most popular nationally. 

Photo credit: GO Banking Rates

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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Best and Worst States for Health Insurance Costs

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