Study Finds New York and South Carolina Have the Highest Health Insurance Costs

As monthly premiums for the most popular plans offered under the Affordable Care Act are seeing a 10.1 percent spike up from 2015*, GOBankingRates conducted a study to see which states' residents are paying more (or less) for health insurance in 2016 - and what they're getting for their money

Jan 22, 2016, 18:51 ET from GOBankingRates

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- New York residents pay the most for basic health insurance, whereas residents of New Mexico pay the least, according to a new study released today by leading personal finance website

The study compared silver plans ― the most popular plan according to the Department of Health and Human Services ― offered through the national or state-level insurance exchanges administered through the Affordable Care Act.1

The lowest-cost silver plans for each state were ranked based on the favorability of the following cost factors:

  • The plan's monthly premium
  • The deductible
  • The emergency care copay
  • The copay for care from a primary physician

To see full details on the methodology, visit:

"Higher insurance costs in many states are tied to high costs of living or being in rural areas," said Elyssa Kirkham, the lead GOBankingRates reporter on the study. "Where costs of living are high, like New York or South Carolina, care is also likely to be more expensive, a cost which insurers pass to enrollees through higher premiums."

"Competition is another key factor of health insurance costs," said Kirkham. "In rural states like Wyoming and Oklahoma, fewer residents means a smaller health insurance market with fewer options, where insurers can charge more without losing customers. Of course, subsidies can offset these costs, but this form of assistance also varies widely from state to state," she said.

The 10 States With the Highest Health Insurance Costs

  1. New York
  2. South Carolina
  3. Alabama
  4. New Jersey
  5. Mississippi
  6. Oklahoma
  7. Indiana
  8. Delaware
  9. Wyoming
  10. Colorado

The 10 States With the Lowest Health Insurance Costs

  1. New Mexico
  2. Utah
  3. California
  4. Texas
  5. Pennsylvania
  6. Michigan
  7. District of Columbia
  8. Hawaii
  9. Oregon
  10. Idaho

To see where your state ranked, click here.

Additional insights:

  • The state with the highest monthly premium is New York at $366 a month, compared with New Mexico, which has the lowest monthly premium at $181 a month.
  • Primary doctor copays vary widely by state. West Virginia and Indiana have no copays, but Californians' copays are the highest ― $250.
  • Deductible costs range from $1,300 in North Dakota to $6,850 in South Carolina, which is more than five times the price.
  • Despite New Mexico's low costs, many residents have encountered difficulties in January 2016 getting their health coverage due to a high volume of December 2015 health insurance applications still being processed.

About GOBankingRates is a leading portal for personal finance and consumer banking information, offering visitors the latest on everything from finding a good interest rate to strategies for saving money, investing for retirement and getting a loan. Its editors are regularly featured on top-tier media outlets, including U.S. News & World Report, Forbes, Business Insider, Daily Finance, Huffington Post and more. It specializes in connecting consumers with the best financial institutions and banking products nationwide.


Connie Lundegard, Media Relations  
310-297-9233 x112

*: Cox, C., Gonzales, S., Kamal, R., Claxton, G., Levitt, L. (2015). "Analysis of 2016 Premium Changes and Insurer Participation in the Affordable Care Act's Health Insurance Marketplaces."

1: Assumption: Findings are based on a single, non-smoking, 40-year-old male who earns $40,000 and lives in a major metropolitan area. If this hypothetical enrollee qualified for a tax credit, the study used the cost of the premium after the tax credit was applied for the ranking.

This study and the included rankings were updated Jan. 21, 2016, to correct an error in calculating the cost for a Vermont silver health insurance plan. The ranking for the states with the highest health insurance costs has been updated to reflect this change, with Vermont moving out of the top 10 and Colorado moving up to No. 10.

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