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California Health Insurance

Are you looking to purchase or get information on California health insurance plans? At forhealthinsurance, we provide educational tools as well as offer affordable plan options from the top health insurers, both in the state marketplace, known as Covered California, as well as non-marketplace health insurance options. Get the expert advice needed to choose the right California Health plan.



California Health Insurance CrosswalkChoosing the Right California Health Insurance Plan

For most people, the cost and quality of health insurance care go hand in hand, and one of the options available to make the selection process easier is to consider the health insurance metal tier.  4 levels have been created that relate to quality; bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. The better quality metals reflect greater coverage and higher cost. These tiers were created to make the shopping process straightforward as they directly relate to your expected healthcare requirements and financial capabilities. If you have medical needs it would be wise to consider higher-tier plans such as Gold or Platinum which offer comprehensive coverage. On the other hand, if you are generally healthy and prefer lower monthly expenses, then you may want to opt for a lower-tier plan like a Bronze plan. However, keep in mind that this choice could result in out-of-pocket expenses for treatments. It’s essential to evaluate your health circumstances and financial capacity to determine a suitable plan for yourself.

  • Bronze Tier: The Bronze tier plans typically have the lowest monthly premiums but higher out-of-pocket costs when you receive medical services. These plans generally cover around 60% of your healthcare expenses, while you would be responsible for the remaining 40%. Bronze plans are a good choice for individuals who want to keep their monthly premium costs low and are relatively healthy with minimal medical needs.
  • Silver Tier: Silver-tier plans strike a balance between premiums and out-of-pocket costs. They cover approximately 70% of your medical expenses, leaving you responsible for the remaining 30%. Silver plans also offer cost-sharing reductions (CSR) for eligible individuals, which further lower out-of-pocket expenses for those with lower incomes. These plans are suitable for individuals who need more coverage than what a Bronze plan offers but want to avoid higher premiums of Gold or Platinum plans.
  • Gold Tier: Gold tier plans have higher monthly premiums compared to Bronze and Silver plans but provide more extensive coverage. They typically cover about 80% of your medical costs, leaving you with 20% to pay out of pocket. Gold plans are a good fit for individuals who expect to have higher medical expenses and want more predictable and comprehensive coverage.
  • Platinum Tier: Platinum tier plans have the highest monthly premiums but the most comprehensive coverage. They cover around 90% of your healthcare expenses, and you are responsible for the remaining 10%. Platinum plans are ideal for individuals who frequently use medical services and want the most extensive coverage with minimal out-of-pocket expenses.



Lowest-Costing California Health Insurance Plans by County

Residents can find many affordable health insurance options in California that provide essential coverage without straining their finances, ensuring access to high-quality medical care for everyone. Here is a list of the least-expensive health insurance plans by county:


CountyCostInsurance company & Plan NameMetal Level
Alameda$397.48Kaiser Bronze 60 HDHP HMOBronze
Alpine$474.20 Blue Shield Bronze 60 HDHP PPOBronze
Amador$387.26Kaiser Bronze 60 HDHP HMOBronze
Butte$474.20Blue Shield Bronze 60 HDHP PPOBronze
Calaveras$474.20Blue Shield Bronze 60 HDHP PPOBronze
Colusa$474.20Blue Shield Bronze 60 HDHP PPOBronze
Contra Costa$387.26 Kaiser Bronze 60 HDHP HMOBronze
Del Norte$474.20Blue Shield Bronze 60 HDHP PPOBronze
El Dorado$387.26Kaiser Bronze 60 HDHP HMOBronze
Fresno$283.04Blue Shield Bronze 60 HDHP PPOBronze
Glenn$474.20Blue Shield Bronze 60 HDHP PPOBronze
Humboldt$474.20Blue Shield Bronze 60 HDHP PPOBronze
Imperial$368.92Molina Health Care Bronze 60 HMOBronze
Inyo$503.13Blue Shield Bronze 60 HDHP PPOBronze
Kern$284.16Health Net Bronze 60 Ambetter HMOBronze
Kings$283.04Blue Shield Bronze 60 HDHP PPOBronze
Lake$474.20Blue Shield Bronze 60 HDHP PPOBronze
Lassen$474.20Blue Shield Bronze 60 HDHP PPOBronze
Los Angeles$268.43LA Care Bronze 60 HMOBronze
Madera$283.04Blue Shield Bronze 60 HDHP PPOBronze
Marin$394.68Kaiser Bronze 60 HDHP HMOBronze
Mariposa$406.07Anthem Blue Cross Bronze 60 HDHP EPOBronze
Mendocino$474.20Blue Shield Bronze 60 HDHP PPOBronze
Merced$406.07Anthem Blue Cross Bronze 60 HDHP EPOBronze
Modoc$474.20Blue Shield Bronze 60 HDHP PPOBronze
Mono$503.13Blue Shield Bronze 60 HDHP PPOBronze
Monterey$359.82Valley Health Bronze 60 HMOBronze
Napa$394.68Kaiser Bronze 60 HDHP HMOBronze
Nevada$474.20Blue Shield Bronze 60 HDHP PPOBronze
Orange$320.04Kaiser Bronze 60 HDHP HMOBronze
Placer$387.26Kaiser Bronze 60 HDHP HMOBronze
Plumas$474.20Blue Shield Bronze 60 HDHP PPOBronze
Riverside$288.35Health Net Bronze 60 HDHP Ambetter PPOBronze
Sacramento$387.26Kaiser Bronze 60 HDHP HMOBronze
San Benito$359.82Valley Health Bronze 60 HMOBronze
San Bernardino$288.35Health Net Bronze 60 HDHP Ambetter PPOBronze
San Diego$323.65Kaiser Bronze 60 HDHP HMOBronze
San Francisco$419.16Kaiser Bronze 60 HDHP HMOBronze
San Joaquin$346.39Kaiser Bronze 60 HDHP HMOBronze
San Luis Obispo$420.47Blue Shield Bronze 60 HDHP PPOBronze
San Mateo$428.13Kaiser Bronze 60 HDHP HMOBronze
Santa Barbara$420.47Blue Shield Bronze 60 HDHP PPOBronze
Santa Clara$324.90Valley Health Bronze 60 HMOBronze
Santa Cruz$397.48Kaiser Bronze 60 HDHP HMOBronze
Shasta$474.20Blue Shield Bronze 60 HDHP PPOBronze
Sierra$474.20Blue Shield Bronze 60 HDHP PPOBronze
Siskiyou$474.20Blue Shield Bronze 60 HDHP PPOBronze
Solano$394.68Kaiser Bronze 60 HDHP HMOBronze
Sonoma$394.68Kaiser Bronze 60 HDHP HMOBronze
Stanislaus$346.39Kaiser Bronze 60 HDHP HMOBronze
Sutter$474.20Blue Shield Bronze 60 HDHP PPOBronze
Tehama$474.20Blue Shield Bronze 60 HDHP PPOBronze
Trinity$474.20Blue Shield Bronze 60 HDHP PPOBronze
Tulare$401.50Blue Shield Silver 70 Trio HMOSilver
Tuolumne$474.20Blue Shield Bronze 60 HDHP PPOBronze
Ventura$384.83Kaiser Bronze 60 HDHP HMOBronze
Yolo$387.26Kaiser Bronze 60 HDHP HMOBronze
Yuba$474.20Blue Shield Bronze 60 HDHP PPOBronze


Lowest-Costing California Health Insurance Plans by Metal Level

Choose a health plan by evaluating your healthcare needs, finances, and risk tolerance. Plans are grouped by metal tiers, representing coverage and costs. The table below shows the cheapest plan by metal level.


Metal LevelCostPlan Name
Bronze$268.43LA Care Bronze 60 HMO
Silver$327.94LA Care Silver 70 HMO
Gold$343.38LA Care Gold 80 HMO
Platinum$390.49LA CarePlatinum 90 HMO
*based on a healthy 35-year-old individual in Los Angeles, California.



Lowest-Costing California Health Insurance Plans by Insurance Company 

Is health insurance cost a major factor in your decision-making process? Are you interested in learning about the more affordable options that are available in your area and want to see which carriers are the most competitive?  Below you will find a listing of the cheapest health insurance plans sorted by Health Insurance carrier offers.


Insurance companyCostPlan NameDescription
Oscar Health Plan$337.54Bronze 60 HDHP EPODeductible: $7,000
PCP:$0 after deductible
Specialist: $0 after deductible
Molina Health Care$351.30 Bronze 60 HMODeductible: $6,300
PCP:$65 after deductible
Specialist: $95 after deductible
LA Care$268.43 Bronze 60 HMODeductible: $6,300
PCP:$65 after deductible
Specialist: $95 after deductible
Blue Shield of CA$362.69Silver 70 Trio HMODeductible: $4,750
PCP: $45
Specialist: $85
Anthem Blue Cross$320.73Bronze 60 HMODeductible: $6,300
PCP:$65 after deductible
Specialist: $95 after deductible
Kaiser Permanente$294.10Bronze 60 HDHP HMODeductible: $7,000
PCP:$0 after deductible
Specialist: $0 after deductible
Health Net$365.52Bronze 60 HDHP Ambetter PPODeductible: $7,000
PCP:$0 after deductible
Specialist: $0 after deductible
*based on a healthy 35-year-old individual in Los Angeles, California.



California Provider logoHealth Insurance Carriers

California’s health insurance marketplace operates through, serving as a gateway for individuals and families to explore a wide range of different health coverage options. Among the insurance companies participating in the covered California marketplace are:


Aetna CVS


Anthem Blue Cross

Blue Shield of California

LA Care

Molina Health Care

Oscar Health Plan

Kaiser Permanente

Health Net

Sharp Health Plan

Valley Health Plan

Western Health Advantage


These insurance providers offer a wide range of health insurance plans, guaranteeing that Californians can choose from a diverse selection that suits their health insurance requirements as well as their preferences.



California Health Insurance HeartCalifornia Health Insurance Statistics and Figures

In 2021, California reported a significant milestone in healthcare coverage with 35,674,800 individuals insured, reflecting the state’s commitment to providing access to healthcare services. Despite these commendable efforts, 2,704,300 Californians remained uninsured, highlighting the ongoing need for broader coverage initiatives. In 2023, the average cost of health insurance in the state stands at $432, with a modest increase of 3.5% from the previous year’s average premium.


Insured (2021)35,674,800
Uninsured (2021)2,704,300
Ave. cost of Health Insurance (2023)$432
Change from Prev. Year's Ave. Premium (2022-2023)3.5%
*based on dataset



California Health Insurance BookHealth Insurance Terms to Learn When Getting a Plan

Understanding the most basic health insurance terms is vital to making informed decisions about your coverage, comparing different plans, and effectively managing your healthcare expenses. 

Premium: The premium is the amount you pay to the health insurance company regularly, usually on a monthly basis, to maintain your coverage. It is a fixed cost, regardless of whether you use healthcare services or not.

Deductible: The deductible is the amount you must pay out of pocket for covered medical services before your insurance starts to pay. For example, if you have a $1,000 deductible, you are responsible for paying the first $1,000 of covered medical expenses before your insurance coverage kicks in.

Co-payment (Co-pay): A co-payment is a fixed amount you pay for certain medical services, such as doctor visits or prescription drugs, at the time of service. Co-payments are typically a specific dollar amount (e.g., $20 per doctor visit) and can vary depending on the service.

Coinsurance: Coinsurance is the percentage of the cost of a covered healthcare service that you are responsible for paying after you’ve met your deductible. For instance, if your insurance plan has a 20% coinsurance for hospitalization, you would pay 20% of the covered costs, and the insurance company would cover the remaining 80%.

Out-of-Pocket Maximum (OOP Max): The out-of-pocket maximum is the highest amount you have to pay for covered medical services in a given year. Once you reach this limit, your insurance company covers 100% of the remaining covered medical expenses for the rest of the year.

Network: A network refers to a group of doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare providers that have contracted with a specific insurance company to provide services at discounted rates. Staying in-network usually results in lower out-of-pocket costs for the insured individual.

Out-of-Network: Out-of-network providers are healthcare professionals or facilities that do not have agreements with your insurance company. If you use an out-of-network provider, you may have higher costs, and some services may not be covered.

Enrollment Periods: For plans offered through the Health Insurance Marketplace, 

Open Enrollment Period (OEP) occurs once a year, typically from November 1 to December 15, allowing individuals to enroll in or change health insurance plans for the upcoming coverage year through the Health Insurance Marketplace or their employer. Special Enrollment Period (SEP) Allows individuals to enroll in or change health insurance plans outside of the regular Open Enrollment period due to qualifying life events such as marriage, birth of a child, losing other health coverage, moving, or changes in household income. Medicare Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) is available for those eligible for Medicare, lasting seven months, beginning three months before the 65th birthday and ending three months after, allowing enrollment in Medicare Part A, Part B, Part D, and Medicare Advantage plans.



California Health Insurance ShieldFree Health Insurance Options in California

There are several free and low-cost California health insurance options available to eligible individuals and families who meet specific criteria. These programs aim to provide essential healthcare services and coverage to those with limited financial resources. Here are some of the main options:

Medi-Cal: is California’s Medicaid program, offering low-cost or free healthcare coverage for eligible low-income individuals and families. It covers various healthcare services and plays a vital role in providing healthcare access to vulnerable populations.

Marketplace Health Insurance with Subsidies: The Health Insurance Marketplace in California, also known as offers private health insurance plans with subsidies (premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions) for individuals and families with low to moderate incomes. These subsidies help lower the monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs.

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