What is the cheapest health care plan for a twenty-something professional in New York City?
Dear Broadway Bound,
Cheapest depends upon what your income is. If you are single and earn less than $15,282, then you would qualify for Medicaid in New York. (New York is “expanding” Medicaid to include all low-income people, not just parents.) Medicaid would be free, the ultimate in cheapest.
If you earn more than that, you would get government help to buy a private health insurance plan. You could earn up to $45,960 and still get some help — more help the less you earn, less help, the more you earn. Your cost for a private plan is based upon your income. You would spend 3 – 4 percent of your income on health insurance if you earn between roughly $15,000 – $17,000. At $16,000 and 3.5 percent of income, you would pay $560 per year toward your health insurance or about $47 per month.
The percentage of your income that goes to health insurance goes up as your income goes up. At $34,370 in annual earnings, you would spend 9.5% of your income for example.
In theory, you are not required to spend that percentage, if you can find a plan that costs less. It’s just that the government subsidy will first look to your income, take that percentage, and then pay the difference between that and the total cost of the plan.
Go to New York’s Health Insurance Exchange website and fill out your income, address, etc. It will tell you all of your options and costs.