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Individual Health Insurance Arizona: A Professional Insurance Agent's Perspective


Navigating the complex landscape of individual health insurance in Arizona can be a daunting task for many. With a myriad of options available, understanding the nuances of each plan, the costs involved, and the enrollment process is crucial for making an informed decision. Whether self-employed, between jobs, or simply looking for a plan that better suits your healthcare needs, this article sheds light on the key aspects of individual health insurance in Arizona.

From the types of coverage available under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to the costs and premiums associated with different plans and the specifics of the enrollment process, we’ll provide you with the information you need to navigate the health insurance landscape in Arizona confidently. Additionally, we’ll compare Arizona’s marketplace to other states and highlight the major insurance companies operating within the state, helping you make the right choice for you and your family.

ACA Health Plans in Arizona

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) health plans are a central component when considering individual health insurance in Arizona. These plans, available through the federally-run Marketplace, are designed to provide comprehensive coverage, including essential health benefits such as free preventive care, screenings, immunizations, doctor visits, prescription drugs, and emergency care.

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Plan Types

In Arizona, you can choose from various ACA plan types, each with its own network and coverage specifics. The most common types include Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plans, which typically require you to choose a primary care physician and get referrals to see specialists, and Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans, which offer more flexibility in choosing healthcare providers but may come with higher out-of-pocket costs.

Metal Levels

ACA plans are categorized into metal levels – Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum – which indicate the plan’s overall coverage and cost-sharing structure. Bronze plans usually have the lowest monthly premiums but higher out-of-pocket costs when you need care, making them suitable for those who want to protect themselves from worst-case medical scenarios. Silver plans offer a balance between monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs and are the only plans that qualify for additional cost-sharing reductions if you meet certain income criteria. Gold plans have higher monthly premiums but lower out-of-pocket costs when you need care, ideal for those who frequently visit doctors or have ongoing medical needs.

Enrollment Process

The open enrollment period for ACA plans in Arizona typically runs from November 1 to January 15. During this time, you can enroll in a new plan or change your existing plan. If you miss this period, you may qualify for a special enrollment period if you experience certain life events such as marriage, relocation, or loss of coverage. Enrollment can be done through, by phone, or with the help of certified enrollment partners and brokers.

Average Monthly Premiums by Metal Level

– **Bronze Plans**: On average, the monthly premium for a Bronze plan in Arizona is $454. These plans typically have the lowest monthly premiums but higher out-of-pocket costs when you need care.

– **Silver Plans**: Silver plans have an average monthly premium of $530. They offer a moderate balance between monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs when you need care.

– **Gold Plans**: Gold plans, which have higher monthly premiums but lower out-of-pocket costs when you need care, have an average monthly premium of $785.

Cheapest Options for Each Metal Level

– **Bronze Plans**: The cheapest Bronze plan available in Arizona starts at a monthly premium of $179 per person for major medical plans.

– **Silver Plans**: The lowest monthly premium starts at $192 for Silver plans.

– **Gold Plans**: The most affordable Gold plan begins at a monthly premium of $290.

It’s important to note that these prices can vary based on factors, including age, location within Arizona, tobacco use, and the specific benefits included in the plan. Individuals and families may also qualify for financial assistance through the Health Insurance Marketplace, which can significantly reduce these costs. About 86% of Marketplace enrollees in Arizona qualified for premium subsidies in 2024, with an average monthly saving of $472, making health coverage more affordable for many.

When considering health insurance options, balancing the monthly premium costs with the out-of-pocket expenses you’ll face when accessing care is crucial. Lower-premium plans like Bronze may be appealing for their affordability, but they typically come with higher deductibles and copays. Conversely, Gold plans, while more expensive in monthly premiums, can offer more comprehensive coverage with lower out-of-pocket costs when you need medical care, making them a better value for individuals with frequent healthcare needs.

Financial Assistance through the ACA

individual health insurance AZThe Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides financial assistance to help make health insurance more affordable for individuals and families. This assistance comes in two main forms: premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions. Both types of financial help are designed to lower the cost of health insurance for those who qualify based on their income and household size.

Premium Tax Credits

– **What They Are**: Premium tax credits are subsidies that can be applied directly to your monthly health insurance premium, reducing the amount you pay each month.

– **Eligibility**: Eligibility for premium tax credits is based on your household income and size and is generally available to those earning between 100% and 400% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). For 2023, an individual earning between $13,590 and $54,360 or a family of four earning between $27,750 and $111,000 may qualify.

– **How They Work**: The tax credit amount is calculated based on your income, the cost of the second-lowest-cost Silver plan in your area (the benchmark plan), and the assumption that you should spend a certain percentage of your income on health insurance. If the cost of the benchmark plan exceeds this percentage, the tax credit makes up the difference.

Cost-Sharing Reductions (CSRs)

– **What They Are**: Cost-sharing reductions are discounts that lower the amount you have to pay out-of-pocket for deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance. They also reduce the maximum out-of-pocket costs you can be charged in a year.

– **Eligibility**: CSRs are available to those who choose a Silver plan and have a household income between 100% and 250% of the FPL. For 2023, an individual earning up to $33,975 or a family of four earning up to $69,375 may qualify.

– **How They Work**: Unlike premium tax credits, which can be applied to any metal level plan, CSRs are only available with Silver plans. If you qualify, you’ll get a special Silver plan with lower out-of-pocket costs than a standard Silver one.

Impact of Income and Household Size

Your income and household size directly influence the amount of financial assistance you can receive through the ACA. As your income increases, the amount of premium tax credit you’re eligible for decreases. Similarly, larger households may qualify for more substantial assistance due to higher income thresholds for eligibility. It’s important to accurately report your income and household size when applying for coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace to ensure you receive the correct financial help.

You must enroll in a health plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace to apply for financial assistance. You’ll provide information about your income, household size, and other relevant details during the application process. The Marketplace will then determine your eligibility for premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions and apply any eligible assistance to the health plans you’re considering, allowing you to see the adjusted costs as you shop for coverage.

By taking advantage of these financial assistance options, eligible individuals and families can make health insurance more affordable, ensuring access to necessary healthcare services.

Coverage Costs

The cost of health insurance for families varies significantly based on family size, the ages of family members, the type of plan chosen, and the level of coverage. While specific dollar amounts can fluctuate based on these factors, understanding the general trend in how costs scale with family size can help plan and budget for health insurance expenses.

Individual Coverage

– For an individual, the average monthly premium for a health insurance plan can range significantly based on the plan’s metal level. As previously mentioned, average premiums might start from around $179 for the cheapest Bronze plans and increase to higher amounts for Silver or Gold plans.

Couple Coverage

– For a couple with no children, the cost of health insurance essentially doubles compared to individual coverage, as premiums are calculated per person. However, the total cost might be slightly less than double the individual cost due to how some insurers structure their premiums for adult coverage.

Family Coverage with Children

– Adding children to a health insurance plan increases the premium, but not as much as adding another adult. Insurers typically charge a flat rate for child dependents up to a certain number, after which additional children may not increase the premium.

– For example, a family of four (two adults and two children) might see monthly premiums starting at around $800 for a Bronze plan, but this can vary widely based on the abovementioned factors.

Impact of Plan Choice and Subsidies

– **Plan Choice**: Higher-tier plans (Silver, Gold) will increase the monthly premium but potentially decrease out-of-pocket costs for healthcare services, which can benefit families expecting higher medical expenses.

– **Subsidies**: Families may qualify for subsidies significantly reducing their premiums. The subsidy amount depends on the family’s income relative to the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). Families earning between 100% and 400% of the FPL may qualify for premium tax credits. Additionally, cost-sharing reductions are available for families choosing Silver plans who earn between 100% and 250% of the FPL.

Considerations for Large Families

– The Health Insurance Marketplace caps the family deductible and out-of-pocket maximums, providing some financial protection for families with multiple members.

– Some states and plans have policies that limit the total premium charged for children, regardless of how many children are covered under a family plan.

It’s important for families to carefully consider their healthcare needs, budget, and eligibility for financial assistance when selecting a health insurance plan. Utilizing the Health Insurance Marketplace or consulting with a health insurance broker can help families navigate their options and find a plan that offers the best balance of cost and coverage.

Annual Open Enrollment for ACA Plans in Arizona

The Open Enrollment period for ACA plans in Arizona is the annual window when residents can enroll in, renew, or change their health insurance plans through the Health Insurance Marketplace. For the upcoming plan year, the Open Enrollment dates are as follows:

– **Start of Open Enrollment**: November 1 – This is the first day you can enroll in a new health plan or make changes to your existing plan for the next plan year.

– **Deadline for Coverage Starting January 1**: December 15 – To have coverage that starts on January 1, you must enroll by this date.

– **End of Open Enrollment**: January 15 – This is the last day to enroll in or change health plans for the year. After this date, you can only enroll or change plans if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.

Special Enrollment Period (SEP)

Outside of the Open Enrollment period, you can only sign up for health insurance or change your existing coverage if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). SEPs are triggered by certain life events, including but not limited to:

– Losing health coverage

– Moving to a new residence

– Getting married

– Having a baby or adopting a child

– A change in income

– Becoming a U.S. citizen

– Being released from incarceration.

SEP Eligibility and Timing

– **60-Day Window**: Generally, you have 60 days from the qualifying life event date to enroll in a new plan.

– **Documentation**: You may be required to provide documents to confirm the life event that qualifies you for a SEP.

– **Coverage Start Date**: The start date of your new coverage will depend on when you enroll and the type of qualifying event. For example, if you lose coverage, your new coverage could start the first day of the month after you pick a plan.

It’s important to act promptly if you qualify for a SEP to ensure health coverage without a significant gap. If you’re unsure whether you qualify for a SEP, visit or contact the Marketplace directly to get assistance.

How to Apply for Health Insurance in Arizona

Residents of Arizona have several channels through which they can apply for health insurance. Here’s a guide to help you understand the application process through the Health Insurance Marketplace, directly through or by phone, and with the assistance of certified enrollment partners or brokers.

Health Insurance Marketplace (

The primary channel for applying for health insurance in Arizona is through the Health Insurance Marketplace at This federal platform allows you to compare different health plans, check if you qualify for subsidies, and enroll in a plan that suits your needs.

– **Online**: You can apply online by visiting and following the instructions to create an account, fill out an application, and enroll in a health plan.

– **By Phone**: If you prefer to apply over the phone, you can call the Health Insurance Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325) and speak with a representative who can guide you through the application process.

Directly through or by Phone

In addition to the standard online application process, you can apply directly through or by phone, which are convenient options for those comfortable with online forms or who prefer personal assistance.

– **Direct Application**: You can start and complete your application directly on without needing third-party websites or assistance.

– **Phone Application**: For those who need assistance or do not have internet access, applying by phone is a viable option. The call center can provide support in multiple languages and walk you through the application step by step.

With the assistance of Certified Enrollment Partners or Brokers

For personalized assistance, you can work with certified enrollment partners or brokers. These professionals can help you understand your options, answer your questions, and guide you through enrollment.

– **Certified Enrollment Partners**: These are organizations or individuals trained and certified to help you with the Marketplace application and enrollment process. They can be beneficial if you have complex situations or need help understanding the details of different plans.

– **Brokers**: Licensed health insurance brokers can provide expert advice on plan selection and help you enroll in a plan that meets your needs. They work with multiple insurance companies and can offer a range of products. Brokers are beneficial if you want to explore options inside and outside the Marketplace.

When seeking assistance from a broker or certified partner, it’s important to ensure they are officially registered and in good standing to provide these services. You can find local help through the Health Insurance Marketplace website or by contacting the Arizona Department of Insurance.

Remember, whether you apply online, by phone, or with the help of a professional, it’s important to have all necessary information on hand, such as your household income, the number of people in your household, and any current health coverage information. This will streamline the application process and help you find the most suitable and affordable health insurance plan for your needs in Arizona.

Applying for AHCCCS and KidsCare in Arizona

Arizona’s Medicaid program, known as the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), and KidsCare, the state’s version of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), provide health coverage for eligible individuals, families, and children. Here’s how to apply for these programs:

AHCCCS Medical Assistance

– **Apply Online**: The most convenient way to apply for AHCCCS Medical Assistance is through the Health-e-Arizona Plus (HEAplus) online portal. This platform allows you to apply for medical assistance, Nutrition Assistance, and Cash Assistance.

– **Apply by Phone**: If you prefer to apply by phone or need assistance with the application process, you can call 1-855-432-7587 to begin the application process.


– **Eligibility**: KidsCare is available for children under 19 who do not qualify for Medicaid and meet certain income requirements.

– **Apply Online**: Similar to AHCCCS, you can apply for KidsCare through the Health-e-Arizona Plus online portal.

– **Apply by Phone**: For assistance or to apply by phone, you can call 1-855-HEA-Plus (1-855-432-7587).

Required Information

When applying for either AHCCCS or KidsCare, you may need to provide the following information to complete your application:

– Proof of income

– Identification documents

– Social Security numbers for applicants

– Citizenship or immigration status information

– Any other information requested to determine eligibility

Application Assistance

– **Community Assistor**: If you need additional support, you can work with a Community Assistor to complete the application process. Community assistors are trained to help you navigate the application and can provide personalized assistance.

– **Find an Assistor**: To locate community assistors near you, go to the Health-e-Arizona Plus website and use the ‘Find an Assistor’ tool by entering your ZIP Code.

After Applying

Once you have submitted your application, you will receive a decision by mail. You can also monitor the status of your application online through the Health-e-Arizona Plus portal.

Applying for AHCCCS and KidsCare is a straightforward process that can be completed online conveniently. However, if you encounter any difficulties or have questions, phone assistance and community assistors are available to help ensure you can successfully navigate the application process and obtain the coverage you need for yourself or your children.

Marketplace Options: Comparison with Other States

Arizona’s health insurance marketplace offers a variety of options for individuals and families seeking coverage. For the plan year 2024, Arizona has 8 insurance companies offering major medical health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace. This variety provides Arizona residents with a range of choices to find a plan that best suits their needs and budget.

When comparing Arizona to the national landscape, the options available can vary significantly from state to state. Some states may have fewer insurers participating in the marketplace, limiting consumer choice, while others may have more, offering a more comprehensive range of plan options. The presence of 8 insurers in Arizona suggests a relatively competitive market, which can be beneficial for consumers looking for different coverage levels and price points.

Premiums and Subsidies: Comparison with Other States


The average cost of individual health insurance (silver tier) for a middle-aged male in the United States is $560, while in Arizona, it’s slightly higher at $569. This indicates that Arizona’s average premiums are close to the national average, with a slight variation that could be attributed to factors such as the cost of living, state-specific insurance regulations, and the population’s health care needs.

It’s important to note that health insurance premiums can vary widely across states. For example, a 40-year-old in Alaska pays an average of $948 a month for a Silver plan, significantly higher than the national average, while the same plan in New Hampshire costs an average of $373, much lower than the national average. These differences highlight the impact of state-specific factors on health insurance costs.


Subsidies play a crucial role in making health insurance more affordable for many Americans. In Arizona, as in other states, individuals and families with incomes between 100% and 400% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) may qualify for premium tax credits that lower their monthly insurance premiums. The availability and amount of these subsidies can significantly reduce the effective cost of health insurance for eligible residents.

In terms of the percentage of residents eligible for subsidies, Arizona’s population may have a higher or lower eligibility rate compared to other states, depending on factors such as income distribution and the number of people without employer-sponsored insurance. While specific comparative data on subsidy eligibility rates across states is not provided in the search results, it’s generally understood that subsidies are designed to help those with lower to moderate incomes afford health insurance, regardless of their state of residence.

Major Health Insurers in Arizona

Several health insurance companies in Arizona offer individual and family plans through the marketplace. Here is a list of the major insurers and some of the unique benefits or services they provide:

**Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona (BCBSAZ)**: BCBSAZ offers a range of health insurance plans, including HMO, PPO, and POS options. They have a large network of doctors and hospitals and are known for their commitment to quality care. They also provide innovative online and mobile tools to help members manage their healthcare.

**UnitedHealthcare of Arizona**: UnitedHealthcare offers various health insurance plans, including HMO, PPO, and POS. They boast a large network of healthcare providers and are dedicated to delivering quality care. UnitedHealthcare is recognized for its wide range of health and wellness resources available to members.

**Cigna**: Cigna is a leading health insurance provider with various health plans. They are known for their innovation and offer several online and mobile tools that make it easy for members to manage their healthcare. Cigna also emphasizes preventive care and wellness programs.

**Aetna**: Aetna, which has merged with CVS, provides ACA health plans focusing on integrated care. They offer a variety of health plans and are known for their user-friendly online services and health management tools.

**Ambetter**: Ambetter from Health Net provides health insurance plans with essential health benefits. They offer competitive plan options and are known for their Health and Wellness programs that reward members for taking charge of their health.

**Bright HealthCare**: Bright HealthCare offers plans with a focus on coordinating care and building strong relationships with their network providers to improve the healthcare experience for members.

**Oscar**: Oscar is known for its user-friendly technology and customer service. They provide a range of health plans and emphasize easy access to healthcare services with features like free telemedicine visits and a dedicated Care Team.

**Medica**: Medica offers health plans with various coverage options. They are known for their focus on community health and provide resources to help members live healthier lives.

These insurers offer a variety of plan types and coverage levels to meet the diverse needs of Arizona residents. When choosing a plan, it’s important to consider the network of providers, coverage benefits, premiums, deductibles, out-of-pocket costs, and any additional services or wellness programs that may be beneficial.

FAQs on Health Insurance in Arizona

FAQs on Health Insurance in Arizona

How much is health insurance in AZ per month?

Arizona residents can expect to pay an average of $454 per person for a major medical individual health insurance plan. However, prices vary, and premiums can be lower if you are in good health. The cheapest health insurance in Arizona starts as low as $179 per person for major medical plans.

What is the best health insurance in Arizona?

UnitedHealthcare and Blue Cross Blue Shield of AZ are the best health insurance companies in Arizona, based on low average rates, good coverage benefits, and high customer satisfaction. However, according to ratings, Cigna is considered the best health insurance company.

What can I do if I don't have health insurance in Arizona?

Suppose you don't have health insurance in Arizona. In that case, you can explore health care programs for the uninsured, which provide free medical services, medications, and support to low-income and uninsured households. Options include Medicaid, KidsCare Healthcare Insurance for children, Well Woman HealthCheck Program for cancer screening, and other state and non-profit programs.

Is there free healthcare in Arizona?

While Arizona does not offer universal free healthcare, there are programs to provide free or low-cost medical services to eligible residents. These include Medicaid through the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) for low-income individuals and families, KidsCare for children, and various programs for seniors, the disabled, and those with specific health conditions.