Since graduating from the University of WA with a B.A. in English Literature, Shawn has been professionally writing in the spheres of entertainment, insurance, business, marketing, and politics. His work has been published on SUPERJUMP, FanFare, Den of Geek, and Amplihigher. He is passionate about using his writing skills and insurance knowledge to educate the general population on everyday iss...

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Written by Shawn Laib
Insurance and Finance Writer Shawn Laib

Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Joel...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP® Joel Ohman

UPDATED: Jun 29, 2022

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The Truth in a Nutshell

  • The Affordable Care Act prohibits insurance companies from denying coverage or charging higher rates due to a pre-existing condition
  • ACA-compliant plans come in four tiers, which allow you to choose either higher monthly payments or out-of-pocket expenses
  • Comparing private health insurance plans and rates with multiple companies is the best way to find the cheapest insurance

With the price of just about everything rising, the cost of healthcare is a looming concern for many American families. Healthcare concerns are one of the chief reasons people report staying at a job they would otherwise leave.

Getting the right health insurance is crucial for all Americans, especially those with pre-existing conditions. Many Americans seek to get coverage through their employer, but that’s not always possible. If you can’t get health insurance through work, plenty of affordable health insurance plans are available.

If you need private health insurance for pre-existing conditions, comparing quotes with multiple companies can help you save money. Before shopping for prices, keep reading to learn more about your private health insurance options.

Best Private Health Insurance for Pre-Existing Conditions

Before 2010, health insurance companies could deny coverage to someone with a pre-existing condition. That changed with the Affordable Care Act, which states that providers can no longer deny coverage, reject applications, or charge significantly higher rates to people with pre-existing conditions.

Today, all ACA-compliant health insurance plans can’t charge higher prices for pre-existing conditions, meaning you never have to worry about finding coverage.

Still, private health insurance can be expensive, which is why so many people try to get coverage through work. However, private insurance might be best for you if any of the following situations apply to you:

  • Your employer doesn’t offer insurance
  • You’re unemployed
  • You just turned 26 and are falling off a parent’s policy
  • You work part-time
  • You’re self-employed, a freelancer, contractor, or business owner
  • You’re retired

When looking for private health insurance for pre-existing conditions, you should carefully consider your needs, so you don’t pay for unnecessary coverage. The cheapest option isn’t necessarily the best, but a reasonable price should be a factor in your decision.

Below are some of the best private health insurance companies that offer affordable prices without skimping on the service.

Blue Cross Blue Shield Health Insurance

Blue Cross Blue Shield is one of the most recognized names in health insurance, and for a good reason. BCBS works in all 50 states, and most doctors and hospitals accept it. You can also buy international coverage for short- or long-term travel periods.

Since BCBS offers plans on the Affordable Care Act marketplace, you might qualify for help paying for your coverage.

UnitedHealthcare Insurance

UnitedHealthcare offers traditional health insurance plans, but its stand-out product is its short-term insurance.

Short-term health insurance is ideal for covering temporary gaps in insurance coverage. Whether you just lost your job, you’re waiting for a new plan to start, or any other reason you lost coverage, short-term can provide affordable insurance while you wait.

UnitedHealthcare is the only company to offer short-term insurance for three years. You can also cancel your coverage when a permanent option becomes available without incurring a fee.

Cigna Health Insurance

While Cigna is another recognizable name in health insurance, it offers ACA-compliant plans in just 15 states. For eligible plans, you can also add dental and vision coverage.

Cigna has a vast provider network that gives you access to thousands of doctors. There are also several plans to choose from, allowing you to pick a policy that covers what you need.

Most Cigna customers report high levels of satisfaction with their coverage, but out-of-pockets tend to be higher than other companies.

Oscar Health Insurance

The previously mentioned insurance companies have been in business for decades, but Oscar Health is a newcomer. Founded in 2012, Oscar Health promises a more technological health insurance experience.

Oscar only serves 19 states so far, but it is expanding to other states. Despite its smaller size, it’s building a loyal customer base who praises Oscar’s mobile app and ease of access. Oscar has fully embraced telehealth and offers virtual doctor visits with no copay.

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What are pre-existing conditions?

Pre-existing conditions are relatively easy to understand. Simply put, they are ongoing health conditions that developed before your insurance coverage began. Below are some of the most common pre-existing conditions, though many more exist.

  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Asthma
  • Pregnancy
  • Mental illnesses, like depression

In private health insurance, the definition of a pre-existing condition is anything you’d been diagnosed with before your coverage started.

Today, insurance companies can’t deny you coverage if you have a pre-existing condition, and they also have to provide coverage for it. For example, if you buy a plan covering diabetic supplies, it has to cover the same treatment if you already had a diagnosis.

How much is private health insurance for pre-existing conditions?

As stated before, ACA-compliant health insurance plans cannot charge you more for a pre-existing condition, and you’ll receive the same rates as people without a pre-existing condition.

ACA-compliant plans exist in four categories: bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. The amount you pay for services determines each level.

You pay40%30%20%10%
Insurance pays60%70%80%90%
Average monthly cost$396$541$592$678
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The bronze level has the cheapest monthly rates and is an excellent idea for young or healthy people. On the other hand, platinum has the highest monthly rates, but you’ll pay less out-of-pocket for health services. Anyone that has frequent need of their insurance might benefit from platinum or gold.

While prices vary based on your circumstances, you can get an idea of what health insurance might cost you by looking at the average price in your state.

StateMonthly costAnnual cost
New Hampshire$360$4,320
New Jersey$537$6,444
New Mexico$480$5,760
New York$713$8,556
North Carolina$634$7,608
North Dakota$524$6,288
Rhode Island$413$4,956
South Carolina$436$5,232
South Dakota$811$9,732
West Virginia$831$9,972
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As you can see, some states are more expensive than others. You can find affordable private health insurance for pre-existing conditions in whatever state you live in by comparing your options with multiple companies.

Find the Best Health Insurance for Your Needs

There are plenty of situations where you might need private health insurance. The good news for people with pre-existing conditions is that insurance companies can’t raise the price based on a previous diagnosis.

When you need private health insurance with a pre-existing condition, any ACA-compliant plan will get you the coverage you need at a fair price. You can find a plan to cover all your needs by comparing plans with as many companies as possible.