TABLE OF CONTENTS
Rhode Island has many affordable health insurance options, with 11 insurance companies that offer cheap health insurance policies as well as a state health insurance marketplace. Families and individuals can review the numerous plans within the state to find one that best fits their lifestyle.
This guide explains your Rhode Island affordable health insurance options in detail.
HealthSource RI makes enrolling in marketplace plans easy. On the site’s front page, you can begin the enrollment process, get help, or compare plans and get a quote before deciding. If you choose to compare plans first, the site will take you to a tool that will list the plans available to you.
To begin the enrollment process, you’ll need to make an individual or family account that includes your:
Once you start the process, you can watch a short video that explains how to compare plans or start the process yourself. After entering your information, you can enter the same information about the other people in your household, such as your spouse and children. Finally, you can choose to include dental plans in your search.
The page also asks if you want to know if you can get help paying for coverage for more affordable health insurance. If you choose yes, you’ll answer a few more questions. After you see the financial assistance available to you, you can continue to the next page, which will ask if you want to name your doctor. The page after allows you to list your prescription medications to see which plans include these medications and how much they will cost.
The final page will show you which plans are available to you. The dental plans you qualify for will be listed under a separate green tab toward the top of the page.
The following companies offer affordable health insurance plans in Rhode Island:
There are some important considerations when shopping for individual coverage, whether for yourself or multiple people. These considerations include:
If you have health problems requiring frequent doctor visits or regularly use a particular service, you should choose a plan with a higher monthly premium and lower deductibles. However, if you have few health problems, you can choose a lower premium at the cost of a high deductible.
You can choose from different types of plans including.
If you have young children, or immediate family members with a chronic illness, you may want to choose a plan with a higher premium that covers more regular care. These plans come with lower deductibles, making out of pocket costs more manageable.
If you have a family with few health problems, an HMO plan with a lower premium but higher deductible may be a better choice. HMO plans focus on general wellness and preventing illness, so these are a good option for people who don’t need to go out of network or who make few doctor’s visits.
PPO plans don’t require policyholders to have a referral for a specialist. In addition, they can be less expensive than HMO plans and more accommodating of out-of-network services. As a result, they might be the best fit for a family with a parent or child that has a severe and long-term health problem to manage.
HealthSource RI’s metal plans help you find a plan that best suits your needs. Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum plans have different features and premiums, with the most affordable health insurance coverage at only $240 for a 20-year-old in 2022.
|Average premiums in Rhode Island||2018||2019||2020||2021||2022|
|Most affordable Bronze plan||$198||$215||$219||$231||$240|
|Most affordable Silver plan||$287||$315||$314||$328||$341|
|Most affordable Gold plan||$300||$323||$325||$339||$349|
In Rhode Island, low-income individuals have access to health insurance through the state’s Medicaid program. If you don’t qualify for Medicaid, you may receive health care through the Rhode Island Free Clinic or Clinica Esperanza.
Certain groups of people are eligible for Medicaid, including:
Through Medicaid, you can choose a plan from Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island, Tufts Health Plan, and UnitedHealthcare.
Just as you would for an exchange plan, you can apply for Medicaid on HealthSource RI’s website. You’ll then receive a letter from the Department of Human Services that lets you know if your application has been accepted, denied, or if the state needs additional information. If you had Medicaid but are no longer eligible, you have a special enrollment period of 60 days to enroll in an exchange plan through the state.
The Rhode Island Free Clinic provides services to uninsured people for free. Its care includes primary and specialty care, medications, and wellness programs, among other services. To qualify, you must be at least 18 years old and an uninsured resident of the state with an ID. To prove this, you’ll need a bill or a piece of mail with your name on it. In addition, if you’re employed, you must have your last two pay stubs or proof of income. If unemployed, you’ll need to show a TDI or SNAP authorization letter.
According to their website, the Rhode Island Free Clinic covers multiple medical procedures, including primary care, labs and diagnostics tests, specialty care, follow-up visits with the clinic, prescription medications, and counseling and wellness programs.
Clinica Esperanza focuses on providing care to any resident that needs it, whether insured or not. It offers non-emergency medical care to adults and STD screening, help with managing chronic diseases, and certain vaccinations. Specialty services, such as mental health help or dental care, aren’t offered. It has walk-in hours and two locations, one of which is a pop-up clinic.
Rhode Island has Medicare options available to older adults and people with qualifying disabilities.
Medicare Supplement Insurance plans are designed to help cover out-of-pocket expenses that occur with Original Medicare. These plans won’t help you with the cost of vision, dental, hearing, or long-term care. If you’re traveling out of the country, however, a Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan can provide you with health coverage. Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans do not work with a Medicare Advantage Plan.
Rhode Island programs like the Medicare Premium Payment Program can help residents pay for Medicare. There are different requirements for disabled people and those older than 65%. Still, your income usually has to be at least below 100% of the poverty line.
To qualify for Medicare, you must be at least 65 years old or have a qualifying disability. In most cases, a qualifying disability is a condition that makes you eligible for at least 24 months of payments from the Social Security Disability Insurance program or Railroad Retirement Board. You may be able to qualify sooner if you have end-stage renal disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease).
In Rhode Island, the Executive Office of Health and Human Services works with NHPRI to coordinate care for people that qualify and receive both Medicare and Medicaid.
If you start receiving your Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits at least four months before you turn 65, you’ll be automatically enrolled in Medicare. Otherwise, you must fill out an application online or contact your local Social Security office. You can enroll in Medicare during the following periods:
Rhode Island hasn’t banned the sale of short-term health insurance plans, but currently, none are offered in the state. This may be because of restrictive guidelines that leave insurers unmotivated to sell short-term plans in the state.
Yes, Rhode Island requires all residents to have health insurance or face a tax penalty. However, you can apply for a hardship exemption if you were unable to obtain insurance. There are other types of exemptions, like those available to people who can’t afford coverage based on projected income, incarcerated individuals, and those who are members of Indian tribes.
No, you are free to purchase coverage directly from an insurer.
The most common kind of cost-sharing plan in Rhode Island is a faith-based plan. Members of these plans share health care costs. You don’t need to be a member of a particular denomination, or belong to any religious group, if you want to participate in a plan. These plans aren’t insurance and aren’t required to conform to ACA standards. Plans can be inexpensive but often don’t cover pre-existing conditions or other essential health care benefits.
Yes, you can only open an HSA if you have a high-deductible plan in Rhode Island. You also can’t be dependent on another person’s plan, eligible for Medicare, or covered by another health plan.
Yes, but it depends upon your job. You may not need it, but if you work at a job where injury is a possibility, it’s a good idea. Short-term disability coverage pays for household expenses like utilities, groceries, and your mortgage. These expenses are not covered by health insurance.
Rhode Island is one of six territories that offer temporary disability/caregivers insurance to insured workers for a period of unemployment caused by an injury. If you are injured, you have to apply for the benefits of Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI). You do not have to apply, but you can receive up to $978 in benefits if you choose to do so.
If you have a dangerous job, it’s a good idea to have long-term disability coverage. However, you also need health insurance. Disability coverage pays for household expenses that are not covered by health insurance.