When shopping for health insurance in Jacksonville, FL, it’s easy to focus on the monthly premium. There are a lot of factors that determine how much your insurance costs, and some of them may surprise you.

To help you make the best choice for your family, we’ve put together this guide to the most critical factors determining your monthly health insurance premium.


Believe it or not, your location is a huge factor in determining your monthly premium based on the level of risk where you reside.

You can lower your premium by moving to a lower-risk area. Still, suppose you want to keep living in your current community. In that case, you may need to shop around for new coverage and compare quotes carefully before deciding how much coverage you need.


Age is one of the most important factors determining your monthly insurance premium. Some companies also offer discounts for senior citizens who maintain healthy lifestyles and don’t smoke or use drugs.

Tobacco Use

Tobacco use is one of the most significant factors determining your monthly premium. If you have used tobacco products in the last 12 months or smoke or chew tobacco now, you may have to pay more for your health insurance.

The Affordable Care Act requires insurers to charge smokers up to 50% more than nonsmokers for individual coverage. However, your state might have a different standard or rule for tobacco users. Check with your state’s insurance commissioner to learn the laws in your area.

If you quit smoking within the last year, you may be eligible for a discount on your monthly premium.

Individual vs. Family Enrollment

Whether you enroll as an individual or as part of a family impacts your monthly premiums. For example, if you are registered as part of a family unit, it will likely cost less than if you were enrolled on your own.

The individual/family income may also determine available tax credits to lower premiums.  Additionally, individuals and families below 150% of the federal poverty level qualify for a year-round 2022 special enrollment period. 

Plan Category

When you’re shopping for health insurance, you may notice a few different plan categories. The categories are based on how much coverage they provide and how they’re priced.

The five main categories of plans are:

  • Bronze Plan
  • Silver Plan
  • Gold Plan
  • Platinum Plan

Bronze Plans offer the lowest monthly premiums but require you to pay more out-of-pocket if you need medical care. You’ll also find that some Bronze Plans cover less than others, so it’s important that when comparing plans, you look at what’s covered by your selected plan category.

Platinum Plans are the most popular choice among consumers because they offer an affordable balance between coverage and cost. They tend to have lower co-pays and deductibles than Bronze Plans, so if you can afford a Platinum Plan, it might be worth looking into one of these options first before deciding on something else entirely.

The Bottom Line

When shopping for a health insurance policy, there’s a lot to keep in mind. Different companies offer different benefits and services, and the cost can vary widely depending on what you need.

At Thomas & Associates, a Florida health insurance agency, we’re here to help you navigate all the options so that you can find the best plan for your family’s needs.

Contact us today for health insurance quotes in Florida.