While the rest of the country is paying an arm and a leg for health insurance, folks in their forties are playing substantially less in Tucson.
NPR and Kaiser Family Foundation researchers compiled a list of monthly silver premiums (for a 40-year-old person) and ranked the cities based on federal and state insurance marketplaces and data gathered. Reportedly, while the lowest premiums are are in St. Paul, Minn., but Tucson's monthly premiums average to $167 a month.
Top 10 places with best insurance bargains, ranked by monthly premium:
$154: Minneapolis-St. Paul
$164: Pittsburgh and Northwestern Pennsylvania
$166: Middle Minnesota
$167: Tucson, Ariz.
$171: Northwestern Minnesota
$173: Salt Lake City
$180: Knoxville, Tenn.
$180: Western and North Central Minnesota.
$181: Chattanooga, Tenn.
These competitive markets are quite different than in southwest Georgia, the second most expensive region in the country. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia had no choice but to include in its network the Phoebe Putney Health System, which controls 86 percent of the market. The lowest premium in southwest Georgia is $461, 2 1/2 times the rate in Chattanooga.
So the next time a fellow Tucsonan is complaining about insurance costs, remind he or she that they could be paying Alaskan rates.