Understanding Health Insurance Plan Levels and Metal Tiers

  • There are four categories of metal tiers; Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze

  • Plans in each category pay different amounts of the total cost of care

  • All plans within each metal tier include a monthly premium (the amount you pay each month for your coverage) and out-of-pocket costs when you get care (copays, coinsurance and deductibles), but the amounts differ across metal tiers

  • The chart below estimates costs paid by your health care plan and the amount you pay for health care services out of your own pocket

  • Platinum or Gold level plans may be a good idea if you make frequent doctor visits or need prescriptions on an ongoing basis

  • Silver plans cost a little less per month than platinum or gold plans and may be a better option if you don’t expect to use medical services or prescriptions very often

  • Bronze plans cost you less per month in premiums, but also pay less of your costs when you need care

In addition to the four metal tiers, there is a catastrophic plan that can protect you from worst-case scenarios like serious accidents or illnesses. Catastrophic plans have much lower premiums, and a relatively high deductible. Only people under 30 years old or those with “hardship exemptions” from the government can buy a catastrophic health plan.

It’s impossible to predict all your health care needs for the year ahead. But HAP can help you choose a plan that fits your health insurance needs and budget.

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