What Are Bronze, Silver, Gold, And Platinum Plans?
With the Affordable Care Act came standardization in health insurance plans. Health insurance plans now fall within four metal tiers: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Any of the plan levels could be the right choice for you, but it requires you to figure out which plan best fits your budget and the anticipated medical expenses of yourself and your family.
The lowest level tier of health insurance plan is the Bronze tier. Bronze plans have the lowest monthly premium but have the highest deductibles and high coinsurance. Typically with a Bronze plan, the health insurance company pays 60% and employee pays 40% of medical expenses such as copays, coinsurance and deductibles. This means you will be paying a lot out of your own pocket anytime you use a healthcare provider. If you don’t have many yearly healthcare costs, a Bronze plan can be sufficient for your needs.
The second lowest level tier of health insurance plans is the Silver tier. Silver plans are similar to the Bronze, but have a higher monthly premium and a lower deductible and lower coinsurance. Typically with a Silver plan, the health insurance company pays 70% and employee pays 30% of medical expenses.
The Gold metal tiered plans have a higher monthly premium but lower deductibles in the range of $500 per year. Typically with a gold plan, the health insurance company pays 80% and employee pays 20% of medical expenses such as copays, coinsurance and deductibles.
The highest-level health insurance plan tier is the Platinum tier. Typically with a Platinum plan, the health insurance company pays 90% and employee pays 10% of medical expenses such as copays and coinsurance, and with no deductibles.
In order to figure out the best medical plan tier for you, you will want to look back at your medical expenses for the past year and see how much you spent on prescriptions, office copays, coinsurance, and other medical expenses.
Additionally, you want to look at any planned medical expenses you foresee in the next plan year; such as pregnancy or a planned surgery.
SUMMARY: Because there are so many variables to consider in choosing a health insurance plan, Benefit Compare makes it easy to help you understand which metal tier is best for you. The best plan for you is not always the most expensive premium.
There will be four basic levels of coverage to choose from: Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. As the coverage increases, so does the monthly premium payment, but the cost when you receive medical care is usually lower.
Or you can choose to pay a lower premium, which means that when you need medical care, you will pay more. Benefit Compare will help you choose the ideal plan (based on your health profile) for the best price.