• Types of Health Insurance

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    Metal Tier Plans

    When you are buying health insurance, you will typically choose a plan that is structured by the level of benefits offered. Using metal tiers is a way to simplify the categorization of each plan.  If you are less than 30 years old, you may want to consider a catastrophic plan that comes with a high deductible.

    When comparing plans, each plan requires you to pay a shared fixed amount. The details can differ according to your plan. Also, the deductibles, the amount you are responsible to pay before your plan kicks in and pays 100% of your costs, will vary per plan. As a general rule, the least inexpensive plan will carry the highest deductible. 

    Here is basic example of how costs are split between the insured and the insurer:

    • Bronze –Insured pays 40% / Insurer pays 60% 
    • Silver – Insured pays 30% / Insurer pays 70% 
    • Gold – Insured pays 20% / Insurer pays 80% 
    • Platinum – Insured pays 10% / Insurer pays 90% 

    These metal tiered plans do not take in to account your premiums. They also do not reflect the exact amount you will pay for your medical services.

    Generally speaking, a bronze plan will have the lowest monthly premium and the platinum having the highest. As it should be obvious, the bronze plan is the least expensive because the insured will have more out of pocket expenses. Although on the surface, the bronze plan may seem more cost effective because of the low premium, if you are a frequent user of the health care system, you will more than likely end up paying more in out-of-pocket expenses.

    For those that qualify, your premium can be subsidized so that you can afford a higher tier plan that you would otherwise not be able to afford. 

    The Catastrophic Plan

    Another category of health insurance that you might have seen or are familiar with is the Catastrophic Plan.  

    If you qualify, you can use a health insurance premium subsidy to help you afford a plan in a higher tier, ultimately saving you money. The deductibles are very high and this health insurance plan is designed to cover accidents or serious illness which could end of causing your serious financial consequences. This type of plan is limited to those under 30 years of each that qualify for a hardship exemption. As a general rule, catastrophic plans cannot be subsidized.