Choosing a Marketplace plan that meets your household's needs

Published on October 15, 2020

Open Enrollment for 2021 coverage starts November 1. Plans have different premiums and out-of-pocket costs and may differ in the quality of service and benefits they provide. Knowing a few things before you apply can make the process for choosing a plan simpler.
Image: Things to think about when picking a plan

Things to think about when comparing Marketplace plans

  • There are 4 categories of health insurance plans: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. These categories show how you and your plan share costs. Plan categories have nothing to do with quality of care.
  • offers health insurance plan quality ratings (or "star ratings"), that reflect member experience, medical care, and health plan administration. The ratings let you quickly compare plans based on quality.
  • When choosing a plan, it’s a good idea to think about your total health care costs. You pay a monthly bill to your insurance company (a "premium"), even if you don’t use medical services that month. You pay out-of-pocket costs, including a deductible, when you get care.
  • Some plan types allow you to use almost any doctor or health care facility. Other plans limit your choices or charge you more if you use providers outside their network.