An official website of the United States government

Here's how you know

How to pick a health insurance plan

3 things to know before you pick a health insurance plan

How to Choose a Plan in     
the Health Insurance     
Marketplace®
Choosing a health insurance plan can be complicated. Knowing just a few things before you compare plans can make it simpler.
  • The 4 “metal” categories: 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.
  • Your total costs for health care: 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 
    , when you get care. It’s important to think about both kinds of costs when shopping for a plan.
  • Plan and network types — 
    , and 
    : Some plan types allow you to use almost any doctor or health care facility. Others limit your choices or charge you more if you use providers outside their network.
Remember that plans also may differ in quality. Learn more about quality ratings.
Notice:
Want to compare plans & prices now?
Provide some income and household information to see plans available in your area, with estimated prices based on your income.

More Answers: What to know before you pick a health insurance plan