The health plan categories: Bronze, Silver, Gold & Platinum
Plans in the Marketplace are presented in 4 health plan categories: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. (“Catastrophic” plans are also available to some people.)
FYI Health plan categories are based on how you and your plan split the costs of your health care. They have nothing to do with quality of care.
How you and your insurance plan split costs
Estimated averages for a typical population. Your costs will vary.
The insurance company pays
Which health plan category is right for you?
Lowest monthly premium
Highest costs when you need care
Bronze plan deductibles — the amount of medical costs you pay yourself before your insurance plan starts to pay — can be thousands of dollars a year.
Good choice if: You want a low-cost way to protect yourself from worst-case medical scenarios, like serious sickness or injury. Your monthly premium will be low, but you’ll have to pay for most routine care yourself.
Moderate monthly premium
Moderate costs when you need care
Silver deductibles — the costs you pay yourself before your plan pays anything — are usually lower than those of Bronze plans.
Getting extra savings with a Silver plan
If you qualify for
A discount that lowers the amount you have to pay for deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance. In the Health Insurance Marketplace®, cost-sharing reductions are often called “extra savings.” If you qualify, you must enroll in a plan in the Silver category to get the extra savings.
Refer to glossary for more details.
: You mustpick a Silver plan to get the extra savings. You can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars per year if you go to the doctor a lot. (Silver plans may also be available if you’re eligible for a premium tax credit and can enroll through a Special Enrollment Period based on estimated household income.)
If you’re enrolled in a Silver plan and lose your cost-sharing reductions: You’ll qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. If you want to change plans, you can enroll in a Bronze, Silver or Gold plan that meets your needs and fits your budget.
Good choice if: You qualify for “extra savings” — or, if not, if you’re willing to pay a slightly higher monthly premium than Bronze to have more of your routine care covered.
High monthly premium
Low costs when you need care
Deductibles — the amount of medical costs you pay yourself before your plan pays — are usually low.
Good choice if: You’re willing to pay more each month to have more costs covered when you get medical treatment. If you use a lot of care, a Gold plan could be a good value.
Highest monthly premium
Lowest costs when you get care
Deductibles are very low, meaning your plan starts paying its share earlier than for other categories of plans.
Good choice if: You usually use a lot of care and are willing to pay a high monthly premium, knowing nearly all other costs will be covered.