What's the deal with Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum plans?

What is the difference between Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum plans?

Commonly referred to as “metal levels,” the primary difference is the percent of expected costs the plan will cover. All health plans are designed around a principle of cost sharing, and expensive plans cover a larger percentage of the costs incurred by a patient. These categories have nothing to do with the quality of care that you receive. In order to make it easier for consumers to compare plans, they are organized into four “metal” levels:

  • Bronze level plans cover 60% of expected costs for the average individual
  • Silver level plans cover 70% of expected costs for the average individual
  • Gold level plans cover 80% of expected costs for the average individual
  • Platinum level plans cover 90% of expected costs for the average individual

Generally, Bronze plans will have lower premiums (your monthly insurance bill) with higher deductibles and out-of-pocket costs. On the other end of the spectrum, Platinum plans will have higher premiums, but with lower deductibles and out-of-pocket costs. Silver and Gold plans toe the line between these two metal levels.

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