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What Are the Different “Metals” of Health Insurance?

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Looking for health insurance? Check out some tips to help you determine the differences between the Different “Metals” of Health Insurance.

What Are the Different “Metals” of Health Insurance?

People shopping for Massachusetts health insurance have probably noticed that many plans are labeled with a “metal”, such as Bronze or Silver, and it may be difficult to understand what that means at first. Each of these metals signifies how comprehensive the coverage will be, Platinum being the most with Bronze being the least. 

Learn more about each type of metal plan below. 

Bronze Plans

Bronze plans are those that have a lower monthly premium, making them an appealing choice for those with a tight budget. These plans tend to offer higher deductibles, meaning that policyholders can expect to pay at least a couple hundred dollars worth of medical costs before their insurance begins to help them pay. 

These plans are best for those who don’t need to visit the doctor often, outside of routine care, and don’t regularly take prescriptions. Bronze plans may result in a lower yearly healthcare cost than higher plans because of their low premiums, but they can end up being more expensive in the long run if the policyholder ends up needing more care than they had originally thought. 

Silver Plans

Silver plans have a slightly higher monthly premium than Bronze plans, though they also tend to have lower deductibles and provide more assistance with paying for medical care. People who occasionally visit the doctor or a specialist can benefit greatly from these types of plans, as can people who are on at least one prescription regularly. 

Silver plans may have deductibles that are $2,000 or less for individuals, which is helpful in rare cases of surgery or long-term hospital stays. 

Gold Plans

Gold plans have the second-highest monthly premium, but they also offer much more assistance with medical bills. Gold plans may even have a 0$ deductible, meaning that no medical costs will be paid for completely out of pocket. 

These plans are best suited for people who already have chronic conditions, like diabetes, heart disease, or cancer, that require regular doctor’s visits, checkups, prescriptions, and care.

Platinum Plans

Platinum plans are the highest tier of health insurance available, and they will have the highest monthly premium. People who can afford to pay these premiums may decide to enroll if they have severe or frequent medical needs and want to pay the lowest amount out of pocket for their care. 

Platinum plans can cost several hundred dollars or even over $1,000 per month, depending upon your own unique circumstance. Luckily, finding a plan from Healthcare.gov can reduce your monthly premium through tax credits. 

Many young people start with Bronze or Silver plans and progress to higher-tiered plans as they age and require more care. Fortunately, you can change your plan during the regular open enrollment period or during Special Enrollment Periods (SEP). If you have experienced a major life change, such as moving to a new state, getting a new job, or having a baby, you may be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period to help you get the care you need, given your new life circumstances. 

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