Your Guide to Bronze, Silver, and Gold Health Insurance Coverage
Don’t let too many plan options overwhelm you when shopping the beWellnm marketplace. We understand, it can be stressful to choose a plan, especially if you are selecting for your household. The good news is that all marketplace plans include no cost-preventative care and cover essential healthcare services. Allowing you to focus on costs and plan benefits when narrowing down your options.
When you shop the marketplace, you can choose a plan offered from one of five health insurance carriers – plans are categorized in three metal-tiers: bronze, silver, and gold.
Although gold is better than bronze, the metals do not reflect the quality of care provided. Instead, the tiers are based on premiums, out-of-pocket costs, and your share of the costs for your healthcare expenses. The best tier for you depends on your budget and how much healthcare you expect to need in the coming year. Let’s get into each metal tier:
Bronze Health Insurance Plans: Budget-friendly with Some Trade Offs
Bronze plans will save you the most on your monthly health insurance bill if you don’t see the doctor beyond annual check-ups and preventative care. However, the trade-off is they include high out-of-pocket costs. You will pay more each time you visit the doctor and/or pick up medications.
Bronze plans also have high deductibles, which means you may be responsible for thousands of dollars in medical bills before your carrier starts to pick up the tab.
Bronze plans are ideal for customers who want low-premiums and comprehensive coverage to protect from worst-case medical situation and are okay with paying more for healthcare services and medications.
Silver Health Insurance Plans: Finding Balance and Unlocking Savings
Silver plans are a balanced choice, they have slightly higher premiums than bronze and offer lower out-of-pocket costs when you seek care. They are ideal for those who are okay with paying more each month in exchange for lower bills when they go for routine care.
Silver plans are also a go-to choice for anyone who qualifies for financial assistance. Based on your income, you may qualify for extra savings to lower out-of-pocket costs; making routine care and medications even more affordable. Some individuals may also qualify for a $0 monthly premium after receiving Advanced Premium Tax Credits.
Gold Health Insurance Plans:
Gold plans come with higher monthly premiums but offer the advantage of lower costs for healthcare services. Think of it as an investment – paying more each month for a lower deductible and better coverage when you need it, like a premium membership.
Ideal for those who often require medical services and prescription refills and are willing to pay higher monthly fees to offset expenses for doctor visits and medications.
Extra Savings and Easy Choices Ahead:
The marketplace also includes unique offerings like Turquoise Plans and Clear Cost Plans. For those eligible, these plans offer extra savings based on income levels and offer a standardized approach to health insurance simplifying the decision-making process.
Turquoise Plans: Extra Savings for Specific Incomes
Turquoise plans give extra savings for those with incomes between 100-300% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). For those eligible, they provide savings on out-of-pocket costs like deductibles, copays, and co-insurance. It’s like getting a coupon code for your healthcare costs if you meet the income criteria.
Turquoise plans are available in both silver and gold tiers, however, to take advantage of APTC you must choose a silver plan to get the extra savings.
Clear Cost Plans: Health Insurance in Black and White
Clear Cost Plans are like standardized textbooks for health insurance. All five carriers offer plans with the same benefits, co-payments, deductibles, and out-of-pocket maximum costs within each metal tier, making comparisons straightforward and easy.
Related reading: Clear Cost Plans: Health Insurance Shopping Just Got Easier
Quick tip: Use the Shop and Compare tool to compare plans from each tier to make it easier to narrow down your options and review the costs and benefits of each plan. Remember, this is an anonymous tool for you to browse options and is not part of the application system.
Need help comparing plans? A Certified Assister can help in-person or online. Schedule an appointment with a Certified Assister near you.
Where do I begin?
With more than 56,000 uninsured New Mexicans who qualify for significant premium reductions, you may be one of them. Having the security of health insurance coverage may be more affordable than you think.