Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Deciding Between the Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum Insurance Plans?

One of the decisions you'll have to make in the insurance Marketplace is whether to buy a Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum plan. The plan names have nothing to do with the quality of the plan and everything to do with the amount of money you will have to pay out-of-pocket when you need healthcare. An out-of-pocket charge is the portion of the bill you pay to your doctor, the hospital, pharmacy, etc.that is not covered by your insurance plan. The Bronze plan will cost you less for the premiums, but you will pay more in out-of-pocket charges if you need care.

Another thing to know about the different types of plans is that they must offer the same set of "essential health benefits." These are the minimum requirements for all health plans in the Marketplace. The "essential health benefits" include:
  • Ambulatory/outpatient services (care you get without being admitted to a hospital)
  • Emergency services
  • Hospitalization
  • Maternity and newborn care
  • Mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment (counseling and psychotherapy)
  • Prescription drugs
  • Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices (services and devices that help gain or recover mental and physical skills when you are injured, disabled, or have a chronic condition)
  • Laboratory services
  • Preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management
  • Pediatric services

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