If you purchase your own health insurance, you’re about to get very familiar with the METAL LEVELS of the Affordable Care Act.

While all of these Marketplace insurance plan categories offer the same set of essential health benefits, the cost of your monthly premiums and the portion of incurred medical expenses you will be responsible to pay out of pocket will vary depending on which “METAL” you select.

In general, when choosing your health plan, keep this in mind: The lower the premium, the higher the out-of-pocket costs when you need care; the higher the premium, the lower the out-of-pocket costs when you need care.

  • Bronze—Bronze plans have the lowest monthly premiums, but will only cover an average of 60 percent of your incurred medical bills. The policyholder is responsible for roughly 40 percent of non-preventive health care costs. Bronze plans are a good option for people who require little to no medical care in an average year.
  • Silver—Silver plans have slightly higher premiums than bronze plans and cover an average of 70 percent of annual non-preventive health care costs, with the policyholder paying the remaining 30 percent. People who choose silver plans and earn incomes of up to 250 percent of the federal poverty level are eligible for reduced out-of-pocket costs. Silver plans are also used as the basis for determining health insurance tax subsidies for people with incomes up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level.
  • Gold—Gold plans will cover an average of 80 percent of your medical care, with the policyholder paying the remaining 20 percent. People with gold plans pay higher premiums than people with bronze or silver plans.
  • Platinum—Platinum plans have the highest premiums and also the most coverage, with an average of 90 percent of medical care paid for by the insurance company. Gold and platinum plans are the best options for people who are likely to require a lot of medical services in any given year.


The good thing about all this is you don’t have to go it alone! The agents here at Blue Ridge Insurance Service are ready to help you through the whole process.  Just give us a call!