Health insurance metal tiers

*This post applies to under age 65 only.

Health insurance is now organized into four different metal tiers: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. While each tier differs in terms of premium and cost-sharing, each Affordable Care Act (ACA) plan has the same essential health benefits and has nothing to do with the quality or amount of care you receive.

Bronze: the health plan pays 60% of benefits, and you pay the remaining 40%

  • Lowest tier in the exchange

  • Lowest premium

  • No separate deductible for drugs

Silver: the health plan pays 70% of benefits, and you pay the remaining 30%

  • Second lowest tier in the exchange

  • Second lowest premium

  • Separate deductible for drugs

Gold: the health plan pays 80% of benefits, and you pay the remaining 20%

  • Second highest tier in the exchange

  • Second highest premium

  • $0 deductible (varies; some plans off the exchange may have a small deductible)

Platinum: the health plan pays 90% of benefits, and you pay the remaining 10%

  • Highest tier in the exchange

  • Highest premium

  • $0 deductible

We know it's nearly impossible to predict what your healthcare needs will be in the upcoming year, so we suggest picking a plan that works with your budget and your expected needs (i.e. if you have a surgery planned in the upcoming year, a higher tier may work best for you). You're able to change plans each year during open enrollment or if you qualify for special enrollment.