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How to Choose the Right Health Insurance Plan

How should you choose the right health insurance plan for your needs? Don’t get confused by all the technical terms. There may be a lot of details to consider, but plan types come in a few general categories, each corresponding to a different “metal” level – bronze, silver, gold or platinum. No matter which you choose, you’ll be covered for essential services like preventive care and hospitalization. But you may end up paying less if you pick the metal level that’s most appropriate for you. So, how to choose? Consider the following simple principle: you want to pay only for the care you are likely to need and avoid paying for what you won’t, so you have access to the highest-quality doctors and health care providers for the most affordable price. Here’s a general guide for the perplexed:

Bronze:

This metal tier has the lowest monthly premiums, which means you pay the smallest amount of money every month. The flipside is that it covers only about 60 percent of your health care costs, on average, so you’ll pay more out-of-pocket every time you visit a doctor or get other forms of care. If you’re healthy overall, don’t see doctors that frequently, and want to save money, you’ll want to consider whether this plan is appropriate for you.

Silver:

Silver is all about the art of striking the right balance. This metal tier covers about 70 percent of your health care costs. You’ll pay a higher premium every month than for the bronze, but in return, it offers more coverage for a lower out-of-pocket cost. It appeals to those who want access to care at a reasonable monthly premium, but who also want to minimize additional out-of-pocket costs like deductibles and copays.

Gold:

This metal tier covers 80 percent of all health care costs. It’s a good fit for those who anticipate considerable health care expenses, but still want to spend less per month for premiums than they would have to with a platinum plan.

Platinum:

The logic here is simple: pay the most, get the most. Monthly premiums are the highest of any of the options explored here, but cover 90 percent of your health care costs, making it the perfect plan for those who expect to use medical services with high frequency.

These are general guidelines, but it’s important to compare specific plans so that you can understand exactly what they’re offering and determine what best suits your needs. You can get started by looking at CareConnect’s various plan offerings customized to your needs.

* Estimates are based on a comparison between publicly available rates and CareConnect offerings.