Benefits Chalk Talk: Metallic Levels of Coverage
Welcome back to another edition of “Benefits Chalk Talk.” In this series at our blog, we provide you with valuable, up-to-date, relevant information about health benefits planning so that you can put the things in place that make the most sense for yourself or your company. At Policy Advantage Insurance Services, we feel that informed consumers can make a really big difference in our industry.
Today we’re going to tell you a little bit more about the new “Metallic Levels of Coverage” and how they work with regard to healthcare reform and individual health insurance policies. You’re going to want to familiarize yourself with these distinctive types of coverage, because you’ll begin to see them quite often.
These “Metallic Levels of Coverage” will be used both inside and outside of the new state health insurance exchanges. Their primary purpose is to explain (in simple terms) the amount of coverage that health insurance plans provide. The amount of coverage is based on actuarial value. Actuarial value is the percentage of health costs that would be covered by the health plan for an average population. Here are the four standardized “metallic levels of coverage”:
- Bronze = 60% Insurance Company Pays, 40% Policyholder Pays
- Silver = 70% Insurance Company Pays, 30% Policyholder Pays
- Gold = 80% Insurance Company Pays, 20% Policyholder Pays
- Platinum = 90% Insurance Company Pays, 10% Policyholder Pays
Insurance companies must offer the minimum “Bronze Level” plan as their lowest level of coverage starting on January 1st, 2014. This will be consistent with plans both inside and outside of the exchange. A couple of important additional items to understand:
- There is also a plan level called “Catastrophic Coverage.” This catastrophic plan is available only to people under 30 years of age. This plan is a high deductible health plan intended for those who are not utilizing services (younger people), in order to keep premiums lower.
- The “Platinum Level” (90%/10%) plan is not available in certain state health insurance exchanges. Be sure to check to see if you’ll be able to participate in a Platinum Level plan in the state where you reside.
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