Saturday, December 7, 2013

OBAMACARE Bronze Plans are often pricier than Silver on the Federal Obamacare Exchange

The bronze, silver, gold and platinum levels that plans are grouped into on the federal health insurance exchange are often meaningless when it comes to price, a USA TODAY analysis shows. 
These categories, designed to simplify insurance shopping, are supposed to rank the plans based on their premiums and amount of coverage they provide, from the least (bronze) to the most (platinum). But the Affordable Care Act required insurers to submit the prices for their plans without seeing those of their competitors.
One result: According to the analysis, in almost two-thirds of 2,511 counties covered by the federal exchange, the highest monthly premium quoted for a bronze plan tops the lowest one for a silver plan. 
That means, insurance experts say, that consumers should not automatically assume bronze plans are cheaper than those on higher levels. They need to check all levels for the best deal. 
The federal site,, borrowed the idea for the metal levels from the Massachusetts health exchange. That state adopted the metal-related tiers of coverage after complaints that all of the plan choices were too confusing for people to navigate through.
Yet the price overlap between the metal levels creates the likelihood that shoppers who assume they can only afford a bronze plan are ruling out plans that may have both more affordable premiums and lower cost-sharing. Bronze plans cover just 60% of out of pocket costs, while silver plans cover 70%. Gold plans cover 80% and platinum plans, typically with the highest premiums, cover 90% of out of pocket costs.
Read the rest of the story HERE.

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