Health insurance metals help people understand the amount of cost-sharing that goes on between the plan holder and the insurance company in any given plan. (Need a refresher on how these costs work? Check out our health insurance lingo blog post here!)
Remember that the exact amount of cost-sharing can vary from plan to plan. And at each metal level, you’ll pay a different percentage of total yearly costs of your care, while your insurance company will pays the rest. Total costs include premiums, deductibles, and out-of-pocket costs like co-payments and co-insurance.
As a rule, the less the insurance company pays in cost-sharing, the lower the cost of the plan. So, Bronze plans typically have the lowest monthly premium costs and highest costs when you need care. Monthly premium costs generally increase according to metal levels. Silver, Gold, and Platinum cost more each month in premium payments but will have lowers costs when you need care. While your monthly premium price is often the top consideration when purchasing health insurance, it’s important to consider the deductible and cost-sharing as well, since these two factors can impact the total amount of out-of-pocket healthcare costs you might incur in a plan year. The total cost of care is what really matters.
When choosing a plan, you’ll want to think about how much you (and your dependents) are likely to use your insurance coverage. Consider things like how often you see a doctor, what medications you take, and whether you foresee scheduling any elective surgery during the year to come. If you think you’ll use your healthcare plan frequently or have prescription medications you take regularly, you might want to consider a higher metal level that offers lower deductibles and makes your costs easier to predict (like a Gold or Platinum plan). If you don’t expect needing many healthcare services, a lower-premium/higher cost-share plan might be a better fit.
One thing that’s important to know is that ALL Health Options’ plans in ALL metal categories offer $0 cost-share preventive care, including yearly wellness checks. Many plans also offer an array of low-to-no-cost benefits that help offset many healthcare expenses (like wellness visits, prescription benefits, and vaccines), even for people with chronic conditions. All non-HSA plans offer Amwell® urgent care telehealth visits with $0 cost-sharing. So, whether you choose Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum, you can find a plan that meets your budget and your needs while giving you peace of mind and helping to keep you and your family healthy.
In a recent article we shared upcoming changes in health insurance premiums coming as a result of the merger of the Individual and Small Group health insurance markets in Maine.
This article provides Small Group employers with some additional tips for saving money on healthcare costs, while still providing a very important benefit for employees. As always, we recommend you review these recommendations with your health insurance broker to determine whether these savings tips are right for you and your employees.
Here are five options to consider as your small business looks to manage healthcare costs while offering the best possible benefits to employees: