By Jason Bowman
If you are like most people who find choosing a health plan confusing and stressful, rest assured that a little homework can help make the decision process easier.
When it comes to insurance, unfamiliarity can lead to choices that may not suit you best. But the good news is you get a “do-over” annually during open enrollment.
A good place to start is understanding common health insurance-related terms, such as the “metal” levels of bronze, silver, gold and platinum. It kind of sounds like the Olympics, minus all the excitement.
The idea behind these descriptions is to give you, as the prospective insured, an idea of how costs will be shared between you and your insurer. You will receive the same standard health services regardless of the level, but your cost-share will vary depending on which level you select.
Bronze level means 60 percent is the insurance carrier’s share, 40 percent is your share. Silver level is 70 percent/30 percent; gold level, 80 percent/20 percent; and platinum, 90 percent/10 percent.
To keep it simple, a bronze plan, in most cases will have the same exact network of healthcare providers and prescription drug coverage as that of a platinum plan. The noticeable difference among all levels will be the premiums and the cost of services at time of usage. Simply stated, pay less in premiums and you’ll pay more out-of-pocket at the time of service.