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Health Care Reform:

Health Insurance & Affordable Care Act

Back to ACA Health Insurance Terms List

Bronze plan

In a state Marketplace, there may be up to five levels of health coverage. Each plan design is named after a type of metal -- except for catastrophic coverage. So you may hear these called the metal plans. Each plan design must cover all the essential health benefits.

A bronze-level plan has the least coverage of the four metal plan levels in a Marketplace. A company selling health insurance in the Marketplace doesn’t have to offer a bronze-level plan, so your state Marketplace may not have one.

A health plan in the bronze level may be a good choice for you if you don’t expect to have many doctor appointments or need many prescription drugs. On average, a bronze plan will pay 60% of average overall health care costs and you will pay about 40%. 

Bronze plans have:

  • The smallest amount of benefits. This means a health plan won’t pay as much toward health services as a silver, gold, or platinum plan.
  • Lowest premium. You pay less each month for a bronze plan than you would for a silver, gold, or platinum plan.
  • Higher out-of-pocket costs. With a bronze plan, you generally pay more each time you get a health service, such as seeing a doctor or filling a prescription, than you would with a silver, gold, or platinum plan.


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