A catastrophic plan is a low-cost health plan. It has a lower premium, so the amount you pay each month for health insurance is less than other types of plans.
The deductible for a catastrophic plan is high -- equal to the maximum annual out‐of‐pocket limits allowed under the Affordable Care Act. In 2014, for one adult, the deductible may be as high as $6,400, and for a family the total is $12,700.
These health plans are required to cover at least three primary care visits per year even if you have not yet met your deductible. When you see your doctor, you also covered for preventive care at no cost to you.
Catastrophic plans cover the essential health benefits that all policies sold through your state Marketplace must include. However, you do have to pay the full deductible before the plan helps pay for any of that care.
A catastrophic plan is not available to everyone. You are eligible if any one of these is true for you:
- You are younger than 30.
- You can't afford another type of health insurance.
- You are getting insurance for a family where each person is younger than 30.
- You can find a catastrophic plan in your state's Marketplace, under individual coverage. You cannot get a tax credit for this kind of plan.