When you apply for health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace, you’ll find out if you qualify for savings. You may be eligible for a “premium tax credit” to lower the cost of your monthly premium. You also may be eligible for “cost-sharing reductions” — discounts that lower what you’ll pay out of your own pocket for medical care.
Important: You can use a premium tax credit for a Marketplace health plan in any “category”. However, if you qualify for cost-sharing reductions, you’ll only get these extra savings if you enroll in a Marketplace health plan in the Silver category.
Why choose Silver?
If you qualify for cost-sharing reductions, a Silver plan may be the best overall value. Even if your monthly premium is higher than some other plan options, additional benefits could save you more down the road, like:
- You’ll have a lower deductible with a Silver plan. This means the insurance company starts paying its share sooner. As an example, a Silver plan may start paying after you spend $300 on medical services yourself, compared to $750 if you enrolled in a plan in a different category.
- You’ll have lower copayments or coinsurance — like $15 per doctor’s visit instead of $30 you might pay with another plan type.
- Your total costs out of pocket might be lower too, if you need a lot of care in a year.
So with a Silver plan, your “total cost of care” — when you add up your premium, your deductible, and other out-of-pocket costs — may be significantly lower. This means you’ll save a lot of money overall.