QUESTION

I think I’ll qualify for a tax credit based on my income, but I see there are bronze plans that are really affordable. Is that the best plan for me?

Individuals with no coverage | Eligibility for Premium Tax Credits and Cost-Sharing Reductions
ANSWER

It depends. If your household income qualifies you for cost-sharing reductions as well as a premium tax credit, you will probably get a better deal with a silver level plan. You can use premium tax credits to buy a plan in any of the four coverage levels (bronze, silver, gold or platinum), but the cost-sharing reductions only apply to plans in the silver level. Depending on your health status and the level of cost-sharing assistance you would get, a very low premium bronze plan may be a better deal for you, but if your health care use turns out to be more than you anticipated, you will likely have a high deductible and higher out-of-pocket costs, with no cost-sharing reductions to help lower those. (26 C.F.R. § 1.36B-2; 45 C.F.R. § 155.305).

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