QUESTION

I’m seeing some gold plans with cheaper premiums than silver plans. Aren’t gold plans supposed to be more expensive?

Individuals with no coverage | Comparing Plans: Benefits and Costs
ANSWER

Not necessarily. In some cases, silver plan premiums on the ACA marketplace may be more expensive than gold plans. This is because in most states, insurers have been required or encouraged to increase premiums for silver-level plans offered on the marketplace in order to recoup federal cost-sharing reduction subsidies canceled by the Trump administration in 2017. If you are not eligible for premium tax credits, depending on your state, you may find that silver-level plans are less expensive outside of the marketplace.

However, premium prices are one factor to consider when choosing a health plan. You’ll also want to factor in the out-of-pocket costs required under each health plan. Also, if you qualify for a cost-sharing reduction plan, you must purchase a silver-level plan to receive those benefits. Your federal premium tax credits can help you defray the cost of the plan premium (42 U.S.C. § 18071; 45 C.F.R. §155.305(g).

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