Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com.

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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The lowdown...

  • Bronze plans meet the requirements for qualified health insurance
  • Bronze plans are part of the Obamacare Marketplace and state exchanges
  • Bronze plan group has the lowest premiums and highest deductibles
  • Bronze plans are the favorite entry level plan for young adults

A Bronze healthcare plan is one of four types of health plans sold on the Obamacare Marketplace and state exchanges.

Bronze plans can provide qualified coverage at the lowest monthly premiums available on the exchanges and Marketplace.

With high deductibles, bronze plans are not ideal for those with immediate needs for medical care.

Comparison shopping is an ideal way to review plans on the Obamacare Marketplace and state exchanges. One can compare the advantages of lower costs and more extensive coverage side-by-side. Enter your zip code above to begin.

The Four Types of Obamacare Health Plans

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Obamacare groups health plans by common actuarial value. They do not use other factors that offer a comparison.

The Obamacare metal tiers help the public make a quick understanding of the similarities of plans within the four groups.

  • Bronze plans have an actuarial value of sixty percent or more. Bronze plans are ideal for those that wish to have low premiums and have small demands for medical services.
  • Silver plans have an actuarial value of seventy percent. Silver plans are flexible. They can be High Deductible Health Plans that work with Health Savings Accounts or employer-paid extra benefits.
  • Gold plans have high premiums and cover most of the costs of benefits with insurance payments. They have reachable deductibles after which the insurance company pays the entire costs of the covered benefits.
  • Platinum plans have the best ratio of insurance payments to consumer-paid benefits. Platinium covers ninety percent of the costs and leaves ten percent for the consumer. Platinum plans are ideal for those with heavy or frequent demands for medical care.

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The Types of Managed Care

Insurers offer Bronze plans with the types of managed care they prefer. Insurers can offer Bronze plans through Preferred Provider Organizations, Health Maintenance Organizations, Exclusive Provider Organization, Fixed Fee for Services, and Point of Service networks.

While all types of care will be Bronze plans with the minimum value needed for Obamacare, the results can vary dramatically for consumer costs and freedom of choice.

  • HMO Bronze Plans have a primary care physician that provides care and refers members to other network resources. HMO Bronze plans do not cover outside specialists or doctors.
  • PPO Bronze Plans do not use a primary care physician and members can choose any network resource. They can go outside of the network but will pay more when doing so. The PPO uses low prices to encourage members to use network resources.
  • EPO Bronze Plans do not pay for any outside resources. Members have low prices, low copays, and low levels for coinsurance when using network resources.
  • FFFS Bronze Plans provide the maximum choice for consumers. They can use any resource in the network. Most FFFS networks do not cover outside resources.
  • POS Bronze plans use a primary care physician to allocate resources among the members. The primary care physician can make referrals to network and outside resources. When referred to outside resources, the member gets insurance coverage.

The Individual Mandate

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The individual mandate requires insurance coverage or payment of a tax penalty for no insurance. Bronze plans meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act for qualified health insurance, and they avoid the penalty.

Bronze plans are not for every consumer and comparison shopping can help determine which plans add the best value for the individual or family situation.

Customers can purchase Obamacare bronze plans during open enrollment. The scheduled open enrollment for 2017 ran from November 1, 2016, to January 31, 2017.

During open enrollment, consumers can review the entire set of offers for their locations and select the bronze plan that meets their needs and fits within their budgets.

The Marketplace and state exchanges can provide cost sharing reduction assistance and premium tax credits to reduce monthly outlays and help with out-of-pocket expenses.

Bronze Plan Networks Are Important

Bronze plans rely upon networks to hold down costs and provide a high level of service to the plan members. When comparison shopping among bronze plans, consumers should pay attention to the network that the plan uses.

They can review the lists of hospitals, doctors, and specialists to determine if the network meets their needs.

The rule is that no one can buy a policy after the close of the open enrollment period. This is true except for life events that open a new special enrollment period.

Special enrollment period is a sixty-day window in which consumers can purchase a bronze plan or other type of Obamacare qualified health insurance. Qualifying occurrences called life events include the below-listed items.

  • Childbirth
  • Divorce
  • Marriage
  • Adoption of a child
  • Moving to new location
  • Loss of coverage on the 26th birthday

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Bronze is a Great Starter

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Bronze plans may be entry level plans that attract healthy young individuals and families with low premiums. They can get tax credits to lower the monthly expense further.

They bring the no-cost prevention benefits added by the Affordable Care Act including valuable screenings, tests, lab work, and early detection of diseases.

Bronze plans are ideal for those that do not expect to use a lot of medical services beyond the annual physical and prevention benefits.

They would avoid the penalty and get the benefits of tax deductions for health expenses that qualify under the IRS rules for medical expenses.

Comparison shopping is a proven method for finding the best fit for insurance plans. The range of options can affect costs and the reaching the out-of-pocket limits. Enter your zip code below to start shopping.