The ACA Marketplace might be your best option for getting affordable health care coverage if you do not qualify for government plans. The Marketplace has a variety of low cost health insurance plans, thanks to the ACA tax subsidies which help to lower monthly premiums.
With subsidies, the federal government pays the insurance provider directly, and policyholders pay the difference. For example, a plan’s premium may cost $450 each month, but the policyholder would only pay $125 if they qualify for a $325 tax credit.
The Health Insurance Marketplace considers the state, number of household members, and household income to determine who qualifies for the subsidy. In most areas, individuals can qualify for some amount if they make less than $51,520 annually.
However, this amount may be higher in more expensive states. For example, the maximum income in Alaska is $64,360.
The total amount of the tax subsidy depends on the following factors:
- Household income
- Family size
Marketplace plans are categorized into four categories that refer to the following cost-share percentages:
- Bronze – The insurance company pays about 60% of health care costs. Bronze plans have the lowest premiums, but the highest deductibles and out-of-pocket costs.
- Silver – The insurance company pays about 70% of health care costs. These plans have higher premiums, but lower deductibles than Bronze plans. Individuals can also get more savings with Silver plans, including cost-sharing reductions.
- Gold – The insurance company pays about 80% of health care costs. Gold plans have higher premiums and lower out-of-pocket costs than Silver plans.
- Premium – The insurance company pays about 90% of health care costs. These plans have the highest premiums and lowest deductibles.
Policyholders can get discounts on premiums no matter which category plan they choose. Individuals should consider how often they seek medical services to get the best value. Those who see doctors frequently, for example, may save money by purchasing a high premium plan.
In some states, residents can get cheap health insurance through their local governments. Connecticut state residents, for instance, can sign up for insurance through the Access Health CT website.
The following states have separate health insurance marketplaces:
- District of Columbia
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- Rhode Island
While Marketplace insurance plans have discounted premiums, the cheapest health care option is usually employer-sponsored insurance plans. Many employers are required by law to provide health coverage, but others may choose to offer insurance plans as a hiring incentive.
Comprehensive low cost health insurance can be as valuable as the salary. Since insurance and medical costs are high, businesses use health insurance as part of workers’ benefits packages. Discover how to get cheap coverage through employment opportunities next.