Affordable Care Act rates for medical insurance can be compared on the HealthCare.gov website, Investopedia states. Insurance prices and options available to users depend on their ZIP code, information about the members of their household and estimated income, according to HealthCare.gov.
The health insurance premium is the amount paid on a monthly basis, regardless of whether any health care is provided, Investopedia notes. The total cost of any health care provided depends on other features of the plan, including the out-of-pocket maximum, deductible, coinsurance and copayment.
The out-of-pocket maximum is the highest amount an individual pays in a given period, usually one year, and the plan pays any expenses after that amount, Investopedia states. The deductible is the amount the individual pays for a covered service before the plan begins paying for services. Coinsurance is the percentage of the cost of a service that the individual pays, and paying it is necessary after the deductible is met. Copayment is a fixed payment from the individual, which is required by some services.
Coverage is divided into four levels, Investopedia explains. From the highest to the lowest monthly premium, these are platinum, gold, silver and bronze. To offset the low monthly premium, bronze plans require higher copayments and deductibles. Bronze plans are best suited for individuals who do not need to frequently access health services, while the opposite is true for gold and platinum plans.