How Can I Save Money on a Silver ACA Plan? | HealthTN.com

How Can I Save Money on a Silver ACA Plan?

HealthTN Affordable Care Act/Obamacare

It doesn’t take long for many folks researching the Affordable Care Act to decide that the “Silver Plan” is the most financially viable solution for them when it comes to Obamacare.  But as they drill down into the plan, many hope that they can attain additional savings, and that answer is “Yes!” but requires a little work.  At HealthTN.com, we’ve done some digging and have a few hints for you “Silver” folks out there.

After you fill out an application with the Health Insurance Marketplace and provide household and income information, you’ll find out if you qualify for a premium tax credit that lowers your monthly health insurance bill.  Then, you’ll also find out if, in addition, your income qualifies you for “cost-sharing reductions.”  If it does, you can save money a second way: By paying less out of your own pocket each time you get medical services.  This can really reduce your total health care costs for the year.

IMPORTANT – If you qualify for these extra savings on out-of-pocket costs, you get them only if you enroll in the Silver category.  You can use a premium tax credit for a plan in any metal category, but you’ll get cost-sharing reductions only if you pick a Silver plan.

  • While a Silver plan may have a monthly premium that’s higher than a Bronze plan’s, be sure to consider the total cost of your medical care.  Your total costs include not just monthly premiums but the payments you make when you get care.
  • If you have a Silver plan and qualify for out-of-pocket savings, the deductible is thousands of dollars less than a typical Bronze plan’s.  So you may end up spending less on health care overall if you enroll in a Silver plan.

If you qualify for savings on out-of-pocket costs and enroll in Silver plan:

  • You’ll have a lower deductible. This means the insurance plan starts to pay its share of your medical costs sooner.  For example, if a particular Silver plan has a $750 deductible, you have to pay the first $750 of medical care yourself before the insurance company pays anything (other than free preventive services).  But if you qualify for cost-sharing reductions your deductible for a Silver plan could be $300 or $500, depending on your income.
  • You’ll have lower copayments or coinsurance.   These are the payments you make each time you get care – like $30 for a doctor visit.  If a Silver plan’s copayment is $30 for a doctor’s visit, if you enroll in the plan and qualify for cost-sharing reductions you may pay $20 or $15 instead.
  • You’ll have a lower “out-of-pocket maximum.”   This means the total amount you’d have to pay in a year if you used a lot of care, like if you got seriously sick or had an accident, will be lower.  Instead of $5,000, your out-of-pocket maximum for a particular Silver plan, if you qualify for cost-sharing reductions, could be $3,000.

Important: The above are just examples to illustrate how cost-sharing reductions work.  Plans in all categories have a wide range of deductibles, copayments/coinsurance, and out-of-pocket maximums.  You’ll know exactly how much you save on out-of-pocket costs only when you shop for Silver plans in the Marketplace.

Yeah, we know that this sounds harder than Chinese Algebra, but this is what we do – research the ACA to find better ways to help Tennessee residents to figure out what coverage is the right one for them.  Are you ready for some help?  Give us a ring at (615) 541-4257 to find out more and make sure you understand what you need and what you are getting!

At HealthTN.com we have been serving families in Middle, East and West Tennessee for the last 5 years as an extension of Continentalha.com. Our agents are from every corner of the state ready to serve all areas in East, Middle and West Tennessee. Our home office is currently located in Nashville, TN.