For a long time, it was famously difficult to compare health insurance plans to find the right one. There are two main reasons:
- It’s hard to predict your health needs in the upcoming year
- There are many components that can change from plan to plan, which makes apples-to-apples comparisons impossible
The first reason is mostly unavoidable – the difficulty of predicting risk is why we have insurance.
The second issue can be improved, and it’s being tackled with new standardized plan requirements.
What is it?
The government has created a “Standard Plan” at each metal level (bronze, silver, gold, and platinum). If an insurance company offers any Bronze plan in your area, they are also required to offer the “Standard” Bronze plan.
What parts of the plan are standard?
Copays, coinsurance, and deductibles are the same for all Standard Plans for a given metal level. For example, all Standard Gold plans have a $30 copay to see your primary care provider, and all Standard Bronze plans have a deductible of $9,100.
What parts of the plan can change?
The monthly premium will be different from insurer to insurer– but that's about it. You'll be able to more easily compare all standard plans across insurers and choose the most affordable one.