The Main Differences Between Bronze & Silver Health Plans

Health insurance can be puzzling. Ask anyone who’s had to select a plan under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and they’ll tell you the same thing – prepare for the confusion. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be that way. We’ve detailed the exact differences between two of the common plan tiers – Bronze and Silver.


The Basics

Before we dive too deep into the specifics of the ACA, let’s cover the basics. There are four different tiers of health insurance plans under Obamacare. The four tiers are:

  • Bronze
  • Silver
  • Gold
  • Platinum

The tiers vary in cost, with Bronze plans being the cheapest and Platinum being the most expensive. The amount of coverage also flows in the same manner. You pay less out of pocket with a Platinum plan, but your monthly payments are higher than the other tiers.


Bronze Plans Vs. Silver Plans

Each tier of plans under Obamacare is required to pick up a certain overall percentage of health care costs. Bronze plans require you to pick up around 40% of your overall healthcare costs, while the insurance company will cover everything else.

With a Silver plan, you’ll pay around 30% of your costs and your provider will pick up the other 70% or so. However, the Silver plans are different. Silver plans come with extra savings on out-of-pocket costs.  If you qualify, you could receive more coverage while paying the same amount.

For example, many Silver plans combine with these subsidies to cover 73%, 87%, or 94% of your total healthcare costs. This means that Silver plans with certain subsidies cover more than Gold or Platinum plans that are more expensive.


How Much You Pay

When you take things like deductibles, copays, and more into account, comparing plans becomes even more interesting. Bronze plans are often the cheapest from a monthly payment perspective. They feature low monthly payments, but high costs out-of-pocket.

Silver plans will have higher monthly costs than Bronze plans, but these payments will be lower than Gold plans. The interesting thing about Silver plans is out-of-pocket costs can be managed quite well if you qualify for a subsidy. Regularly, a Silver plan will still pay less out-of-pocket than Bronze plans, but more than a Gold one.


The Perfect Coverage Tier For You

Finding the perfect plan for your needs can be confusing, but with a little education – you can figure it out. If you’re looking for a little extra help, we’re here for you. offers 24/7 customer service with real people taking your call and helping you weigh your options.

Unless keeping monthly costs as low as possible is a priority, most will benefit more from a Silver plan than a Bronze, especially when the subsidies are added into the equation.