‘Copper plans’ to be offered on Obamacare exchanges?

Many are probably familiar with the the four metallic levels of insurance coverage offered on Obamacare’s health insurance exchanges: platinum, gold, silver, and bronze plans.  Bronze plans cover 60% of benefits, meaning consumers will be responsible for higher out-of-pocket expenses such as co-pays, co-insurance, and deductibles.  Meanwhile, platinum plans come with the most expensive premiums but cover 90% of benefits.

And now, there may be copper plans.

Today’s Wall Street Journal explains:

The plans likely would have lower premiums, but purchasers would pay more of their ordinary health costs upfront. Greater coverage would kick in for serious, unforeseen health episodes that would require, for example, a hospital stay.

 Copper plans would cover, on average, 50% of medical costs, and while consumers’ out-of-pocket expenses would still be capped, that limit likely would be higher than the $6,350 maximum for individuals and $12,700 for families currently set by the law.  

These copper plans certainly resemble the exchange’s catastrophic plans. However, unlike the catastrophic plans, subsidies will be available to copper policyholders. At this point in time, government officials and insurers are scrambling to stabilize the future of the health insurance exchanges.

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