How soon before people realize that “Marketplace Silver” is better than a “Company Bronze” health insurance policy?

I was talking with an associate about that recently.

In the new Health Care Marketplace (http://www.healthcare.gov), policies offered are geared toward Silver level coverage (70-30 actuarial coverage).   However, company policies are only required to provide Bronze level (60-40).

If your employer offers Bronze, you MUST take it if your contribution to it is less than 9.5% of your gross wage.   If you don’t get offered coverage, you can go into the Marketplace/Exchange and grab a SILVER policy, and, if you are less than 250% FPL, an enchanced Silver policy (73-27 or, in some cases, 94-6) coverage—believe it or not.   For the same price as Silver.

Although people today talk as if they are the favored company serf with their employer-provided policy (“My EMPLOYER gives me my insurance!”), the fact is, that for a large number of Americans, they’re going to figure out that they’d get more coverage for whatever money their employer is withholding from their wages for coverage, if they went to the Marketplace/Exchange.

[Update: I’m not the only one thinking along these lines, either.]

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2 comments

  1. Beau · September 24, 2013

    Yes, but you will need to compute the cost of going to the marketplace with after tax dollars combined with possible premium assistance to make an accurate cost comparison. And also weigh the likelyhood of medical needs in the coming year to gauge the out of pocket annual cost.

    In many cases, the bronze company policy can be the right choice. But until premium costs are arrived at for every state, not everyone can say what is the best way to go – company or exchange.

    • hoofin · September 24, 2013

      OK, this is the nature of insurance. If you don’t use it, that’s actually the cheapest outcome. If you don’t use Bronze, you’re better off, on dollars out, than if you don’t use Silver. What my point is, is that Silver offered in the Marketplace is going to beat Bronze “given” by the employer. Not as an absolute, as a generality. When people figure this out, they are going to want the Marketplace.

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