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Metal Levels

Most medical plans available through MNsure are categorized as one of four metal levels: bronze, silver, gold or platinum. (Catastrophic plans are also available to some people.) 

Metal levels are based on how you and your plan split the costs of your health care.

General Differences in the Metal Levels

  • Gold or platinum plans: these plans generally have higher monthly premiums but pay more of your costs when you need care.
  • Silver or bronze plans: these plans cost you less per month, but pay less of your costs when you need care.
  • Catastrophic plans: these plans have high deductibles and cost you less per month than a bronze plan, but pay the least when you need care. You must be under 30 years old or have a hardship exemption to purchase a catastrophic plan.

Use Metal Levels to Pick the Right Plan

When you shop and compare plans on the MNsure marketplace, start by selecting the metal levels you think will fit your needs. Here are some things to consider:

  • You expect a lot of doctor visits or you need to fill prescriptions regularly.
  • You do not expect many doctor visits or the need for regular prescriptions.
  • You qualify for financial assistance on out-of-pocket costs. (Keep in mind that there is an annual limit on out-of-pocket costs.)
  • You are under 30 years old or have a hardship exemption and want a very low monthly premium.

If you purchase a silver plan you may pay less in out-of-pocket expenses. For example, between the premium cost and your out-of-pocket expenses you can end up with a higher benefit level than if you selected a gold or platinum metal plan. You must meet certain criteria to be eligible for cost-sharing reductions and not all individuals will be eligible.

The table below shows the basic difference in approximate costs you pay compared to costs your plan pays and how this difference changes by metal level.

Approximate Costs Bronze Plan Silver Plan Gold Plan Platinum Plan
Monthly Premium $ $$ $$$ $$$$
Cost You Pay $$$$ $$$ $$ $
Cost Plan Pays 60% 70% 80% 90%
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