Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Healthcare plans now available through the Affordable Care Act are divided into three tiers: bronze, silver and gold.
"It's not just the government (plans)," said Cecila Newman with Cooperative Ministry. "A consumer can go into the website and find a variety of plans that will best suit their needs, best suit their budget."
As a healthcare navigator, Newman has been trained on the in's and out's of the new marketplace at healthcare.gov. The marketplace website requires you to make an account and then reveals plans you're eligible for.
"Once you get your account established, another thing you can see is the variety of plans and be able to make a comparison on cost of plans before making a decision about which plan works best for you and your family," Newman said.
The bronze, silver and gold level plans are all a little different, allowing you to pick the one that most closely meets your needs.
Bronze level plans have the least expensive premiums and offer the least coverage. Gold level plans are the most expensive and offer the most comprehensive care.
"There are three different levels because one persons situation may be different from another persons situation," Newman said.
When you do your research, look at the following:
The Premium or monthly cost of the healthcare plan.
The Deductible or amount of medical bills you'll have to pay before insurance coverage kicks in.
And the percentage of each medical bill your plan will cover after you've paid the full amount of the Deductible.
"Benefits offered through the various plans and cost will determine which one again works best for you," Newman said.