Catastrophic coverage is the level below bronze. These plans have low premiums but high deductibles. Keep in mind you'll pay all costs until you meet your deductible. After that, your plan will start paying.
Catastrophic plans protect you from the costs of a major illness or injury. They offer limited help with routine medical expenses. They're intended for people under age 30. But people over 30 can get a hardship exemption. Find more on hardship exemptions at HealthCare.gov. Or contact your state's health insurance marketplace to see if you qualify.
Benefits always included
All individual and family health plans will help pay for a long list of services. These covered services are called "essential health benefits," and they include:
- Most same-day services (office visits, outpatient services)
- Emergency services
- Prescription drugs
- Laboratory services
- Hospitalization (including surgery and overnight stays)
- Pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care (both before and after birth)
- Pediatric services (medical and dental care for children)
- Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices (these help people with injuries, disabilities, or chronic conditions gain or recover mental and physical skills)
- Mental health and substance abuse services
- Preventive care and chronic disease management
More about covered services
Before you start shopping, here are a few more points to keep in mind about covered services:
- There's no annual limit on the value of benefits from network providers.
- You may have to pay part of the cost for any service you get.
- Preventive services are covered at 100 percent when you use a network provider.
- There's no cost for vaccines, screening tests, or well-child visits. And many types of birth control are covered at 100 percent.
- Health plans don't cover everything. Each plan will list non-covered services or exclusions. Cosmetic surgery and experimental drugs are common examples. Your policy document will list your plan's exclusions.