Understanding the health care Marketplace

The health care Marketplace (also called the Exchange), is where Affordable Care Act (ACA) health care plans are sold. You may also hear names like ObamaCare, BidenCare and Individual and Family Plans. These are all health care plans that people can buy on their own, rather than through an employer or another government-run program, like Medicare or Medicaid.  

What kind of UnitedHealthcare plans are on the health care Marketplace? 

Plans on the health care Marketplace are categorized based on how you and your plan split the cost of your health care. They go by Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum — known as the “metal” categories. For 2022, UnitedHealthcare is offering plan options in the Bronze, Silver and Gold metal levels. Take a look: 

metal categories chart

What do the different metal levels mean?

The metal level your plan aligns to will determine how much you’ll pay for your health care and how much coverage you’ll have – they don’t have anything to do with the quality or type of care you’ll get.  Each of our UnitedHealthcare plans is offered in one or more metal level so you have options of finding the right plan at the right price to fit your needs. 

Once you decide which metal level fits your lifestyle (and budget), you can compare the different benefits that come with each of our UnitedHealthcare plans within that metal level category. Which category below sounds most like you or your family? 

Bronze: You rarely see your doctor and want a low-cost way to help protect yourself from worst-case medical scenarios, like serious illness or injury. Your monthly premium will be low, but you’ll have to pay more when you get care. UnitedHealthcare Essential+, Virtual First and Value+ plans are available in the bronze metal level.

Silver: You typically only see your doctor for your yearly physical. You qualify for extra savings — or, if not, if you’re willing to pay a slightly higher monthly premium than Bronze to get more coverage. UnitedHealthcare Virtual First, Value+ and Advantage+ plans are available in silver metal levels.

Gold: You see your doctor quite a bit during the year and you’re willing to pay more each month to pay less when you get care. UnitedHealthcare Value+, Advantage+ plans are available in gold metal levels.

Platinum plans are also available on the health care Marketplace. They’re great for people who use a lot of care. (Think really high monthly premium, but really low costs when you head to the doctor.)

Who’s a good fit to buy on the health care Marketplace?

Almost anyone can get health coverage with an Individual and Family Marketplace plan. Great news, right? If you fit into one of these buckets, you’re in the right place.

fit into one of these buckets

I’m new to buying my own health insurance

fit into one of these buckets

I don’t get (or don’t want) health insurance through my employer

fit into one of these buckets

I’m self-employed

fit into one of these buckets

I’m not eligible for Medicare or Medicaid

What are all the ways I can save money on my health care Marketplace plan?

Thanks to the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, you might be able to pay much less for your 2022 health insurance costs.

When you go through our shopping and enrollment process, you’ll give an estimate of your income, as well as other household information. Then, we’ll give you a quote that outlines what level of subsidy you may qualify for. The two different types of subsidies are a premium tax credit and cost-sharing reductions (“extra savings”). We’ll help you find out if you qualify for savings when you apply for your UnitedHealthcare Individual and Family Marketplace plan.

Learn More


How do I pick the right plan?

Want to be a savvy shopper? Get tips for comparing coverage and choosing the right plan. 

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How do I enroll?

We’ll walk you through 3 easy steps and get you enrolled in just minutes.

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Common questions

Have more questions? (We don’t blame you.) We’ve got answers to common health care questions.

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