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How to: Shop Smart on Healthcare.gov

When it comes to important things like your health care, one of the best things you can do is be a "smart shopper." And that means knowing as much as you can — so you can make an informed decision and choose an insurance plan that meets your needs.

There’s Helpful Information in Every Plan Name:

  • Insurer & Metal Level — Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum
  • Metal Level Plan Number
  • Network Choice — E (Essential), S (Select) or P (Preferred)

  • Shop Smart

    Shop Smart


    Check the Name

    Your search for a health insurance plan at Healthcare.gov will turn up pages of results, and each result will have a unique plan name. It's crucial to know what the name means, because there is information in it that can help you make your selection.


    The plan name will include the insurance provider, but also the "metal level" and network name, so you know the level of coverage provided for the price — as well as the provider network available.


    Understanding Blue Networks

    Price is Just The Start

    You shouldn't choose a plan based on price alone. Balancing your health insurance needs and your budget is possible — if you shop smart.


    For example, consider whether you'd rather pay a higher monthly premium and lower co-pays at your doctor, or a lower monthly premium and higher co-pays. Another question to think about is whether the network of providers has the doctors and hospitals you want.


    Choosing a Plan

    Find Your Doctor

    Once you've identified a plan (or plans) that meet your needs and budget, make sure your doctors and preferred hospitals (and other providers) are in the network you like.


    Not all doctors and hospitals participate in all networks, so it's very important to use our provider search tool to confirm your doctor or hospital is in network. We’ll show you how to use our provider search tool and find out whether your doctor or hospital is in the network for the plan you want.


    Provider Directory

    Contact a Broker

    Find a Marketplace Certified Broker in your area.

    Download Broker List

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