Affordable Care Act

Qualified Health Plans

Updated on November 15, 2019


A qualified health plan (QHP) is a major medical health insurance plan that covers all the mandatory benefits of the Affordable Care Act (ACA or “Obamacare”).

A qualified health plan is also eligible to be purchased with an advanced premium tax credit, also know as an Obamacare subsidy.

Mandatory health benefits

What's covered by Qualified Health Plans

A qualified health plan must offer a certain number of mandatory benefits, as explained in the graphic below. Since Obamacare has been in place, most people had to have a qualified plan with minimum essential benefits, or else face a fine. At the end of 2017, the individual mandate was repealed, so in 2019 there will no longer be fines for not having a Obamacare qualified health insurance plan.
Until then, it’s still important to know what a qualified health insurance plan looks like in order to avoid a fine in 2018.

Qualified health plans vs. other health plans

Cost of qualified health plans:

  • Premiums for individual coverage averaged $440 per month while premiums for family plans averaged $1,168 per month. The graphs below demonstrate the rise in both individual and family premiums since the Affordable Care Act’s inception.
  • The average annual deductible for individual plans was $4,578 and the average deductible for family plans was $8,803. The graphs below demonstrate the rise in both family and individual deductibles since the Affordable Care Act’s inception.

Average monthly premiums for individual plans by metal level were:

  • $206 for catastrophic plans
  • $434 for bronze plans
  • $498 for silver plans
  • $597 for gold plans
  • $709 for platinum plans

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