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Health Insurance Glossary

Definitions for common health insurance terms

catastrophic plan

DEFINITION: In addition to the Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze individual health insurance plans that will be available starting in 2014, the ACA allows catastrophic plans for people under age 30, or for those 30 and older who qualify for a hardship exemption (available through the exchanges, based on income) from having to maintain health insurance coverage or pay a penalty.

Catastrophic plans cover preventive care and up to three primary care visits per year before the deductible, but virtually all over covered services are paid out of pocket until the insured meets the out-of-pocket maximum.