Catastrophic insurance is meant to be a sort of safety net that covers you when something like a major accident or serious illness comes up.
It only covers three regular doctor visits a year and certain preventive care. So your monthly charge, or premium, might be lower for catastrophic insurance, but you will likely have to pay higher costs out of your own pocket before full coverage kicks in for things like essential benefits.
In the marketplace, catastrophic plans are only available to people under 30 years old and certain people who don’t earn much. And if you buy one of these plans, you won’t be eligible for any financial assistance to help pay for it.
UPDATE: The Obama Administration also announced in December that you might qualify to buy catastrophic insurance in 2014 if your old policy was cancelled for not meeting the new ACA standards.
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