ETA: I called the Marketplace directly and they explained everything to me! Which I will now share with you very helpful people.

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So for people who qualify financially, the ACA is set up so that depending on your level of need, they will guarantee that no more than a certain percentage of your medical costs come out of your pocket. If you're a level 4, this is 27%, if you're a level 5 its 13%. If you're a level 6, it's 6%. They will adjust your co-pays, deductibles, out of pocket maximums accordingly.

This however ONLY applies to Silver plans - no other plans are eligible for these savings. This is why I was seeing that I was actually getting cheaper coverage and better coverage at a lower plan. For instance, if you notice below in the screenshot, you can tell my friend is a level 6 because the Silver plan notes that they'll cover 94% of all medical care (more than a Gold or a Platinum). When I went in and did a side by side comparison of the same plan from a provider at Gold versus Silver level, it was really obvious (and the Silver plan does have a "Reduced Costs" notation on it)

So, I am not crazy, and the system is set up so that my friend can have super cheap and good health care! (I'm actually pretty jealous now, they have better insurance than I do through work).

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So I'm covered through work, but as a Christmas present to a friend who has ADD and anxiety I offered to dig through all of the millions of plans of ACA and help them sign up. So far, it's been super easy - the website has been great and easy to use, and the plans are all laid out and you can check them out.

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But where I'm getting confused is that from what I can see, the Silver Plans are actually better deals for the most part than the Gold plans? Am I crazy? It seemed like it when I was browsing, but when the site gave me the actual summary to start purchasing below it seems like a no brainer to pick a Silver plan. Am I missing something important here??

Lower average copay, lower out of pocket maximum, covers 94% instead of 80%, lower premiums?

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If it helps, this is a person that does need to see doctors fairly regularly - low copays are really good, and good coinsurance is important because there are good chances they will need to have things done, and they see even a chiropractor at least a few times a month.

Help me Hivemind!!!!