Employer’s insurance vs marketplace

Hi, I need help deciding whether to use my employer’s health insurance or to get one of my own off of the marketplace. And I need you to explain it to me like I’m 12, because I’m 24 and that’s basically the same.

My small employer (we are all 1099 creatives who work for a creative agency) recently began offering health insurance through US Health Group (it’s a United Healthcare plan underwritten by Freedom Life Insurance). It would definitely be more affordable to go with that plan (around $200 cheaper than my current marketplace plan with United) but the reviews of US Health Group are horrific. I’ve had Ambetter insurance before, and the reviews are honestly worse on this company than Ambetter’s, which is saying a lot. They aren’t ACA compliant, and it’s an indemnity plan (still don’t fully understand what that means), but overall the coverage is fine. The reviews are really scaring me though, because they talk about them not covering things the plan says it will cover, and that most doctors’ offices won’t accept this plan because it’s not actually a United plan. The agent I talked to is also pretty vague about certain aspects of the plan, even when I ask her specific questions.

My question is really whether I should just pay more money on the marketplace to be safer, or if I should go with my cheaper employer’s plan because it will probably end up being fine. I’ve read through all of the documents, so I understand what is actually being covered, it’s really just if this US Health Group will actually cover what they say they will, and if I can actually find doctors who are supposed to be in network that will actually take this insurance. I’m young and healthy, so I’m not worried about large medical bills, really just cost/effectiveness. Also, if I don’t accept this employer plan, will I lose my tax credit on the marketplace even though the plan isn’t ACA compliant (again, my employer is small, so they may not need to offer an ACA compliant plan?)? We (I’m married) are young and broke so money really is a factor.

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Sorry for the novel! Thanks for your help 🙂

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