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Top 10 Health Insurance Companies

author
Laura McCarthy
Last Updated:
  • 200
    Hours of Research
  • 33+
    Sources Used
  • 14
    Companies Vetted
  • 8
    Features Reviewed
  • 10
    Top Picks

Everyone will need medical care at some point. A great health insurance plan provides you with essential routine care as well as protection from unexpected emergency costs. We've paid mind to the network, cost, coverage, and more in our ranking.

Providers

1.

Aetna

  • Best for:

    Large selection of supplementals

    Aetna

  • Best for convenience

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    Visit Site
    • A network of 1 Million Healthcare Providers

    • Diverse Medicare Advantage

    • Attain App Monitoring

    Aetna Inc, a subsidiary of CVS Health, provides a wide variety of health insurance plans in the United States. They specialize in employer-based plans as well as benefits programs and Medicare.

    On the site, customers can browse for a plan or find a doctor, dentist or vision provider. Policyholders also have access to a mobile insurance application where you can view your personal health records, manage your benefits, and more. In addition, you have the ability to speak with a nurse any time any day.

    Aetna offers consumers a wide range of individual, family, Medicare and employer health insurance products. In addition, you may choose to participate in an HSA or health savings plan where you can save money, tax-free, to apply towards your insurance deductible and other health-related expenses. There are so many insurance options with Aetna that you will have to visit the website to explore them all in-depth.

    Pros

    • Large selection of health care providers to choose from

    • Excellent financial strength and customer service ratings

    • Many supplemental plans available

    Cons

    • Aetna does not offer as many short-term insurance options as some other carriers.

    Aetna

    2.

    Blue Cross Blue Shield

  • Best for:

    Discounts on meal subscriptions and fitness programs

    Blue Cross Blue Shield

  • Best for convenience

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    • Side By Side Analysis of Various Plans

    • Covers Generic and Brand Name Drugs

    • Discounts on meal subscriptions and fitness programs

    The Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) Association offers private health insurance coverage not only in the United States but in over 170 countries. Over 100 million Americans have their health insurance through a BCBS organization. The BCBS Association consists of 36 separate insurance companies.

    Blue Cross Blue Shield offers many beneficial member services for its clients. On the site, you fire away any questions, explore the cost of a medical procedure, review your specific plan, make changes to your coverage, file a claim, check the status of a claim, review your balance, get a replacement member ID card, and access all your benefits and services.

    A benefit to choosing Blue Cross Blue Shield is that the majority of healthcare providers and doctors will accept the insurance, making it simple to find a convenient place that you can get treatment. You can also choose confidently based on the association's financial strength and decades of proven experience.

    The size of the company, however, can also be a drawback since it is broken into regional companies that can function separately. That can make it difficult to find specific information on the BCBS website. Customers must instead identify their regional company to seek out specific information. The size of the company can also create issues getting proper customer service, as it can be difficult to track down help when needed.

    Pros

    • Coverage in all 50 states and outside the country

    • Covers both generic and brand-name drugs

    • Wide network of doctors, hospitals and specialists

    Cons

    • Plans offered through regional companies, meaning you must look to your regional company for specific policies

    • Main customer service helpline may be difficult to reach

    Blue Cross Blue Shield

    3.

    UnitedHealthcare

  • Best for:

    Tech Savy Mobile Users

    UnitedHealthcare

  • Best for convenience

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    • Speak with a doctor on mobile

    • Supplemental hospital plans

    • Short term plans to fit any lifestyle & budget

    UnitedHealthcare is a part of UnitedHealth Group, which is the largest health insurer in the U.S.8 Standout features of UHC include access to immediate online care. This includes the ability to order prescriptions online, speak with a nurse via a hotline, and participate in online wellness programs. Members can also log on 24/7 to find doctors, schedule appointments, file claims, and even speak with a doctor through a mobile device. There's also a handy mobile app that ensures you have access to all of these benefits even while you're on the go.

    UHC is a great choice for people who want the option to manage their health care electronically. HMO and PPO plans are available with access to HSAs and FSAs. Member discounts are available for hearing aids, vision services (including Lasik), and smoking cessation programs. UHC has a very large preferred provider network of over 1.3 million physicians and other health care professionals. UHC also offers Medicare Advantage HMO and PPO plans.

    Pros

    • Large network

    • Great online services

    • Marketplace plans for individuals and families that do not qualify for Medicaid or Medicare

    Cons

    • Average customer satisfaction ratings

    • Plans can be expensive

    UnitedHealthcare

    4.

    Anthem

  • Best for:

    Affordable Plans

    Anthem

  • Best for convenience

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    Visit Site
    • Live chat feature

    • Employer group plans

    • Open enrollment for medicare

    Although it is a relatively young company as far as insurance companies go, Anthem brings plenty to the table with a broad range of plans and products.

    The majority of Anthem's individual and group health insurance plans are reasonable as far as plan prices and premiums go. This puts insurance within the reach of even limited budgets, a feature that is a must-have for many people in this day and age where healthcare costs put you out a pretty penny.

    Anthem policyholders also benefit from a range of discounts on products and services. Members can save money on pet health insurance, groceries, beauty and skincare, medical weight loss programs and much more. These discounts can help make a significant improvement in their health and wellness journeys.

    If you're looking for a comprehensive plan for your family, you may find better, more competitively priced family insurance plans from other providers. Despite its versatility and the wide number of plans offered, Anthem simply falls short when it comes to family plans.

    Customers typically complain about the company's customer service failing to recognize them in the system, losing IDs, balking at paying claims and other common customer support issues.

    Pros

    • Large PPO network

    • Online services

    • Member benefits

    Cons

    • Below average customer service

    • Claims process

    Anthem

    5.

    Cigna

  • Best for:

    Cigna

  • Best for convenience

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    • $0 Preventative Care

    • Home Delivery Pharmacy

    • Inexpensive individual insurance

    Cigna is regarded as a strong healthcare provider in areas where the company is active, as they offer average-priced premiums and a broad range of benefits and services. However, as with many health insurance providers, experiences can differ regionally and locally.

    You can begin the quote process at Cigna's main website. There, you'll get a clear overview of their services and products as well as links to regional and state-specific providers. The quotation and claims processes are generally above average in terms of clarity.

    Cigna plans are widely accepted at hospitals and doctor's offices across their coverage regions and states. Coverage options range from Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) to Health Maintenance Organization (HMO). PPO plans generally offer coverage for out-of-network providers, while HMO plans only offer out-of-network coverage in emergency situations. For dental and vision insurance, the Cigna plans include access to a network of approved dentists across its serviced regions.

    Cigna performs well when compared to competitors, as average premiums, clear and intuitive websites and telehealth benefits are strong. However, the lack of nationwide coverage will be a roadblock for some. In states where Cigna does operate, we see a high level of customer satisfaction.

    Pros

    • Cigna ranks as one of the largest and oldest insurance institutions in the country.

    • Cigna offers individual health insurance and group health insurance.

    • Strong financial history

    Cons

    • Cigna only provides full coverage in 12 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.

    Cigna

    6.

    Oscar

  • Best for:

    Oscar

  • Best for convenience

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    Visit Site
    • Virtual Primary Care

    • Small Business & Medicare Advantage plans

    • Concierge team of experts

    Oscar Health, a private health insurance company, is a new player in the health insurance scene that's making quite an impact. The Startup was founded in 2012 and has a current valuation of $2.7 billion, largely due to its ability to leverage technology to make healthcare insurance affordable.

    The Oscar Center was opened in November 2016 in a partnership with Mount Sinai Health System offering members access to a primary care practice as well as free classes in yoga and healthcare classes for expectant mothers. There is a 24/7 doctor on call service as a part of membership available in a downloadable application for Android, iOS or the Oscar web app. With the Oscar app, patients can simply tap it to request a callback from the doctor within minutes with the "Doctor on Call" feature. The doctor-on-call app can also send prescriptions to your pharmacy.

    No referrals are required to see the doctor of your choice—including specialists. The model is based on simplicity with an emphasis on technology and the overall customer experience.

    Customer care is handled by a "Concierge Team"; three care guides and a registered nurse that provide clinical healthcare and answer customer questions. There is direct appointment scheduling with preferred provider partners. Oscar healthcare preferred providers are able to access patient information through a clinical dashboard compiling patient histories into a single platform.

    Oscar Health has a unique perspective in that it not only wants to find affordable health insurance for its policy holders but it also wants to engage its customers offering incentives for being active (step tracking by a free wearable), cash incentives for getting a flu shot, two free primary care visits as well as offering free generic drugs. Paying a higher premium gives you a lower deductible but you have options, depending on your budget and healthcare situation. While Oscar Insurance will take some time as a new insurer to build its reputation, its certainly an option to consider.

    Pros

    • Member benefits (Oscar app and Doctor On-Call)

    • Customer service through its "Concierge" team

    • Hospital and provider networks

    Cons

    • Limited availability

    • Can be expensive

    • No dental or vision insurance

    Oscar

    7.

    Kaiser Permanente

  • Best for:

    Kaiser Permanente

  • Best for convenience

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    • Industry-leading preventative care

    • Mental Health Services

    • High-Level Maternity Care

    Kaiser Permanente is not just a health insurance company, but rather a managed care organization where consumers can purchase a health insurance policy and receive medical care from one of the Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and medical centers. They currently offer medical services and health insurance in nine states; Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Virginia, Maryland, California, Oregon, Washington, Ohio and the District of Columbia.

    With Kaiser, you can purchase a health insurance policy where you use Kaiser's healthcare provider network. The health plans available include classic plans, essential plans, HSA plans and advantage plans.

    All health insurance plans with Kaiser have the option to add a Health Savings Plan (HSA) option. This is a savings account where you can save money to apply toward your deductible expense or other health-related expenses. If you spend the money for health-related expenses, it is tax-free. The HSA-qualified plans have an individual deductible of $5,000 and a family deductible of $10,000.

    On the Kaiser Permanente website, customers can find resources to manage their healthcare. You can search doctors and locations to find a doctor in your area who is right for you along with listings of physicians' education, credential and specialties. There is a 24/7 Away From Home Travel Line, 951.268.3900 or through the care while traveling website where you can check on vaccinations or getting a prescription filled before you travel. You can also access online wellness tools including tips on healthy living, drug encyclopedia, health guides and links to programs and classes.

    Pros

    • High Customer Satisfaction Ratings in customer service and claims handling

    • The doctor's office, lab and pharmacy is all under one roof

    • You are able to receive a quote for a health insurance policy and apply online.

    Cons

    • Policy holders are limited to choosing Kaiser Physicians and treatment centers unless there is an emergency and you are not close to a Kaiser facility.

    • Coverage is only available in 9 states and the District of Columbia

    Kaiser Permanente

    8.

    HCSC

  • Best for:

    HCSC

  • Best for convenience

    8
    Visit Site
    • Customer-owned

    • Charitable Investments & Community Partners

    • Easily compare across plans

    The Health Care Service Corporation offers the benefits of a worldwide company while operating as a "local" business. They pride themselves on being customer-owned, and as long as you live in one of the five states in which their plans are available, HCSC is an excellent choice. Browsing for a plan online is simple, customer service, when available, is strong, and there are plenty of healthy living program benefits to take advantage of.

    HCSC makes shopping for insurance during the enrollment period relatively easy. There is a site for every individual state serviced, and its easy to navigate the application process. Blue Directions is a tool offered that potential customers can use 24/7 to ask someone for assistance in choosing the right plan.

    Healthy living programs include: a health assessment tool, smoking support, weight-loss programs, maternity programs, fitness programs, and a 24/7 nurse hotline. Mobile alerts are also available to members through text or by email including claims information notification, exercise and fitness tips, prescription drug reminder, diabetes diet tips, and heart healthy diet management and care tips.

    Pros

    • Customer owned

    • Three mobile apps

    • Healthy living programs

    Cons

    • Only available in 5 states

    • No 24/7 Customer Support

    HCSC

    9.

    Molina Healthcare

  • Best for:

    Molina Healthcare

  • Best for convenience

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    Visit Site
    • Medicaid & Medicare Benefits

    • Extensive Preventative Healthcare

    • Wellness & Mental Health Care

    Molina Healthcare is a strong option for residents of 15 U.S. states: California, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin. Within the states where it operates, Molina's preferred provider network encompasses around a million participating physicians and institutions.

    Molina offers premiums below average and a comprehensive range of services and benefits. However, as with all health insurance providers, customer service complaints differ regionally and locally.

    Most customers will begin the quotation process at Molina's central website, which gives a clear overview of its services and products, and links potential customers to their regional and state-specific providers. The quotation and claims processes stand was comparable to its peers in terms of clarity and straightforward language.

    Molina performs well in the states in which it is available and is a popular choice, especially for lower-income families and individual customers. It may have moved away slightly from the altruistic goals of its founder, but it remains a good-value provider with lower than average quotes. The lack of complete nationwide coverage could be a drawback for some people, but it has a good selection of plans at reasonable rates.

    Pros

    • Strong flexible plans

    • Affordable coverage for underserved communities, like Medicaid and Medicare recipients.

    • Popular mobile app makes it easy to stay on top of your account.

    Cons

    • Only offers plans in California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin.

    Molina Healthcare

    10.

    Harvard Pilgrim Health Care

  • Best for:

    Harvard Pilgrim Health Care

  • Best for convenience

    10
    Visit Site
    • Behavioral healthcare services

    • Awarded nearly $2.9 million in grants to 990 nonprofit organizations in the region

    • More than 80,000 doctors within the network

    Harvard Pilgrim Health Care is a nonprofit that also provides many services to the community, including the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation, which offers services for low-income families in the area.

    Harvard Pilgrim Heath Care health insurance individual and family plans are available in Massachusetts, Maine, and New Hampshire. While they have other services in Connecticut, Harvard Pilgraim Health Car individual plans are not currently offered there. Medicare plans are only offered in Connecticut. Most plans are HMO-POS, but through a partnership, they also offer PPO plans in some areas.

    For the purpose of this review, we selected the plans available in the state of Massachusetts, where Harvard Pilgrim has its headquarters. All of the five plans we found listed for the state are HMO plans. Harvard Pilgrim partners with United Health Group to provide PPO plans, but our search returned no such options in this state. There were, in fact, fewer plans to choose from than we expected from such a large insurance company.

    As an HMO, Harvard Pilgrim processes claims directly between their connected provider and the insurance branch. This usually means faster and easier claims processing.

    They only payout of network claims in an emergency situation, and this may take longer to process. Claims handling is one of the few areas where the company performs poorly.

    Harvard Pilgrim is connected with a prestigious medical school and offers low deductible plans, although those plans are relatively expensive in terms of monthly premiums. They have a very good reputation and rank well in most areas, making them well worth adding to the comparison shopping list for those looking for an HMO plan.

    Pros

    • Offers low deductible plans

    • Strong prevention services

    Cons

    • Expensive monthly premiums

    • Claims handling

    Harvard Pilgrim Health Care

    Compare Best Services 1. AetnaAetna Large selection of supplementals View Plans 2. Blue Cross Blue ShieldBlue Cross Blue Shield Discounts on meal subscriptions and fitness programs View Plans 3. UnitedHealthcareUnitedHealthcare Tech Savy Mobile Users View Plans 4. AnthemAnthem Affordable Plans View Plans 5. CignaCigna View Plans 6. OscarOscar View Plans 7. Kaiser PermanenteKaiser Permanente View Plans 8. HCSCHCSC View Plans 9. Molina HealthcareMolina Healthcare View Plans 10. Harvard Pilgrim Health CareHarvard Pilgrim Health Care View Plans
    Reviews 9 reviews 9 reviews 9 reviews 9 reviews 9 reviews 8 reviews 8 reviews 8 reviews 7 reviews 7 reviews
    Online Quote Process Easy Easy Easy Easy Medium Difficulty Medium Difficulty Difficult Difficult Difficult Difficult
    Customer Support Above Average Above Average Above Average Average Average Average Below Average Below Average Below Average Below Average

    Here's How We Rated the Best Insurance Companies

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    We designed a rubric to objectively evaluate each provider, and our team does extensive research in order to give scores for each metric, like affordability, customer service, average policy value, coverage quality, and more. We analyze thousands of reviews across dozens of sites, along with signing up ourselves so we can compare first hand experiences.

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