Which are the best health insurance companies in the United States? It’s hard to know how to even begin sorting through your multiple options when your employer offers a choice of health plans or you need to select a private or Medicare health insurance policy..
We’ve done some of the legwork for you by examining which of the more than 900 companies that sell health insurance in the U.S. are ranked highest by objective criteria for such factors as prevention, treatment, and customer satisfaction. We selected six recommended insurance companies that have a wide range of widely available products, along with a few highly-rated regional companies.
Best Health Insurance Companies
- Aetna: Best for Medicare Advantage
- Blue Cross/Blue Shield: Best for Nationwide Coverage
- Cigna Health Insurance: Best for Global Coverage
- Humana: Best for 360 Degree (Wrap-around) Coverage
- Kaiser Foundation Health Plans: Best for HMOs
- United Healthcare Services Inc.: Best for the Tech Forward
How We Chose the Best Health Insurance Companies
Direct Written Premiums: $156.9 billion
Market Share: 14.2%
A diversified health and well-being company, UnitedHealth Group’s core capabilities are clinical expertise, advanced technology, and data and health information.
UnitedHealth Group serves clients and consumers in the US and more than 130 other countries through two distinct platforms: UnitedHealthcare provides healthcare coverage and benefits services, while Optum provides information and technology-enabled health services. The group invests more than $3.5 billion in technology and innovation and processes approximately 1.1 trillion transactions annually.
2. Kaiser Foundation
Direct Written Premiums: $93.2 billion
Market Share: 8.5%
Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. operates as a non-profit healthcare organization. The organization offers allergy, audiology, cardiology, dermatology, oncology, hospice, laboratory, nephrology, occupational therapy, pain management, pediatric rehabilitation, and pharmacy services. The company serves patients in the US.
Best for Medicare Advantage – Aetna
An impressive 43 Aetna Medicare Advantage plans sold in 37 states, plus the District of Columbia, received top NCQA ratings, with Connecticut and Maine being standouts. For 2020, Aetna Medicare Advantage is available in 264 new counties across the country, providing millions more Medicare beneficiaries access to an Aetna plan. The insurer also sells Medicare Supplemental and Prescription Drug Plans in 48 states and D.C. as well as a combination dental, vision, and hearing product supplemental Medicare insurance in most states.
In the private arena, Aetna is a large provider of employer-based health insurance, and four Aetna plans serving four states made the top NCQA ranks. The company no longer sells individual insurance on healthcare.gov. Aetna plans in Utah and Pennsylvania were top scorers in NCQA, and Aetna was rated a J.D. Power regional “best for consumer satisfaction” in Delaware, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia, and D.C. In addition, Aetna’s pricing seems to be at a lower level than many competitors.
Best for Health Insurance nationwide Coverage – Blue Cross/Blue Shield
One out of three Americans has health coverage from Blue Cross/Blue Shield. The names on various state plans include Anthem, Independence, Hawaii Medical Service, Highmark, and Wellmark, but all of the 36 independent and locally operated Blue Cross Blue Shield companies open doors in all 50 states. Nationwide, more than 96% of hospitals and 95% of doctors and specialists contract with Blue Cross Blue Shield companies—more than any other insurer.
Thirty-one Blue Cross Blue Shield companies were highly rated by NAQA and 14 received good financial ratings, although quite a few were not rated in this area. Ten Anthem Plans—including some with lower overall ratings—scored impressively in the customer satisfaction area. Eleven of the Blue Cross/Blue Shield Medicare Advantage Plans were highly rated. The Blues offer employer insurance, individual policies on healthcare.gov, and a variety of Medicare plans (Medigap, Prescription Drugs Part D, and Medicare Advantage).