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Best Health Insurance Companies

Many people don't have a choice in health insurance companies - they take the plan offered by their employer. Those who buy health plans on their own often have broader choice. No matter how you buy your health insurance, knowing the best health insurance companies is important. We asked customers of large health insurers to score their companies on five measurements.

Insure.com Survey Results
Overall
Claims Processing
 
Customers
Who
Recommend
 
Customer
Service
Financial
Strength
Ratings

Kaiser Permanente is the only health insurance company in our survey to score five stars ... See More >

Kaiser Permanente is the only health insurance company in our survey to score five stars for customer service. It also has the highest percentage of customers who say they have or would recommend the company to a friend, at 76 percent. Kaiser Permanente also received five stars in value for price. The nonprofit company is based in Oakland, California, and operates in eight states and Washington, D.C. Kaiser Permanente encompasses its health plan, the Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and regional medical groups. It is the No. 7 largest health insurer in the United States, according to SNL Financial.

X
93.4
(141 reviews)
76%
N/A

Humana scored well across the board in our survey, with its best score in value ... See More >

Humana scored well across the board in our survey, with its best score in value for price. HumanaVitality is the company’s wellness and rewards program, where members can earn hotel stays, digital cameras and other perks by getting a flu shot, wearing a fitness device and other actions. In addition, the “Humana at Home” program provides personal care managers who help members navigate the health care system and smooth transitions between the hospital and home. Humana is the No. 5 largest health insurer in the United States, according to SNL Financial.

X
91.3
(141 reviews)
69%
A-

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, also known as Florida Blue, scored its highest ... See More >

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, also known as Florida Blue, scored its highest mark in claims processing, with five stars. Florida Blue, a nonprofit company, serves more than 15 million in 16 states and is headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. It is the oldest and largest health plan in Florida. Florida Blue operates 11 retail centers.

X
90.4
(112 reviews)
67%
N/A

UnitedHealthcare earned five stars for value for price in our survey, and 92 percent of ... See More >

UnitedHealthcare earned five stars for value for price in our survey, and 92 percent of customers plan to renew. UnitedHealthcare is a part of UnitedHealth Group, the second-largest health insurance carrier in the country, according to SNL Financial, and serves about 70 million people. UnitedHealth is based in Minnetonka, Minnesota. It is No. 14 on Fortune’s list of top 500 companies in the United States. It was founded in 1977 and is a publicly traded company.

X
90.2
(256 reviews)
62%
A

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois scored well in most of our measurements, with ... See More >

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois scored well in most of our measurements, with its highest score in claims processing. The insurer is customer-owned and is based in Chicago. The “Blue Access for Members” website offers a cost estimator tool where members can compare the costs of service and treatments from doctors and hospitals. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois’ mobile app lets members check claims information and sign up to receive reminders to check blood sugar or take medication, among other features.

X
90.1
(123 reviews)
60%
N/A

Independence Blue Cross scored five stars for both claims processing and value for price. It ... See More >

Independence Blue Cross scored five stars for both claims processing and value for price. It serves 2.2 million members in southeastern Pennsylvania. Independence Blue Cross is the eighth largest health insurer in the country, according to SNL Financial. Independence Blue Cross’ Center for Health Care Innovation fosters new ideas that will improve the quality and affordability of health care. The insurer’s IBX app lets members check the status of referrals and claims, view health history and medications, and upload photos of symptoms.

X
89.2
(118 reviews)
67%
N/A

Highmark Insurance Group is the No. 6 largest health insurer in the country, according to ... See More >

Highmark Insurance Group is the No. 6 largest health insurer in the country, according to SNL Financial. It is a non-profit insurer based in Pittsburgh and primarily serves members in western Pennsylvania. Highmark Blue Shield scored its highest in value for price in our survey, with five stars. The insurer operates several Highmark Direct stores where consumers can shop for medical, dental and Medicare plans.

X
89
(102 reviews)
59%
A-

Coventry Health Care earned five stars for claims processing in our survey, and over a ... See More >

Coventry Health Care earned five stars for claims processing in our survey, and over a quarter of customers say they have already recommended Coventry to a friend. The company is based in Bethesda, Maryland. Aetna acquired Coventry Health Care in 2013. Coventry Health Care has more than 5 million members nationwide.

X
88.9
(104 reviews)
68%
A

EmblemHealth earned five stars for claims processing in our survey, and 70 percent of customers ... See More >

EmblemHealth earned five stars for claims processing in our survey, and 70 percent of customers say they have or would recommend the insurer. EmblemHealth is based in New York City and serves almost 3.4 million people.  The company is the No. 9 largest health insurer in the country, based on direct premiums written, according to SNL Financial, and is New York’s largest health insurer. In 2014 EmblemHealth launched a telehealth service that allows members to talk to a doctor anytime, day or night, using a computer, phone or mobile device.

X
88.6
(105 reviews)
70%
B++

Almost 30 percent of Blue Shield of California customers we surveyed say they have already ... See More >

Almost 30 percent of Blue Shield of California customers we surveyed say they have already recommended the insurer. Blue Shield of California was founded in 1939 and has almost 3 million members. Corporate offices are in San Francisco. Members receive 24/7 online and mobile access to locate providers, chat with a nurse or pharmacist, track claims and compare treatment costs.

X
88
(139 reviews)
66%
N/A

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan earned five stars in both claims processing and value ... See More >

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan earned five stars in both claims processing and value for price in our survey. Slightly more than a quarter of customers say they had already recommended Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan to someone else. Founded in 1939, BCBS of Michigan is a non-profit mutual company and is the largest health insurance company in Michigan. Corporate headquarters are in Detroit. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan champions its “patient-centered medical home” program, where a primary care physician coordinates a team of medical providers to improve overall care and lower costs.

X
87.9
(107 reviews)
67%
N/A

Aetna is the fourth largest health insurance company in the nation, by direct premiums written, ... See More >

Aetna is the fourth largest health insurance company in the nation, by direct premiums written, according to SNL Financial. In our survey, Aetna’s top score was in value for price, where it earned five stars from customers. Aetna is a publicly held company based in Hartford, Connecticut, with 2.6 million members in medical insurance plans. The Aetna Foundation provides grants to improve health and the access to quality care. Aetna’s smartphone app lets members look up claims, view their medical records, find urgent-care and walk-in medical offices, and more.

X
87.8
(257 reviews)
58%
A

Cigna scored its highest marks in value for price in our survey, with five stars. ... See More >

Cigna scored its highest marks in value for price in our survey, with five stars. The company is headquartered in Bloomfield, Connecticut. The myCigna mobileapp lets members find doctors and other providers, look at claims and account balances, see ID card information and more.

X
87.4
(155 reviews)
56%
A

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, founded in 1932, has 3.6 million members ... See More >

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, founded in 1932, has 3.6 million members and operates only in New Jersey. In our survey of customers, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey scored its highest marks in claims processing and value for price. The company’s retail center in South Jersey, Horizon Connect, provides face-to-face help with the insurer’s health benefits, wellness programs and enrollment. Corporate headquarters are in Newark.

X
80.6
(102 reviews)
55%
N/A

WellPoint is the largest health insurance company in terms of direct premiums written, according to ... See More >

WellPoint is the largest health insurance company in terms of direct premiums written, according to SNL Financial. The insurer holds 11.2 percent of market share nationwide. Since our survey, WellPoint has become known as Anthem. More than 37 million people are enrolled in Anthem’s health plans. In our survey of customers, the insurer scored its highest stars for claims processing and customer service.  Anthem is a for-profit insurer and is a licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.

X
80.1
(112 reviews)
66%
A
What's covered
Under the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, health plans offered in state health insurance marketplaces and small group plans from employers must cover 10 essential benefits. These include emergency services, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, mental health services and prescription drugs. A full list can be found on HealthCare.gov.

The average health insurance cost varies by state, plan type and age, but according to PricewaterhouseCoopers the average price in 2015 is $361 a month.

When you're getting health insurance quotes, remember that individual and family plans aren't available year-round. There is an open enrollment period. Outside of the open enrollment period you cannot buy coverage unless you have a qualifying life event, such as moving to a new state, certain changes in income, and changes in family size, such as getting married and having a baby.

If you buy your health insurance through work your employer will have its own open enrollment period each year.
What's never covered
You should always check your policy - or with your benefits administrator at work - to find out what's covered if you're uncertain.

In general, treatments that are not "medically necessary" won't be covered. Thus, cosmetic surgery and experimental treatments aren't going to be covered by your health plan. This would include facelifts and gastric bypass surgery.

You will likely find that your plan covers only certain prescription medications. That list is called a formulary, so check with your plan to find out its medication coverage rules.

Most plans also have lists of providers - doctors, hospitals, labs, etc. If you don't use a provider from the list you'll likely find that your claim falls under "out of network" coverage, which provides less coverage (meaning more out-of-pocket expenses for you) than in-network coverage.

Be aware of the plan's provider list when you get health insurance quotes, but remember that providers can change during the year.
Methodology

Insure.com conducted surveys of 3,835 insurance customers nationwide in February and March 2014 to collect 9,586 company reviews. The survey was not open to the general public on the Insure.com website. We collected reviews for auto, home, health and life insurance carriers. Consumers answered questions about their levels of satisfaction with their insurers, and each answer was assigned a point value. Points were then averaged and totaled for each company.

A.M. Best ratings do not affect the scores but are provided as a supplementary resource. The "discounts" and "coverage options" information for auto insurance carriers also does not affect the scores.

We collected data for 15 large companies in each category, so not all companies are represented in the study. The companies for which we collected data were then ranked. The top three companies in each category earned Insure.com's "People's Choice Award." In the life insurance category, a tie for third place resulted in four insurers receiving the award.

Insure.com makes these ratings freely available via this site. The views and opinions expressed by users do not reflect the views and opinions of Insure.com. Insure.com expressly disclaims any and all liability in connection with the ratings

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