Anthem, which ranks highest for loyalty, is No. 4 on Insure.com’s 2023 Best Health Insurance Companies list – earning 3.6 stars out of 5.
John is the editorial director for CarInsurance.com, Insurance.com and Insure.com. Before joining QuinStreet, John was a deputy editor at The Wall Street Journal and had been an editor and reporter at a number of other media outlets where he covered insurance, personal finance, and technology.
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One of Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield’s key strengths is its high member loyalty, with 95% of customers saying they would stick with the insurer, the highest score among the companies we ranked. The company also received a strong 3.5 out of 5 stars from the National Committee for Quality Assurance. NCQA evaluates healthcare plans on, among other things, member satisfaction.
Overall, it’s fourth on Insure.com’s list of the Best Health Insurance Companies for 2023 with a star rating of 3.6 out of 5 stars.
Anthem is a good choice if you’re looking for a one-stop shop for health insurance, vision, dental, pharmacy and Medicare plans, and when traveling, policyholders have access to the wider Blue Cross Blue Shield network.
In June 2022, Anthem became Elevance Health, although policies continue to be marketed under the Anthem and Blue brands.
AM Best's Financial Strength Rating is an independent opinion of an insurer's financial strength and ability to meet its ongoing insurance policy and contract obligations.
Below is Insure.com’s review of the company. It’s based on third-party metrics and our in-depth survey of insurance customers. Find the full methodology here, including an explanation of our survey scores.
Customers put Anthem in the middle of the pack when it comes to affordability – although its rates do stack up well against competitors in given markets.
Below is a look at how Anthem’s rates in California compare with those of Blue Shield of California and Kaiser for a similar plan. These are 2023 healthcare exchange rates for a single, 40-year-old male in excellent health with an annual income of $70,000.
Our survey found that 81% of Anthem’s members think it does a nice job of satisfying customers. While a strong percentage, it placed in the bottom half of our survey. Kaiser is the top-rated company in this category. Kaiser also bested the company when looking at average J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Commercial Member Health Plan Study scores, which measure health plans for overall customer satisfaction.
Anthem does a good job at settling complaints before they escalate. The company did better in this category than all the other insurers we ranked. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) compares major providers on how many complaints are filed with state regulators. If a provider has a rate that is equal to its customer base, it receives a 1.0 score. If it has twice as many complaints as its share of the market, it gets a 2.0.
Anthem offers lots of choices, including plans beyond traditional health insurance. Despite that, customers didn’t give its policy offerings the strongest marks. Kaiser and Blue Shield of California topped this category.
Anthem ranked relatively high in this category, with 87% of customers saying they would recommend the company to others. Kaiser had the highest score among the companies we ranked.
The majority of customers trust Anthem. Still, most healthcare insurance companies we ranked didn’t get above a 75% positive response when we asked about trust. Kaiser led this category.
Absolutely. Customers seem to recognize they get good value and coverage for their money, with 95% saying they would renew. That was among the highest responses in this category.
Anthem customers ranked the company about average for deductibles.
A healthcare provider network is a group of doctors, specialists and hospitals that provide services to insured members at a lower cost than providers outside the network. A strong provider network can be a key consideration when shopping for a health plan. Anthem, which has one of the largest networks of doctors, hospitals and healthcare workers, had one of the highest scores in this category.
Anthem is one of the largest health insurers in the country, serving 14 states and about 46 million members. Its provider network includes some 1.1 million healthcare workers, which includes doctors, dentists, nurses, technicians and other support workers.
The company has a direct presence in 14 states, with a large concentration in the Midwest, Northeast, Colorado, Nevada and California. It’s headquartered in Indianapolis.
The company dates to 1946 when it was originally called Mutual Hospital Insurance and Mutual Medical Insurance. It grew quickly and by the 1970s had secured 80% of the Indiana market. In 1985, the companies purchased the provider of Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in Ohio and rebranded itself as Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield.
Meanwhile, WellPoint Health Networks was created by Blue Cross of California. Over the years, WellPoint and Anthem merged with other BCBS affiliates until the two companies came together in 2004. In 2014, WellPoint officially changed its name to Anthem. In 2017 it made a push into the pharmacy business, launching IngenioRx, a pharmacy benefits manager. That company, along with other subsidiaries, are now being folded into a Carelon brand.
Following its rebranding in June of 2022, Anthem became Elevance Health. The company says the change was made to better reflect its evolution to offer policies and products beyond traditional health insurance.
Anthem website, Elevance Health corporate information. Accessed November 2022.
Insure.com in the fall of 2022 surveyed more than 1,500 insurance consumers (775 people with health insurance). The survey was conducted by online market research company Slice MR.
Respondents were asked to name their insurer and then grade it in the following categories – customer satisfaction, ease of service and policy offerings. The percentage of respondents who said they were satisfied or very satisfied with their insurer is presented in the results.
Survey source calculations: Respondents were then asked to rank their insurer’s top three attributes out of more than a dozen presented – such as its provider network. For a number one choice, five points were given; for a second choice, three points; and for a third choice, a single point. The total points for each choice – first, second and third – were then divided by the number of each company’s customers who responded to that survey question to create a percentage. Those percentages are presented in the results as scores.
Respondents were then asked if they would recommend their insurer to someone else and if they planned to renew their policies. The percentage who said yes is presented in the results.
They also were given the statement “I trust my insurance company” and asked if they strongly agreed, agreed, disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement. The percentage of those who said they agreed or strongly agreed is presented in the results.
The editors compiled the survey results and then selected – based on the number of survey responses – the top companies for further evaluation. Insure.com needed 20 or more of a company’s customers to respond to the survey for that insurer to be included in the ranking, although in some categories the editors did consider companies with 18 or 19 responses.
They then collected AM Best financial stability ratings and National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) ratings, which evaluate health plans on, among other things, member satisfaction.
With the help of Prof. David Marlett, Ph.D., managing director of the Brantley Risk and Insurance Center at Appalachian State University, the editors created a rating system to determine which insurance companies were best in each sector. For health insurers, we used the following weights to calculate the overall score for each company:
Survey – 60% of total score (10% for customer satisfaction, 10% trustworthiness, 10% for recommending the carrier to another, 10% if a respondent would renew with their current insurer, and 20% if they consider their insurer the best for affordability)
Each insurer was awarded from 1 to 5 stars. No insurer in our star ranking received less than 1 star and the highest possible ranking is 5 stars.