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The Best Health Insurance Companies for 2020

Few things in life are as valuable as personal health - except perhaps the well-being of loved ones. Since none of us can predict when we might require medical assistance, purchasing the best health insurance policy is essential. Regardless of your present state of health, knowing that you have something to fall back on will help you sleep at night. But no one likes to overpay for an inferior service, especially when the application process is limited to a short window of just a few weeks each year.

Our page is dedicated to preventing that by spotlighting the absolute best health insurance companies in the US and weighing the pros and cons of the available coverage plans. With detailed reviews and a comprehensive guide to the industry essentials, we offer you the opportunity to read, learn and make the right choice.

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Fortunly’s Top 3 Health Insurance Picks

Top 3 Picks

Kaiser Permanente

Superior mobile platform

Cheap option for older customers

Great customer support

Get A Quote READ REVIEW

Blue Cross Blue Shield

World-class mobile app

Great source of health insurance information

Variety of insurance plans

Get A Quote READ REVIEW

Aetna

Customer service quality

Numerous insurance plans

Financial stability

Get A Quote READ REVIEW

5 Best Health Insurance Companies

1. Kaiser Permanente

Superior mobile platform

Cheap option for older customers

Great customer support

Number of healthcare members:

12.2 Million

Get A Quote

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With stellar products and a limited area of coverage, Kaiser Permanente is a great choice if you can make use of its services, especially for older customers. This rare nonprofit company provides a variety of solid plans, world-class platform and an even better mobile app.

Read full review

A.M. Best

A+

J.D. Power

4/5

Fitch

A+

BBB

A+

Standard & Poor's

A+

2. Blue Cross Blue Shield

World-class mobile app

Great source of health insurance information

Variety of insurance plans

Number of healthcare members:

106 Million

Get A Quote

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Blue Cross Blue Shield provides a wide range of plans with multiple benefits and optional add-ons so anyone can build a coverage that best suits them personally. Add to this a stellar mobile app, a comprehensive website and this giant firm’s financial stability, and you get a true contender for the best overall insurance company in the US.

Read full review

A.M. Best

A

J.D. Power

5/5

Fitch

A+

BBB

A-

Standard & Poor's

AA-

3. Aetna

Customer service quality

Numerous insurance plans

Financial stability

Number of healthcare members:

22.1 Million

Get A Quote

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With unparalleled experience and a rich offering of health insurance plans, Aetna ensures its position among the top companies in America. It covers customers nationwide, provides plenty of options to customize and save money, and has a stellar mobile app that probably offers the best customer service available.

Read full review

A.M. Best

A

J.D. Power

2/5

Fitch

AA-

BBB

A+

Standard & Poor's

A+

4. United Healthcare

Great number of tools

One of the best mobile apps available

High customer satisfaction

Number of healthcare members:

48.9 Million

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Even with higher-than-average premiums, United Healthcare can easily be considered the best health insurance company in the US. It provides a great number of plans, optional features and has more tools for members to use than any other competitor platform. Add to this a new and fantastic mobile app, a wealth of plans, discounts and wellbeing programs, and you have a complete package that’s hard to beat.

Read full review

A.M. Best

A

J.D. Power

4/5

Fitch

AA-

BBB

A+

Standard & Poor's

AA-

5. Cigna

Competitive prices

Numerous useful online tools

Highly-respected customer service

Number of healthcare members

17 Million

Get A Quote

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Cigna has grown into a global insurance leader that continues to provide a world-class platform and customer service, with a variety of options to build and compare your health insurance plans. The only downside is that these services are currently limited to 12 states, but if you are living in the areas covered by Cigna, it should be at the top of your list.

Read full review

A.M. Best

A

J.D. Power

5/5

Fitch

A+

BBB

A+

Standard & Poor's

AA-

How Do We Determine The Top Health Insurance Companies?

The Fortunly platform was built around a few key principles, including transparency. We give a great deal of importance to helping readers understand exactly why and how we rate companies, and what factors determine their overall rating. The review process for health insurers in the US is based on four different categories that determine the quality of service.

Financial Strength

The best health insurance companies need to be able to fulfill their obligations toward customer, which is why a company’s ability to pay claims is at the top of our review list.

Pricing

Even though health insurance quotes vary depending on your geographical location and requirements, there is plenty of data available to determine the average premiums for each of the insurance companies we reviewed. Our goal is to direct you to the highest quality of service and the most customer-friendly insurer. This is why health care insurers with lower-than-average premiums will be viewed more favorably, especially when pricing is the only thing separating two great firms.

Product Quality

This section is the core of every review and focuses on the overall quality of the service provided. Every detail, from the number of plans to the size of the network and coverage options, and even the special platform features and tools that aren’t found among the competition, are measured against the best that the industry has to offer. The health insurance carriers that emerge with the largest reach, the biggest variety of insurance plans and the best online resources will rate higher than others.

Customer Satisfaction

Last but not least is the category that has a great deal of influence on the overall company rating and has everything to do with customer satisfaction. From dedication to quality user experience, and the helpfulness of the support staff, our health insurance reviews are meant to bring you closer to those firms that best treat their customers. That is why these features and user ratings play a substantial role in our methodology, and can oftentimes be the deciding factor that pushes a company up or down the list.

Reviews of Health Insurance Companies

Kaiser Permanente is a nonprofit insurance company headquartered in Oakland, California. Founded in 1945, it only serves a limited number of states but still has over 11 million healthcare members. Kaiser is now ranked among the top carriers when it comes to customer satisfaction and the range of services. But does it offer enough to make the list of top 10 health insurance companies in 2020?

Financial strength: A+

Kaiser Permanente has a superior financial strength rating both from Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor. And while A.M. Best Rating Services does not rate the company, it is still considered a safe choice for anyone looking for a health insurance policy.

Pricing

The rates at Kaiser are generally below the industry average, especially for non-smokers and people 55 or older. If you are living in one of the states that the company services and fall within the right age group, it might very well be the best option available right now. There are of course plenty of other factors that influence the cost of your policy, but overall you should expect to pay less than with some of the other insurance providers.

For customers who are dedicated to a healthy lifestyle, Kaiser Permanente offers a ChooseHealthy program that provides you with hundreds of discounts on various fitness, wellness and entertainment activities. This allows you to save a lot of money on gym membership, snowboarding lift tickets, live theater and weight loss programs.

Product quality

Kaiser Permanente operates in just 8 states plus the District of Columbia, which is one of the biggest downsides for any top health insurance firm. In the regions that are covered, however, the firm has 38 hospitals, 618 medical offices and outpatient facilities and well over 17,000 Kaiser doctors within its network. But if you choose to use Kaiser, you will have to stay within those borders. The company does not cover outside specialists nor does it refer you outside the network, which can pose difficulties even for people within the states that are covered. For instance, if your family is subscribed to one of the Kaiser plans but your child is working or studying in a state that is not covered, Kaiser may not cover their medical care there.

When it comes to top health insurance plans, Keiser insurance offers HMO, PPO, Medicare, Medicaid and even dental and vision insurance plans. You can easily access all the plans that are available for your region by inputting your ZIP code on the company’s website. The other option is to take advantage of an excellent, feature-heavy mobile app that may very well be the superior choice.

The whole process is straightforward and quick, especially since the Kaiser online platform has a great deal of resources that customers can use. For instance, the member portal tracks prescriptions 24/7, and you gain access to a dedicated customer support line. You can also access your medical records, make appointments, order medication or educate yourself by either going through the tips and information on the website or by attending live classes at Kaiser facilities. All in all, it is one of the premier platforms if you and your family are eligible to take every advantage being offered.

Customer satisfaction

Kaiser Permanente is among the highest-rated health insurers in the US when it comes to customer reviews. It is among the few firms with perfect health insurance ratings on J.D. Power’s list, and it has been holding that 5-star rating for six years in a row. Customers on Consumer Affairs have given the company a 3-star rating, mostly praising its customer service quality and the speed of claims processing.

Final words

With stellar products and a limited area of coverage, Kaiser Permanente is a great choice if you can make use of its services. This is a rare top 10 health insurance company that is both nonprofit and manages to remain strong in a for-profit industry. Kaiser manages this by providing a variety of solid plans, world-class platform and an even better mobile app. It is also one of the very top choices that we can recommend for persons 55 and older. So if you are living, working or already planning retirement in one of the states covered, Kaiser Permanente should definitely be a company to consider.

Reasons to Buy

Superior mobile platform

Cheap option for older customers

Great customer support

Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) is one of the largest and best rated health insurance companies in the US. Founded in 1982 when two industry veterans Blue Shield and Blue Cross merged, this carrier now serves over 106 million Americans across all 50 states. With a third of the population enrolled in its plans and a vast network, BCBS is a clear candidate for the list of top insurers in 2020.

Financial strength: A

It is no surprise that BCBS is considered one of the safest health insurance choices when looking at financial stability. The company holds an A rating with A.M. Best Rating Services, an AA- rating by S&P and a superior A+ rating from Fitch. Blue Cross Blue Shield is therefore a safe choice for any person looking for a stable, nationwide health insurance carrier.

Pricing

BCBS generally has slightly higher than average rates, but health insurance quotes do vary depending on a number of variables. A young family with two kids may pay around $1,200 per month, while a married couple aged 45-50 can end up with a $725 quote. The great thing about BCBS platform is that if offers a clear side-by-side analysis where you can compare plans, either on desktop or through a dedicated mobile app. The whole process of getting quotes is very quick and after answering a few simple questions you will be provided a list of different options.

Product quality

Blue Cross Blue Shield provides individual, family, and group health insurance plans as well as Medicare and Medicaid coverage. The HMO plans are the right choice for saving money in exchange for a limited choice of doctors, while the numerous PPO plans offer more flexibility and a much broader selection of doctors. With all the BCBS plans you also get access to a health savings account and a flexible spending account to manage your premiums and deductibles better. Finally, the company offers free fitness, health and wellness programs as well as optional dental and vision coverage.

The BCBS platform itself works flawlessly on mobile, and desktop and hosts a number of useful features like online help and find-a-doctor option. Members can track prescriptions 24/7 and download most of the paperwork directly from the website. They can also get access to a dedicated customer support line. Aside from being able to contact the support staff, customers can also turn to the company website that offers a section filled to the brim with useful information on the BCBS’s best health insurance plans and services.

Customer satisfaction

The sheer size of Blue Cross Blue Shield means that customer ratings vary significantly. Nevertheless, J.D. Power ranks it as the best healthcare provider in Oklahoma, Massachusetts, North East, Pennsylvania, SouthWest and Texas. Customers expressed special praise for the online help section of the website, which often answers all of their questions. The online quotation process and the claims process also received notably positive reviews, but we have to note that the health insurance company ratings are below average on Consumer Affairs. This is not unusual for such massive firms, but still serves as an indicator that busy phone lines and other customer service issues are probably the weakest part of the BCBS service.

Final words

Blue Cross Blue Shield provides a wide range of plans with multiple benefits and optional add-ons so anyone can tailor their coverage around their personal needs. This is not only one of the largest and top-rated health insurance companies in the world but also one of the very few carriers to provide this level of quality to customers. Add to this a stellar mobile app, a comprehensive website and the giant firm’s financial muscle, and you get a true contender for the best overall insurance company in the US.

Reasons to Buy

World-class mobile app

Great source of health insurance information

Variety of insurance plans

Aetna is one of the oldest and most recognizable brands in the health insurance industry. The company was founded all the way back in 1853 and has since expanded to cover all 50 states. Financially stable and with the best health care providers in its network, it is considered by many as the top healthcare insurance provider available. But 2020 is ushering in a highly competitive era for the industry, raising questions about Aetna’s ability to keep up with the times. Let’s find out how well the company fared.

Financial strength: A

One of the more obvious things about an established giant like Aetna is its financial muscle, which has made it possible for this nationwide insurer to stay on the top for 150 years. Unsurprisingly, Aetna is one of the top rated health insurance companies across all ratings websites. A.M. Best gave it an A rating, and Fitch awarded it with an AA-. Moody’s rating for Aetna is A1 while Standard & Poor’s rates the company with an almost-perfect A+ rating.

Pricing

When it comes to quotes on health insurance, Aetna is among the top providers of lower-than-average prices on their policies. A young family aged 35 with two children can be quoted just around $1,050 while a married couple in the 45-50 age group with no pre-existing conditions can get a quote as low as $685. The prices vary depending on a number of factors, but Aetna’s median numbers help the company stand out as one of the best health insurance options available. One minor annoyance we found is that the quote process is not as streamlined as with other companies.

Product quality

Aetna medical insurance offers ranges from individual, family, employer to Medicare plans. The amount of options here is fantastic and facilitates the building of a personalized plan tailored to your financial capabilities and the amount of money that you can spend on doctor visits each month. You also have the option of opening up a health savings account to increase your power over the plan customization and save tax-free money to help meet your deductible. The only feature lacking at Aetna that’s commonly found among health insurance providers are short-term plans. So if you are between jobs and want to stay covered this is not an option for you.

For customers that can take advantage of the service, Aetna has a great platform that’s rich in features and resources. The website is a one-stop shop for finding plans and doctors, checking out education programs and deductible levels and even monitoring your care history and health information in real-time. The same high level of functionality and ease-of-use is available on the mobile app while offering the option to get medical advice from a nurse 24/7.

Customer satisfaction

According to the 2019 health plan customer satisfaction ratings from J.D. Power, Aetna is the leading company in the Delaware-West Virginia-Washington DC area as well as in the states of Ohio and Virginia. It is also consistently recognized among the best health insurance companies in USA for outstanding customer service experience. It scored a 4 out of 5 rating on Insure.com with 88% of current policyholders planning to renew their coverage. But following in the footsteps of other nationwide health insurance companies, Aetna is rated below average on Consumer Affairs. The company received a mere 2-star rating based on 158 customer reviews in the past year.

Final words

With an unparalleled degree of experience and a rich offering of health insurance plans, Aetna guarantees its place among the top US companies. This true industry giant boasts an impressive nationwide insurance, plenty of options to save money and a stellar mobile app. The only caveat is the absence of short-term options among Aetna insurance plans, but for anyone else this company represents one of the best choices available.

Reasons to Buy

Customer service quality

Numerous insurance plans

Financial stability

United Healthcare (UHC) is the largest healthcare insurer in the world with a revenue of over $226 billion in 2018 and 115 million customers across the globe. UHC is part of the United HealthGroup which includes over 100 subsidiary companies and specializes in providing the best medical insurance plans for the elderly and the underprivileged members of the community. But do these impressive numbers and the company’s track record guarantee it a place among the best providers available, especially given the increasingly competitive market.

Financial strength: A

It goes without saying that the health insurer with the biggest revenue in the world has no problem holding up its end of the deal with customers. UHC is among the top medical insurance companies in terms of financial strength. A.M. Best gave it an A rating, Moody’s rates the company with an A1 and Fitch rates it AA-. The ratings confirm that United Healthcare is viewed as safe choice across the board.

Pricing

UHC has slightly above-average premiums for health insurance policies and is usually one of the priciest options available. Still, there are dramatic variances in quotes depending on a number of factors like geographic location and customer requirements. A young family with two kids can be quoted $1,250 per month. Meanwhile, a married couple aged 45-50 with no pre-existing conditions can expect an average $750 monthly premium. The process of getting a quote is the easiest and most straightforward out of all major health insurance companies and requires nothing more than personal information.

Product quality

United Healthcare justifies the high-cost of premiums through the quality of service and the vast amount of products it has to offer. UHC also has one of the largest networks of healthcare professionals, with 790,000 physicians, 200,000 dentists and 50,000 optometrists across the US. This is hugely beneficial to customers, allowing them to choose a strictly in-network plan and feel safe regardless of their location and that of their families. The company provides a number of member discounts on items such as Lasik treatments and hearing aids, and also has numerous wellbeing and fitness programs that you can get access to.

UHC truly shines when it comes to its online platform and member portal, which is among the very best we’ve seen. There is a wealth of good health insurance information, downloadable forms and tools that you can use to find a healthcare professional or track your claims in real time. MyEasyBook feature allows you to set up appointments online, and before you commit to a procedure you can even use a tool to estimate the costs. At the start of October 2019, UHC also introduced the new mobile app that is easily among the best available and represents one of the biggest steps in the pivot toward virtual care.

Customer satisfaction

UHC customer ratings differ depending on the region, but for a company of this size the feedback is generally very positive. United Healthcare’s vision insurance plans and customer service received particular praise and J.D. Power ranks the company among the two best health insurance carriers in this field. The same above average score is found on Consumer Affairs, where the company holds a 3-star rating from 751 customer reviews in the past twelve months. Users are mostly impressed with the website and the new and improved mobile app while praising company employees they interacted with.

Final words

Even with higher-than-average premiums, United Healthcare can easily be considered the best health insurance company in the US. It provides a number of plans, optional features and more tools than any other competitor platform. Add to this a new and fantastic mobile app, a wealth of plans, discounts and wellbeing programs, and you get a complete package that is hard to compete with.

Reasons to Buy

Great number of tools

One of the best mobile apps available

High customer satisfaction

Cigna was formed in 1982 but its roots as a global provider of health services go further back in time. The corporation is the product of a merger between two of the oldest and best private health insurance companies, INA and CG, which have been operational since 1792 and 1865, respectively. Today, Cigna employs over 35,000 people around the globe and has a massive annual revenue of more than $32 billion, putting all those invaluable centuries of experience to good use. But does it stand toe to toe with the best that the industry has to offer in 2020?

Financial strength: A

Cigna rates highly among all platforms that focus on financial strength and stability of healthcare insurance companies. A.M. Best Ratings gives the company an “Excellent” A rating, while Moody’s rates it A1 and S&P awards it a AA- rating. Lastly, Fitch awards Cigna with a “Strong” A+ rating, meaning that the company is considered an across-the-board safe choice with low credit risk.

Pricing

The quotes offered at Cigna fall somewhere in the lower-to-average range even when we consider all the possible variables that you can experience due to your location and requirements. A young couple aged 35 with kids between the ages of 3 and 7 can see quotes of around $1,160 per month, while an older couple aged 45-50 with no pre-existing conditions can expect a $720 quote. The process of getting a quote from Cigna is relatively quick and easy when compared with most other medical insurance companies, requiring only a zip code and other basic information.

Product quality

The biggest downside to Cigna is that it currently has medical plans for only 12 states, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. The lack of coverage not only excludes the majority of the population, but also makes it harder for people with family members working or studying in one of the many states not covered by Cigna health plans. For those that can take advantage of the service, however, the company represents one of the finest options available.

Cigna has some of the best health insurance coverage options that are widely accepted at hospitals and clinics within the available regions. Plans range from PPO to HMO, and HSA (Health Savings Accounts) are also available for further control of your premiums and deductibles. When selecting a health or dental insurance plan, you have access to a stellar comparison tool that helps you compare Bronze, Silver and Gold packages. It also allows you to conduct a search of specific drugs covered by your plan.

You also have the option to pay your bills online and monitor your claims in real-time, whether you are using the desktop or mobile app version of the platform. The only thing lacking are short-term health care plans, so you should probably avoid Cigna if you are in between jobs.

Customer satisfaction

Cigna is often praised as the best private health insurance company for customer service. The support staff is available 24/7 nationwide and has gotten J.D. Power’s highest ranking for years. It also secured an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. When looking at customer reviews on Consumer Affairs, however, Cigna barely passes the 1-star mark.The ranking, based on 169 reviews in the past year, is no doubt low but not unusual for large health insurance firms.

Final words

Born out of a merger between two of the oldest names in the industry, Cigna has grown into a global insurance leader that continues to provide fantastic service in its home country. With a world-class platform and customer service, and a variety of options to build and compare your health insurance plans, it is easily among the companies with the best health insurance offer in 2020. The only downside is that these services are currently limited to 12 states, but if you are living in the areas covered by Cigna, it should be among the top choices for your health insurance plan.

Reasons to Buy

Competitive prices

Numerous useful online tools

Highly-respected customer service

Fortunly's Guide To Health Insurance

The short enrollment period for health insurance policies makes it absolutely essential to be fully informed about all the coverage plans in order to find the best possible deal.
There are also essential points to consider when choosing a plan for you or your family, which is why the section below helps you identify crucial details about health insurance.

Essential Health Benefits

The Affordable Care Act of 2010 introduced a list of 10 essential health benefits that all non-grandfathered health care plans in individual and small group markets had to cover. And while ACA-mandated federal health insurance is no longer mandatory as of January 1, 2019, the essential health benefits still remain a requirement wherever you purchase your plan. The EHBs are as follows:

Ambulatory Patient Services (Outpatient care)

Patients receive this sort of care when health issues do not require admittance to the hospital. It was already covered within the majority of the best insurance plans and includes standard doctor’s appointments and in-home visits.

Pediatric Services

This essential benefit includes all care provided to children as well as dental and vision care, along with annual checkups and vaccinations.

Emergency Services

If you end up in a potentially debilitating or fatal condition, the emergency health care benefit ensures you receive the required care, even if the health insurance provider is out-of network. Some states have banned billing in these instances, but if you are out of your provider’s network, there are no federal laws that prevent hospitals or ambulance companies from billing you more than what your insurance policy covered.

Maternity and Newborn Care

This includes all maternity and newborn care, from prenatal check ups to delivery and postnatal care. There are also some tests for pregnant women that are covered under the category of preventive care, with no cost-sharing.

Laboratory Services

With this benefit, medical coverage is provided lab work and tests for diagnosing, monitoring or ruling out certain conditions that fall within the category of preventive care. It is covered with no cost-sharing for the patient. Other lab work is covered under the plan’s standard cost-sharing guidelines.

Hospitalization

Hospital care includes the full range of services at a hospital or nursing facility, like lab and pharmacy services and surgical care as well as any other inpatient treatment that you receive at these facilities.

Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment

This benefit includes both inpatient and outpatient treatment, and predates the ACA that expanded the parity law to apply to both individual and employer-sponsored coverage plans. Any care necessary to diagnose, monitor and treat mental illness falls under this provision, but some plans limit treatment to a set number of days.

Prescription Drugs

All individual and small group health plans are required to cover at least one medication in every federal category and class of prescription drugs. Most insurance companies place covered drugs in one to four different tiers, with tier one drugs having the lowest out-of-pocket costs while tier four have the highest.

Rehabilitative and Habilitative Services

This essential health benefit includes therapy and devices needed for rehabilitation and habilitation in order to help patients gain or regain abilities that were limited or lost due to injuries or illness and other conditions. Examples include physical, speech and occupational therapy but there are limits on the number of sessions per year.

Chronic Disease Management, Wellness Care and Preventive Services

Under ACA, all 50 procedures recommended by the US Preventive Service Task Force are covered with no cost-sharing for the patient. These procedures include screenings, immunizations and other services like support for breastfeeding equipment and contraception. Services for preventing and detecting illness as well as for the management of chronic conditions are also covered.

Common Health Insurance Plans

Every person should seek to get a health insurance plan tailored exactly for their personal needs, but not everyone has the same choices available. Your location may hinder coverage options, quality of service and pricing. But there are ways to mitigate this if you know what to look for with providers. For starters, you should understand what each of the best health insurance plan options offers and what it does not.

Preferred Provider Organization

This is the most flexible plan, which is why it is among the two most popular choices currently available. The reason is that a PPO represents a network of medical professionals and facilities that contract with insurance companies to allow participants free use to any provider within that network. With this extensive coverage you will almost always have plenty of providers to choose from for your medical needs, but this wealth of options does not offer higher premiums than some of the other plans. Also, any service from an out-of-network provider might not be covered by the plan or can cost you more out-of-pocket.

Health Maintenance Organization

The second most popular health insurance plan, HMO provides lower premiums under a network of local health care providers, but it requires you to choose a primary care physician. This means that for any medical procedure, the patient requires a referral from the primary doctor before seeing a specialist. The only time that this does not apply is in the case of emergency situations.

High-Deductible Health Plan

This is the only plan that qualifies you for a Health Savings Account and the one that allows you to lower insurance premiums by paying a higher minimum deductible for medical expenses. A high-deductible health plan is best for younger and healthier people that don’t have much need for healthcare coverage and that mostly need it in case of serious emergencies.

Exclusive Provider Organization

An EPO plan does not require a primary care provider and you are also not provided with any out-of-network coverage. It is the best medical insurance plan if you are seeking lower rates than those from HMO or PPO, since doctors are paid a service fee rather than a capitation or a monthly fee.

Point of Service

A point of service plan is best described as a grouping of HMO and PPO plans. It requires you to choose a primary care doctor that you will need to see for any referrals and provides coverage for out-of-network services. The cost will still go up in case you choose an out-of-network service but not as drastically as with an HMO, which is offset by the fact that the list of providers can be much shorter with a POS plan.

Short-Term Medical

This is the best medical insurance plan while you are changing jobs or you are outside enrollment periods. A short-term medical fills this gap before your new insurance takes over, so you stay covered in case of an emergency. The plan usually covers preventive care, doctor visits, urgent care and emergency care, but they are also not required to comply with Affordable Care Act guidelines.

Flexible Spending Account

While FSA is not a health insurance plan, it represents a way for an employed person to pay for some out-of-pocket costs, copayments, deductibles and drugs. A Flexible Spending Account is tax-exempt, so it can be used to reduce your taxes. However, it is limited to $2,650 annually per employer. Note that an FSA account cannot be used to pay for health insurance premiums.

Comparing Health Insurance Plans

It is always advisable to compare key features of multiple plans before committing to a purchase because prices and our personal healthcare needs vary drastically. Healthier and younger people will usually opt to pay lower premiums for a higher deductible, while persons with pre-existing conditions can benefit from a higher monthly premium but a lower deductible. You should always check the maximum sum you are required to pay out-of-pocket as well as the in and out-of-network coverage. Finally, checking the types of benefits and the availability of the overall size of the network of doctors and healthcare institutions is crucial when making a decision.

Commonly Asked Questions

1. Can you buy private health insurance at any time?

Private health insurance companies have an established open enrollment period during which you can purchase qualified health plans for yourself or your family without complications. This period usually runs from November 1 to December 15, but it is best to check ahead because the dates are always subject to change. While open enrollment is active, the exchanges provide Obamacare-compliant plans 24/7, making it the perfect time to take advantage of the best deals and subsidies that the companies offer.

2. Which health insurance company has the largest network?

UnitedHealth Group is easily the top health insurance provider in the world when looking at the size of the company’s network. With over $226.2 billion in profits in 2018 and 130 million customers worldwide, it towers over the rest of the competition. UnitedHealth Group now employs over 300,000 people and has around 50 million customers in the US alone, leading the second largest competitor Anthem by more than 10 million.

3. What’s better, PPO or HMO?

Multiple factors determine the best healthcare plan option. The preferred provider organization is better-suited for those customers who require regular hospitalization and frequently need a specialist. This is because PPO is flexible and allows you to bypass seeing a primary care physician every time you are in need of specialist care.

On the other hand, a health maintenance organization offers lower premiums and out-of-pocket costs. But you and your family have a primary care doctor that you have to go through for most medical services. Seeing a specialist through an HMO plan requires a referral from the primary care doctor, which obligates you to an additional office visit.

4. How do I get cheap health insurance?

There are a number of different methods for getting the cheapest and best health plan possible during the enrollment period. First, calculate your annual healthcare spending, including monthly premiums, deductibles and out-of-pocket costs. Familiarize yourself with current rates, in order to be able to spot good deals on the HealthCare.gov website. The site allows you to compare up to three coverage plans side by side and see all the covered prescriptions, making it easier to identify the best choice available.

5. What should I look for when buying health insurance?

The quality of health insurance in the US depends largely on how much you are willing to spend. Often times, the minimal coverage is not the best deal even if it offers the lowest premiums. Paying a little extra can get you access to more healthcare services that can lower your total costs in the long run.

You should always check if your out-of-pocket expenses count toward meeting the deductible and the exact size of the network of doctors that are covered by the insurer. If one of the best health insurance companies provides low premiums and deductibles but does not have quality doctors in your vicinity, it is better to search for another carrier.