Best Health Insurance Companies in 2019

Find the Best Health Insurance


Compare health insurance quotes in your area

Mike Brown
Updated: August 12, 2019

Note from the editor: Our research, news, ratings, and assessments are scrutinized using strict editorial integrity. In full transparency, our company may receive compensation from partners listed on our website. Learn more about how we make money by visiting our advertiser disclosure.

An estimated 155 million people under the age of 65 in the United States have a health insurance coverage option through their employer, while another 8.8 million signed up for coverage under ACA policies for 2018.

Many consumers, however, still struggle with understanding their coverage options, including the health insurance companies they have access to, the cost for coverage, and the extent to which insurance covers their healthcare needs. The health insurance market can seem overwhelming to consumers seeking out coverage for themselves and their families, so it can help to know which providers are considered among the best health insurance companies.

The list focuses on national insurance providers that have high marks in customer service, accessibility, affordable coverage, and ease of applying. Individuals shopping for the best health insurance should consider these factors when they compare health insurance plans below.

Table of Contents:

LendEDU’s 5 Best Health Insurance Companies

We ranked and rated 13 major health insurers based on the weighted average of eight data points to find the insurers that offer the best health plans available. These insurers were rated based on A.M. Best Rating (5%), S&P Rating (5%), BBB Rating (10%), states available (15%), number of plans available (20%), maximum individual out of pocket cost (20%), short term insurance availability (10%), and whether they have a mobile app (15%).

Here are our top picks.

Blue Cross Blue Shield

Blue Cross Blue Shield is one of the largest insurance companies not just in the United States, but across the globe. In fact, more than 100 million Americans are insured through a Blue Cross Blue Shield organization, and Blue Cross offers coverage to people in more than 170 different countries worldwide. When you get covered through Blue Cross, you have a choice of plan types, including an option for a plan with a Health Savings Account (HSA). HSAs allow you to contribute pre-tax dollars to the account, so you effectively pay for future healthcare expenses tax-free.

Here’s what you need to know about Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance coverage:

  • LendEDU rating: 5.00 / 5.00
  • A.M. Best Rating: A
  • States Served: 50
  • Offers short-term insurance: Yes
  • Out-of-pocket maximum: $5,000 – $6,350

Good for

  • People looking for a choice of an HMO to maximize savings or a PPO to get access to a wider network of doctors
  • Policyholders who want the option of contributing to an HSA or FSA
  • People looking to choose from a wide selection of insurance plans

Bad for

  • Older people looking for the most affordable premiums
  • People looking for a small or regional insurance company
Learn More

Humana

Humana offers HMO plans, PPO plans, or traditional indemnity plans that provide the maximum in flexibility. Many Humana plans also offer you the option of opening an HSA to pay for healthcare with pre-tax dollars. Although originally known as a nursing home provider, Humana now offers both individual insurance as well as employer insurance and Medicare plans.

Here’s what you need to know about Humana:

  • LendEDU rating: 4.32 / 5.00
  • A.M. Best Rating: A-
  • States Served: 22
  • Offers short-term insurance: No
  • Out-of-pocket maximum: $1,500 – $6,350

Good for

  • People in one of the geographic regions Humana serves
  • Policyholders looking for flexibility in coverage, including plans that provide options for out-of-network care
  • Older people looking for more affordable insurance premiums

Bad for

  • Anyone looking for short-term insurance, which Humana doesn’t offer
  • People looking for the largest networks or the broadest coverage
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Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente provides policies only in a few geographic regions, but it has a large network of participating healthcare providers to cover insured policyholders in the areas it serves. In fact, there is an entire network of dedicated Kaiser Foundation medical facilities, including hospitals.

Policyholders not only can get affordable in-network care, but also have flexibility in customizing their coverage. Policyholders have multiple insurance plans to choose from, all of which offer the option to open a Health Savings Account (HSA) and pay for care with pre-tax dollars.

  • LendEDU rating: 4.51 / 5.00
  • A.M. Best Rating: N/A
  • States Served: 8 (CA, CO, GA , HI, MD, OR, VA , WA)
  • Offers short-term insurance: Yes
  • Out-of-pocket maximum: $4,000 – $6,350

Good for

  • Residents of a limited number of states served by Kaiser
  • Policyholders who want the option to contribute to a health savings account
  • People looking for a large network of participating providers

Bad for

  • People looking for affordable out-of-network care
  • People looking for a plan with the lowest possible insurance deductible
Learn More

United Healthcare

United Healthcare is another large insurance provider with a vast network of more than 790,000 participating care providers. In fact, United Healthcare is the largest insurer in the United States, and its policies are available throughout the entire country. United Healthcare has received top marks when it comes to the company’s financial strength and stability as well as good or average customer service ratings. The insurer also stands out for the comprehensive online health services it provides.

Here’s what you need to know about United Healthcare:

  • LendEDU rating: 4.42 / 5.00
  • A.M. Best Rating: A
  • States Served: 50
  • Offers short-term insurance: Yes
  • Out-of-pocket maximum: $6,750 – $7,900

Good for

  • Tech-savvy policyholders who will use mobile and online features
  • Policyholders looking for the largest possible network of providers
  • Policyholders interested in contributing to an HSA or FSA, as well as accessing member discounts for services not covered

Bad for

  • Policyholders looking for the most affordable premiums
  • Policyholders looking for the lowest out-of-pocket limits
  • People looking for a small or regional insurer
Learn More

Cigna

Cigna offers insurance in a limited number of states, but it has a large network of providers with more than 500,000 participating caregivers accepting Cigna insurance coverage in those regions. Cigna does not offer short-term insurance coverage, but it does provide a wide selection of health insurance plan options. Dental insurance is also available through Cigna.

Here’s what you need to know about Cigna:

  • LendEDU rating: 3.36 / 5.00
  • A.M. Best Rating: A
  • States Served: 12 (AZ, CA, CO, CT, FL, GA, MD, MI, NC, SC, TN, TX)
  • Offers short-term insurance: No
  • Out-of-pocket maximum: $6,250 – $6,500

Good for

  • People who live in select geographic areas served by the company
  • Policyholders who want coverage options for out-of-network care without a referral
  • Policyholders who will take advantage of extensive telehealth and online or mobile services

Bad for

  • People looking for an insurer providing nationwide coverage
  • Anyone looking for short-term health insurance
Learn More

Best Health Insurance FAQ

What Factors Should You Consider When You Compare Health Insurance Plans?

When selecting a health insurance provider, it is important to consider all the components of a plan alongside specific information regarding the health insurance company. Individuals should think through what they want in terms of coverage, any restrictions placed on where or how they can receive healthcare, and any added features that are included in a health insurance plan.

It is also necessary to evaluate the total cost of insurance, not simply the premium, but expenses like co-pays and coinsurance, and the deductible. Evaluating health insurance companies requires a look into policyholder reviews, the history of premium increases or decreases, and available coverage areas.

How Do You Decide Which Plan is Right for You?

Several types of health insurance plans are available through various providers, including HMOs, PPOs, POS, and EPOS. Each has distinct features and drawbacks which should be considered before selecting a plan. You can compare health insurance plans below:

  • HMO - with an HMO, you have the least freedom to choose your health care provider as you have access only to those in your network. If you see a doctor outside of the HMO network, you are not covered under your insurance plan. However, HMOs offer ease in managing your healthcare and paperwork over time as there are no claims to submit for reimbursement.
  • PPO - with a PPO, you can see doctors in or outside of your plan’s network, but outside doctors may cost more. You have more flexibility in how you manage your healthcare needs, but you also have more responsibility for submitting claim forms for out-of-network providers.
  • POS - Point of service health insurance plans combine the benefits of HMOs and PPOs, with any care provided by a primary care physician covered under the plan. There are still network and out-of-network providers in a POS plan, but the requirements for co-pays, deductibles, and claims processes differ depending on where the care is provided.​
  • EPO - an exclusive provider organization plan, or EPO, allows you to choose your healthcare provider with some degree of freedom, but there is no coverage for out-of-network care other than an emergency. EPOs may have lower premiums than PPOs, but they may also have deductibles, co-pays, and coinsurance. There is little paperwork required for EPO claims.

Choosing the best medical insurance plan comes down to the amount of flexibility you want in selecting a doctor or other care provider, and the cost of that flexibility.

What Does Standard Health Insurance Cover?

Nearly all health insurance plans cover essential health benefits, which include the following:

  • Ambulatory services
  • ​Emergency care
  • ​Hospitalization
  • ​Maternity and newborn care
  • ​Mental health and substance abuse care
  • Prescription drugs
  • ​Rehabilitative care
  • ​Lab services
  • ​Preventative and wellness care
  • Pediatric services

While many of these benefits are covered under health insurance plans, it is necessary to review your specific plan coverage to see what is truly covered, what requires a co-pay or coinsurance, and how these impact your deductible each year.

What Are the Costs of Health Insurance?

The average cost of health insurance varies from state to state and from individual to individual. This is because health insurance companies base the premium on smoker or non-smoker status, age of the insured, and the addition of family members under a plan. Health insurance premiums cost $393 per month for individuals and $1,021 per month for family plans, according to eHealth insurance.