Best Health Insurance Companies in the USA

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Health insurance is a safeguard against unexpected medical expenses. It helps millions of Americans access timely healthcare services without worrying about astronomical bills. The U.S. health insurance landscape offers scores of options for all types of situations – from comprehensive overall policies to specialized health insurance for students.

To help you search for some of the best health insurance companies, TrySmartly provides online resources to help you make informed decisions about your health insurance and potentially save money without sacrificing coverage.

Here’s a quick look at some of the best health insurance companies in the USA:

Best Health Insurance Company Overall

When it comes to labeling a health insurance company as the best, several factors come into play, including:

Comprehensive coverage options

Claim settlement history


Ease of policy management

Customer service efficiency

Network breadth

Given all these factors, choosing a top-rated health insurance company can make all the difference in accessing quality care. That’s where TrySmartly can help. Use our online resources to familiarize yourself with your options and make sure you’re adequately protected without overpaying.

This table summarizes some of the best health insurance companies overall:

Insurance Company Average Monthly Premium* Customer Satisfaction Rating (out of 1,000) Network Breadth
Kaiser Permanente $454 778
  • 39 hospitals
  • 734 medical facilities
  • 23,656 physicians
Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) $607 755
  • Varies by plan
UnitedHealthcare $546 729
  • 6,500 hospitals and facilities
  • 1.3 million physicians and care professionals
Aetna $450 821
  • 5,700 hospitals and facilities
  • 1.2 million physicians and care professionals
Cigna $465 727
  • 1.65 million hospitals, doctors, and specialists
*These prices are estimated based on aggregated data for different plans, age groups, and ZIP codes retrieved from the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

From these providers, Kaiser Permanente stands out, often acclaimed for its robust coverage options and price for value. Kaiser is a nonprofit organization that combines health insurance with a large pool of hospitals, physicians, pharmacies, labs, and other services. It operates in eight states – California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Oregon, Virginia, Washington, and Washington, D.C.

Monthly average cost


Kaiser offers a variety of coverage options that cover preventive care, doctor visits, hospital stays, and prescription medications. They come in the form of:

  • Individual and family health insurance
  • Medicaid, including Medi-Cal
  • Medicare

Kaiser offers two types of health insurance plans:

  • HMO (health maintenance organization): Patients with this plan are only covered for care from providers within Kaiser’s network. In most cases, you will need a referral from your primary care physician to see a specialist.
  • EPO (exclusive provider organization): This plan is similar to an HMO, as you are only covered by providers from the company’s network. However, in most cases, you won’t need a referral.

Along with its standard coverage, Kaiser Permanente provides the following perks and benefits to its members:

  • One-on-one video or phone appointments
  • Reduced rates for gym membership, digital workout videos
  • Reduced rates for acupuncture, chiropractic care, and massage therapy
  • Free online programs for members trying to lose weight, quit smoking, and reduce stress
  • Free access to the Calm and MyStrength apps for meditation and managing mental health

The average price for a Kaiser Permanente plan is $381 monthly for a 30-year-old, $482 for a 40-year-old, and $599 for a 50-year-old.

Best Health Insurance Company for PPO Plans

Cigna stands out if you're looking for a company with comprehensive PPO (preferred provider organization) plans, which grant members the flexibility to see any doctor or specialist without needing a referral. PPO plans provide flexibility to choose providers inside or outside Cigna’s network.

Monthly average cost


Cigna offers the following types of health insurance:

  • Individual Health insurance
  • Medicare
  • Dental insurance
  • Supplemental insurance

Cigna offers the following perks to its policyholders:

  • $0 telemedicine and preventive care visits.
  • $3 or less for generic and prescription drugs.
  • 24/7 phone line to contact a board-certified doctor.
  • Customized digital reminders for health coaching, specialized care, and cost savings.
  • “Take Control” program, which offers rewards like discounts for flu shots and preventive screenings.

The average cost for Cigna’s health insurance is $443 monthly for a 30-year-old, $497 for a 40-year-old, and $696 for a 50-year-old.

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Best Health Insurance Company for HMO Plans

HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) plans usually restrict the coverage to care from doctors within the network. It typically doesn't cover out-of-network physicians unless there's an emergency. If you have an HMO plan, you will need a referral from your primary care physician to see a specialist, but it usually comes with lower rates.

In this section, we look at Ambetter, which offers 191 HMO plans with lower-than-average rates at around $505 per month.

Monthly average cost


Here are the types of individual health insurance plans offered by Ambetter:

  • Ambetter Essential Care (Bronze): The Bronze plan usually has cheap monthly premiums but high out-of-pocket costs. It could be a good option if you don’t need health care services often and want to pay less for comprehensive coverage.
  • Ambetter Balanced Care (Silver): Silver plans have higher premiums but lower out-of-pocket costs. It is the middle ground between the Bronze and Gold plans.
  • Ambetter Secure Care (Gold): Gold plans have the highest average premiums but much lower out-of-pocket costs when you need care. It could be a good option if you need healthcare services several times a year and don’t want to pay high copays.

Ambetter offers the following perks to policyholders:

  • 24/7 nurse advice line for all policyholders.
  • Health Pays rewards program, which allows you to earn points for completing an annual wellness screening and living a healthy lifestyle. These points can be converted to cover monthly rates and copays, as well as utility, cell phone, and other bills.
  • Ambetter Health Management Program, which offers phone-based educational tools for patients with asthma, depression, lower back pain, and hypertension.
  • Start Smart for Your Baby program, which provides support to those who are pregnant.

The average price is $408 monthly for a 30-year-old, $460 for a 40-year-old, and $642 for a 50-year-old.

TrySmartly provides resources to help you learn more about your insurance options and make an informed decision when selecting the best health insurance company. This can help you look for providers that offer comprehensive coverage within your budget. Navigate your health insurance options with ease–click to begin.

Best Health Insurance Company for HSA Plans

HSA (Health Savings Account) plans are tax-advantaged medical savings accounts for individuals enrolled in high-deductible health plans (HDHPs). They allow individuals to set aside pre-tax money for medical expenses when their deductibles are too high.

Not all health insurance companies offer an HSA plan, but Aetna does. With an Aetna HSA, you can contribute pre-tax dollars, which can be used to pay for qualified medical expenses. The funds also roll over annually and can earn interest.

The IRS limits contributions to $3,850 yearly for self-only coverage and $7,750 for family coverage. Account holders over 55 can contribute an additional $1,000 annually. Aetna's HSA can also serve as a supplementary retirement account since, after age 65, you can withdraw the funds for any purpose without penalty. But non-medical withdrawals will be taxed.

Monthly average cost


Aetna offers the following types of health insurance:

  • Medicare
  • Medicaid
  • Dental insurance
  • Vision insurance
  • Supplemental insurance

Along with standard insurance plans, Aetna also provides the following benefits:

  • 20% discount on CVS brand health care products.
  • Low-cost and no-cost care at CVS’s MinuteClinic locations.

The average cost of health insurance is $421 monthly for a 30-year-old, $474 for a 40-year-old, and $662 for a 50-year-old.

Top Health Insurance Company for Self-Employed Individuals

Without the cushion of employer-sponsored insurance, self-employed individuals require private plans that are flexible, comprehensive, and cost-effective.

Meeting these demands, UnitedHealthcare (UHC) stands out for its range of specialized services and benefits.

Monthly average cost


UHC extends its network to 18 states in the U.S. It offers the following two plans for self-employed individuals and families:

  • HMO: Patients are only covered within the provider’s network and need a referral.
  • EPO (Exclusive Provider Organization): Patients are only covered if they use specialists or hospitals from the provider’s network and don’t need a referral.

Additional benefits and rewards include:

  • Low-cost prescriptions, starting at $3 at Walgreens
  • Digital fitness class prescriptions
  • $0 primary care visits and copays
  • Unlimited telemedicine visits
  • Coverage for dental, vision, and disability at an extra cost
  • Gift cards when you see your primary care physician
  • Support programs for quitting smoking and mental health care

The average cost of UnitedHealthcare’s health insurance is about $403 monthly for a 30-year-old, $454 for a 40-year-old, and $634 for a 50-year-old.

Best Healthcare Insurance Company for Seniors

As routine medical check-ups, treatments for age-related ailments, and preventive care become more frequent, the need for a reliable health insurance company grows. When searching for health insurance for seniors, Oscar Insurance Company stands out.

Monthly average cost


Oscar extends its coverage to 20 U.S. states. It offers the following three types of health insurance plans:

  • HMO: This plan restricts you to in-network providers, and you will need a referral. It typically comes with lower premiums.
  • EPO: This plan also restricts your coverage to in-network providers, but you won't need a referral. The premiums may be similar to or a little higher than HMOs.
  • PPO: This plan allows you to choose a provider of your choice and doesn't require you to have a referral. The average rates are higher than both HMO and EPO.

Oscar also offers two other benefits at no additional cost:

  • Virtual primary care
  • Virtual urgent care

The average premium for seniors aged 60 is $855 monthly for the Bronze plan, $2,073 for the Silver plan, and $2,263 for the Gold plan.

Best Medical Insurance Company for Students

The transition from adolescence to young adulthood brings several changes to college students, including getting their own insurance plan. Students have several options when looking for health insurance coverage.

They can stay on a parent’s plan if they are under 26.

They can enroll in a university-sponsored health care program. These plans vary by school and typically offer basic coverage options at affordable rates.

If you’re a student looking for more comprehensive coverage, you can opt to enroll in a plan offered by a private health insurance company.

With its national presence and emphasis on prevention and well-being, Blue Cross Blue Shield stands out as one of the best health insurance providers for college students.

Monthly average cost


Blue Cross Blue Shield is accepted by 90% of all U.S. doctors and hospitals, which may benefit college students. Moreover, its coverage reaches all 50 states and Washington, D.C., allowing college students to move freely across the country and still maintain their coverage.

Blue Cross Blue Shield offers the following types of health insurance:

  • PPO plans
  • HMO plans
  • EPO plans

Along with being cost-effective, BCBS also offers the following benefits:

  • Discounts on hearing and vision products from Target Optical and lunch boxes from Freshly
  • Discounts on gym memberships and wellness programs through the Blue365 program
  • International coverage for those that travel abroad
  • A mobile app and telemedicine
  • 24/7 nurse line

The average cost of BCBS’s Silver Plan for a 21-year-old, which covers 70% of healthcare costs, is $441 monthly.

Best Medical Insurance Company for Medicare

Medicare is a federal health insurance program designed for individuals aged 65 and older, though it also covers some younger people with certain disabilities. Administered by the U.S. government, Medicare provides basic health coverage.

However, many beneficiaries opt for additional insurance to fill the coverage gaps and access additional services and benefits. One of these Medicare-centric companies is Humana.

Monthly average cost


Humana offers three main types of Medicare coverage:

  • Medicare Advantage: The Federal government contracts with Humana to offer Medicare coverage, including HMOs, PPOs, and SNPs (Special Needs Plans). It is available in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., and the number of providers varies based on your location. The average monthly premium is $19, but there may also be some plans that are available for $0.
  • Medicare Supplement: Humana Medical Supplement helps cover some out-of-pocket costs that federally-sponsored Medicare doesn't pay for. For instance, the original Medicare may cover hospital stays up to a certain number of days, while Medicare Supplement may cover any additional days. It offers several Medigap plans for different deductibles and is available in 49 states and Washington, D.C., except Virginia. The average premiums vary based on the person’s age, location, gender, and other factors, but the average cost for all new members across all plan types is $124.09 monthly.
  • Prescription Drug Plans: These plans help manage and reduce the costs of prescription medications. It falls under Medicare's Part D coverage and extends to six types of drugs, including anticonvulsants, antidepressants, antineoplastics, antipsychotics, antiretrovirals, and immunosuppressants. Depending on your chosen plan, the average price can range from less than $10 to $150 monthly.

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What Is the Rating System for Health Insurance Companies in the USA?

Many reputable companies like AM Best, J.D. Power, and the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) rate health insurance companies. These ratings are based on several factors, including customer satisfaction, financial strength of the company, and quality of care.

This information is publicly available, helping individuals make informed decisions when searching for some of the best health insurance.

In your journey of comparing and understanding the reliability of major health insurance companies, TrySmartly can be a valuable guide. We provide individuals with information that empowers them to make smarter decisions on their insurance needs.

This table summarizes how some of the best health insurance companies are rated in the U.S.:

Insurance Company AM Best Rating J.D. Power Rating (out of 1,000) NCQA Rating (out of 5)
Aetna A 717 3.5
UnitedHealthcare A+ 717 4
Kaiser Permanente Not rated 749 4.5
Blue Cross Blue Shield A- 722 4.5
Humana A- 744 4
Cigna A 714 4

How to Choose the Best Health Insurance Provider for You?

Choosing the right health insurance company is a decision that shapes both your financial and physical well-being. With TrySmartly, you can access online resources that can help you make an informed decision on the right type of health insurance for you. Here are some key factors to consider when choosing a health insurance provider:

Affordability: It’s always better to compare quotes from different providers to ensure you’re getting the best value for your price. Before choosing a health insurance provider, consider the monthly premiums, deductibles, and copays.

Type of Insurance Plan: Next, consider the type of insurance you want. There are four primary options: HMO, PPO, POS, and EPO, all of which differ in pricing and their approach to in-network and out-of-network providers. Opting for in-network providers typically comes with lower premiums and copays. You should also consider the metal tiers – Bronze, Silver, and Gold – as they differ in their premiums and out-of-pocket costs.

Coverage Benefits: Some of the best healthcare insurance companies offer extra benefits, including reduced rates for mental health services or gym memberships. Look out for companies that offer perks that would be beneficial for you.

Reputation & Customer Experience: Ratings and customer reviews should also affect your decision. Check their responsiveness, support quality, and resource availability for members.

Long-Term Flexibility: Your health and insurance needs will evolve over time. Whether it’s due to changes in health, family size, or financial situation, ensure the health insurance provider you choose offers flexibility to adjust accordingly.

Frequently Asked Questions About Health Insurance Companies

If there are still some gray areas, this FAQ section will clarify any questions you may have:

How Do I Decide Which Health Insurance Plan Is Right For Me?

The right health insurance plan depends on factors like your medical needs, budget, preferred providers, and frequency of doctor visits. Also, assess monthly premiums, deductibles, copays, and health insurance provider networks.

What Are the Additional Benefits That Health Insurance Companies Might Offer?

Beyond standard medical coverage, many health insurance providers offer perks like telemedicine services, wellness programs, gym membership discounts, and incentives for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Review the benefits listed by the provider to ensure you’re maximizing your plan’s value.

Is It Illegal Not to Have Health Insurance?

No, there is currently no federal law requiring you to have health insurance. However, some states may have unique mandates, so it’s always better to check with your local regulations.

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