We’ve done all the hard work for you and reviewed some of the best health insurance providers in the country.
There are many factors to consider when selecting a health insurance provider. Cost, plans and coverage options are things you should take into account when comparing plans. The state where you live also plays a major part of the insurance plans that are available to you. We understand this can be overwhelming so in order to make things easier, we reviewed over a dozen health insurance companies in the US. During our review we looked at BBB ratings, financial strength, complaints, mobile apps, enrollment process, claims process and frequently asked questions. We also created a list of pros and cons for each company to help you easily identify potential strengths and weaknesses they have. Check out the company rankings below and read reviews from each health insurance provider.
Who are the largest health insurance companies in the country? According to a 2019 NAIC report , here is the top-10 list based on market share and direct written premiums. United Healthcare comes in on top with an impressive $156B worth of premiums and over 14% of the market share. Kasier comes in second with 8.42% of the market followed by Anthem with 6.07%. The complete list of carriers is listed below.
|Rank||Insurance Company||Market Share||Direct Written Premiums|
|5||Aetna (CVS Group)||5.03%||$55B|
|6||Health Care Service Corporation||3.42%||$37B|
Depending on which state you live in, you will have different health insurance companies to choose from. Not every company offers coverage in every state. We have compiled a list of the largest health insurance providers in each state according to a report by America's Health Insurance Plans. The full list is featured below. We have also listed the percentage of health insurance coverage in each state. See the breakdown of private coverage, Medicaid, Medicare, and percentage of people uninsured in your state.
Unfortunately sometimes people may find themselves in a situation where obtaining health insurance is not possible and they decide to go without it. In Texas, 17% of the population is uninsured. Alaska and Oklahoma both come in at 14% followed by Florida and Georgia at 13%. The state with the lowest rate of uninsured residents is Massachusetts with 4%.
Citizens and legal residents of the United States, who are 65 years old or older are eligible for Medicare Part A, B and C. West Virginia has the highest percentage of residents on Medicare at 18%. New Hampshire, Maine, Florida and Delaware come in next at 17%.
|State||Largest Provider||Private Coverage||Medicaid||Medicare||Uninsured|
|Alabama||Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama||52%||21%||16%||10%|
|Arizona||Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Arizona||51%||22%||15%||10%|
|Hawaii||Hawaii Medical Assurance Association||59%||18%||15%||4%|
|Idaho||Blue Cross of Idaho||57%||18%||14%||11%|
|Massachusetts||AllWays Health Partners||60%||24%||13%||3%|
|Michigan||Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan||56%||22%||15%||5%|
|Minnesota||Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota||63%||17%||14%||5%|
|Mississippi||Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi||48%||24%||13%||12%|
|Montana||Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana||53%||19%||16%||9%|
|New Mexico||Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico||41%||34%||14%||9%|
|Rhode Island||Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island||57%||24%||14%||5%|
|Tennessee||BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee||54%||21%||15%||9%|
|Vermont||Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont||51%||28%||16%||4%|
In 1850, Aetna Insurance Company created a fund to sell life insurance. In 1953 the life and health divisions of Aetna separated. The company’s first president was Eliphalet A. Bulkeley. The name “Aetna” was taken from an 11,000-foot volcano in Sicily, Italy, which was also the most active volcano in Europe.
In 1861, Aetna began offering participating life insurance policies, which paid dividends to policyholders and higher commission rates for agents. In 1865, annual revenue exceeded $1 million in revenue and continued to increase business and expansion, even in Massachusetts and New York where requirements for life companies were very stringent. Aetna was also one of the first companies to switch from half-notes to all-cash premium plans. Read more
Ambetter is a health insurance company owned by Centene Corporation, a multi-national company that provides programs and services to under-insured and uninsured individuals. Centene is the largest Medicaid managed care organization in the country and the number one insurer on the Health Insurance Marketplace. Each state works differently through Ambetter to provide health insurance marketplace plans, including Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Programs (CHIP). Both Centene and it’s new acquisition, Wellcare Health Plans, serve Medicaid and Medicare members. Read more
In 2004, WellPoint Health Networks Inc and Anthem, Inc. merged and became the nation’s leading health benefits company. In December 2014 WellPoint Inc. changed its corporate name to Anthem, Inc. The Anthem companies offer health care plans and related services like dental, vision, behavioral health, life insurance and disability insurance benefits as well as long-term care insurance and flexible spending accounts. Anthem has about 40 million members and is ranked 33rd on the Fortune 500.
The Anthem Inc. headquarters are located in Indianapolis, Indiana. It is an independent licensee of Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, serving California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin and specialty plan members in other states. Read more
Blue Cross was formed in 1929 as a partnership between Baylor University Hospital and its patients who were struggling financially. The administrators of the hospital wanted to make healthcare more affordable for some patients, many of whom were Dallas public school educators on restricted budgets. The initial payment plan set up by Baylor University Hospital consisted of a 50-cent prepay each month for up to 21 days of hospitalization per year. The success of the program led to enrollment by employees in other professions across Dallas.
Blue Shield also began with workers, who faced illness and occupational hazards, including Pacific Northwest loggers and miners who faced physical challenges. Employers began to organize plans to provide medical services through partnerships with practitioners and groups of physicians for a manageable monthly fee Read more
In 1989, CareSource was founded on the premise of providing quality health care coverage for Medicaid consumers. Today it offers one of the nation’s largest Medicaid managed care plans. CareSource also offers private health insurance plans on the Health Insurance Marketplace, including Medicare Advantage and MyCare Ohio plans. CareSource has more than 1.9 million members across five states. The company employs about 3,800 people and is considered a nonprofit organization.
CareSource offers The Life Services program to help Medicaid members address their needs. To reduce dependence on governmental services, the program provides life coaching, access to resources and job opportunities. Read more
In 1792, a group of citizens formed the Insurance Company of North America (INA), the first marine insurance company in the U.S, the country’s oldest stockholder-owned insurer. The first insured hull and cargo was for a ship called America, which sailed from Philadelphia to Northern Ireland. In 1794, INA issued its first insurance policy, for a sea captain, to mitigate the risk of death. In 1865, the Governor of Connecticut signed a special at of the General Assembly incorporating the Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, which helped make Hartford, CT, “the insurance capital of the world.” Read more
Health Care Service Corporation began with the first hospital care prepayment plan which was developed by Justin Ford Kimball, a vice president at the Baylor University School of Medicine in Texas. He as well as health care professionals and officials met during the Great Depression to solve the problem of affordable health care. In 1936, they launched the Chicago Plan for Hospital Care by pooling their resources, creating the first insurance policy effective January 21, 1937. The company grew quickly, enrolling 36,000 members in its first six months. It adopted the Blue Cross symbol in 1939 and the Blue Shield symbol in 1947.
Blue Cross (hospital services) and Blue Shield (physician services) operated separately until 1975, when they became one as Health Care Service Corporation. The company continued to grow as Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans joined HCSC. Texas joined in 1998, New Mexico in 2001, Oklahoma in 2005 and Montana in 2013. Read more
Humana is a leading managed health care company founded by David A. Jones Sr in 1961 as a nursing home company called Extendicare. In 1972 Extendicare divested the nursing home business and moved into the hospital business. They changed the name to Humana in 1974. During the 1980s, Humana entered the health insurance business and divested its hospital interests in the 1990s. In 1998, Humana and UnitedHealth Group (UNH) planned a merger worth $5.5 billion but didn’t finalize it after UnitedHealth Group posted almost $1 billion in quarterly losses that same year. Read more
The Kaiser industrial companies of the 1930s and 1940 offered industrial health care programs for construction, shipyard and steel mill workers.These programs were opened to the public for enrollment in July 1945.
It was during the Great Depression that it all began Dr. Sidney Garfield, MD began a 12-bed hospital in the Mojave Desert called Contractors General Hospital, where he treated sick and injured workers. He had trouble collecting from insurance companies in a timely manner, and some workers had no insurance at all. Read more
Molina Healthcare was founded in 1980 by C. David Molina, an emergency room physician in Long Beach, CA. After seeing that patients were being turned away because the hospital would not accept Medi-Cal, he established his first primary care clinic in Wilmington, California in 1980. His goal was to treat the lowest-income patients. For 20 years, his son and fellow physician, J. Mario Molina, ran the company while he served as president and CEO. His younger son, John, was the CFO of Molina Healthcare. The two sons took over the company after their father’s death in 1996.
Molina Healthcare entered the Medicare market in 2006 and today it offers Medicare health plans in California, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin. Read more
In 2012, Oscar Ceo Mario Schlosser and his wife were preparing to have a baby and saw how difficult it was to navigate through the healthcare system. Schlosser’s friend, Josh Kushner, had also had a similar frustration in treating an injury. They founded Oscar Health on a hope to help consumers feel less powerless in managing their health. What makes Oscar different is the Concierge Team that guides members and handles customer service questions and coordination of clinical care.
In its first year, Oscar secured 16,000 members. In 2015, Oscar expanded into New Jersey and grew to about 40,00 members. In 2016, they had 145,000 members in New York, New Jersey, California and Texas. They then expanded in Tempe, Arizona. In 2016, Oscar opened the Oscar Center in partnership with Mount Sinai Health System. The Oscar Center has a primary care practice with a doctor, nurse practitioner and behavioral health specialist. It also hosts free yoga classes and classes for expectant mothers. Read more
UnitedHealth Group was founded in 1977 by Richard Burke and went public in 1984. It was Dr. Paul Ellwood, who coined the term “health maintenance organization,” and who helped Burke start up UnitedHealth. In 1979, the company created the first network senior health plan.
In 1995, the company acquired MetraHealth, which combined the group health care operations of The Travelers Insurance Company and Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. In 1996, the company automated its claims review process using Artificial Intelligence. UnitedHealth grew in prominence in 1997, when the American Association for Retired Persons (AARP) selected UnitedHealth to provide coverage to its members. That same year UnitedHealth expanded its Evercare program, which is designed to cover long-term care in nursing homes, elderly people living at home and people with chronic illnesses. Read more
In 1985, Wellcare began as a Medicaid provider for the state of Florida, with operations in Tampa, Florida. After the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 was passed, WellCare began offering Medicare Part C, now called Medicare Advantage. In 2003, it offered Medicare Advantage plans with prescription drug coverage. In 2004, Wellcare went public. In November 2013, WellCare appointed Chairman David Gallitano to serve as interim CEO. He increased spending on technology and famously dorned the walls with photographs and portraits of health plan members, including people who suffer from chronic conditions like cancer, homelessness and hunger.
In 2014, WellCare hired Kenneth Burdick as the new CEO and board member. He’d originally joined the company as the president of national health plans but was promoted first to president and COO and eventually CEO. In September 2017, Wellcare announced a rebrand with a focus on holistic health: “Beyond Healthcare: A Better You.” In October 2017, Wellcare announced the UNC Health Alliance primary care physicians and specialists into its Medicare Advantage network. Wellcare operates in 20 states and was recognized by Fortune magazine as One of the World’s Most Admired Companies in January 2018. In January 2020, Wellcare was acquired by Centene Corporation. Read more
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