Who are the top 5 health insurance companies?

Navigating the Top 5 Health Insurance Providers

old carton couple standing and handing the board of health Insurance

Health insurance can be confusing, with many companies vying for your business. When choosing coverage, people want reputable providers with comprehensive plan options at the best value. This article explores the 5 top-rated health insurance companies based on nationwide coverage, plan choice, technology, customer service, and affordability.

What criteria makes for a leading health insurer? Major factors include:

  • National provider networks with over 1 million doctors and hospitals
  • High number of plan options - HMO, PPO, POS, HDHP, etc.
  • Innovative apps and online services for convenient access
  • High customer satisfaction and quick claims processing
  • Affordable premiums and deductibles to fit different budgets

After comparing companies across these metrics, these health insurance providers emerge as industry leaders.


As the largest private health insurer nationwide, UnitedHealthcare should make anyone's shortlist during open enrollment. With a massive provider network and competitive pricing, they offer robust plans whether you want premium HMO offerings or cost-effective HDHP options.

Some stats for UnitedHealthcare:

  • 1+ million providers across comprehensive national network
  • 50+ plan options with range of pricing tiers
  • 90%+ claims processed in under 12 days on average
  • 85% member satisfaction in JD Power 2022 survey
  • Virtual primary care and expert medical opinion services

Highlights of UnitedHealthcare plans:

  • $0 virtual visits and some plans with $0 primary care cost sharing
  • Creditable HDHP options compatible with Health Savings Accounts
  • Discounts at gyms, acupuncture, massage therapy
  • UnitedHealthcare Motion provides cash rewards for meeting daily walking goals

Overall, it's difficult to find any glaring weaknesses in UnitedHealthcare plans. They offer well-rounded coverage suited to a wide range of healthcare needs and budgets.

Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS)

The Blue Cross Blue Shield umbrella brand encompasses 36 independent companies that provide insurance nationwide. This gives BCBS extensive regional networks blending national account options with local plan administrators.

Advantages of BCBS health insurance include:

  • 36 affiliated companies with over 106+ million members
  • Accepted at 90% of hospitals and 85% of doctors nationwide
  • Lowest customer complaints among top 5 health insurers
  • 65+ plan offerings with premium to high-deductible options
  • Cash rewards for healthy behaviors with Blue365 Deals

BCBS plans worth considering:

  • Blue Precision HMO for low costs tiered networks
  • Blue Advantage PPO with out-of-network flexibility
  • Blue High Deductible eligible for Health Saving Accounts

The locally operated BCBS companies allow customization addressing individual state healthcare needs. For a balance of nationwide access and regional focus, BCBS delivers strong provider choice and member satisfaction.


Known for high customer loyalty, Cigna leverages partnerships with health systems to foster coordinated patient care. Their plans provide access to quality providers via tiered networks that help control costs for members.

Why consider Cigna health insurance?

  • 1 million+ healthcare providers across each state
  • Top-ranked 90% customer satisfaction score
  • 35+ plan options from catastrophic to premium coverage
  • Strong virtual care services and behavioral health access
  • Partnerships for value-based coordinated care models

Standout Cigna plan features include:

  • $0 virtual medical and behavioral health visits
  • Consolidated deductibles on HMO and PPO plans
  • Cigna One Guide service to assist finding cost-effective providers
  • Discounts on health clubs, vision exams, LASIK surgery
  • Cigna Healthy Rewards gift card incentives for health actions

Cigna's excellent customer service and holistic approach to care make them a worthy health insurance option around the country.


Backed by CVS Heath, Aetna enjoys a vast provider network blending local CVS MinuteClinic access with comprehensive medical centers. A key focus lies in making care more convenient through on-demand and virtual health services.

What makes Aetna a leading choice?

  • 1.2 million primary care doctors and specialists nationwide
  • 3,000 low-cost retail clinics expand convenient access
  • Leading virtual care provider Teladoc included in all plans
  • Range of plan types - HMO, PPO, POS, HSA compatible
  • CVS ExtraCare rewards points for filling prescriptions

Notable Aetna plan perks:

  • Maternity programs and support for expecting mothers
  • Behavioral health options like virtual psychiatry visits
  • Gather member program combining health history data
  • Simple, streamlined plan designs at various price points
  • Innovative digital navigation tools to find providers

With extensive services geared around convenience, Aetna appeals to those wanting national access alongside local retail clinics for everyday needs.

Kaiser Permanente

Distinguishing itself from traditional insurers, Kaiser Permanente offers fully integrated care. As one of America's largest not-for-profit health networks, they combine insurance plans with their own hospitals and healthcare providers.

Benefits of Kaiser Permanente coverage include:

  • 700+ medical offices and 237 hospitals in 8 states plus D.C.
  • Seamless coordination as insurer and direct care provider
  • Top patient satisfaction - comparable to Medicaid scores
  • Affordable premiums due to restricted provider network
  • Focus on preventative medicine and health education

Kaiser HMO offerings feature:

  • $0 virtual visit cost sharing via phone, video, email
  • Dedicated member care advice nurses by phone 24/7
  • Online appointment booking and prescription refills
  • Covered alternative care - chiro, acupuncture, massage
  • Wellness coaching programs for chronic conditions

For fully integrated insurance-delivery models focusing on prevention and lifestyle medicine, Kaiser Permanente is a standout option in the regions they serve.

Choosing the Best Plan for YOU

When it comes to picking health coverage, one company isn't necessarily better overall. You have unique health needs, budget, and customer service expectations. By defining what matters most - finding top specialists, lowest prescription prices, virtual visit access or program flexibility - you can determine which insurer best aligns.

Think through these preferences before making a decision:

  • Provider network - search if your doctors/hospitals are covered
  • Prescription costs - compare drug price lookup tools
  • Total out-of-pocket costs - premium, deductible, co-pays/co-insurance caps
  • Customer service ratings - complaints data and online reviews
  • Convenience services - telehealth options, nurse lines, apps

The top health insurance players all leverage expansive provider networks, leading customer service, and innovative benefits to remain competitive. Comparing objective quality metrics and defining personal priorities leads to the optimal health plan fit.

While navigating health insurance is seldom simple, taking advantage of expert guidance makes the process less painful. Independent agents and brokers offer unbiased support exploring all your coverage options during open enrollment periods.

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