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When looking to get health coverage, things can easily get overwhelming. There’s a lot of information to take in – and it isn’t the easiest to understand.
That could be one of the reasons (along with how much it costs) why 44 million Americans are underinsured.
So, today, I want to cover health insurance in simple terms – as well as highlight the best health insurance companies for 2020.
Things to consider when getting health insurance
When it comes to choosing health care insurance, or any insurance, there are always several factors you will need to consider carefully.
First, there are the insurance companies and the plans they offer (these will largely depend on the state you are in). You will also need to choose the insurance plan that fits you, your needs, and your budget.
Once these have been figured out, it’s time for shopping. Try to get as many quotes as possible and compare the price and value of different companies and policies.
To help you get on your way, here is a list of the best health insurance companies for 2020 and a bit about the different policies and plans offered.
Who is the best health insurance company?
Kaiser Permanente is a health insurance company that offers flexible health insurance plans for everyone in the family. They have a vast network of professional health care providers for you to choose from.
You can check the list of doctors on their website, where you can also get all of the information you might need about them. Most of their network clinics offer a large variety of services, so you can be sure you’ll get everything done in one place.
Besides their website, Kaiser Permanente also has a mobile app that allows you to book appointments, see test results, communicate with your doctor, print records, refill prescriptions, and more. They also offer help if you get hurt or ill while traveling.
Besides all these perks, Kaiser Permanente has an excellent rating in customer satisfaction and financial strength, helping you seal the deal.
Who are the top 5 health insurance companies?
There are many great health insurance companies in the U.S. Not all of them are available in all states, so it is important to check if the health care provider is offering their services in your state first.
Here are the five top-rated health insurance companies for 2020, based on overall customer satisfaction, financial strength, and their health insurance plans:
According to Insure.com, Kaiser Permanente’s overall customer satisfaction rating is 84.16 out of 100, with claims processing being rated 89 out of 100. 92% of their customers choose to renew their plans, which is pretty impressive.
The company offers health insurance that is available for residents of selected locations, including California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Virginia, Washington D.C., Oregon, and Washington. The Kaiser Foundation network consists of over 22,000 physicians, all located in the covered areas.
With Kaiser Permanente, you can choose one of their four plans – Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum. The Bronze, Silver, and Gold plans have an optional HSA (Health Savings Account), which comes with a debit card and has the option of investing in mutual funds as soon as you have $2,000 saved.
- Great choice of health insurance plans
- High overall customer satisfaction
- HSA option with an investment opportunity
- 22,000 Physicians within Network
Blue Cross Blue Shield
BCBS (Blue Cross Blue Shield) Association operates in the USA and many other countries all over the world. In the United States, there are 36 BCBS health insurance companies, most of which have an excellent “A” financial strength rating from A.M. Best.
Seven of their companies are also listed in the top 10 best health insurance providers by Insure.com. The health insurance plans are available through HMOs (Health Maintenance Organizations), EPOs (Exclusive Provider Organizations), and PPOs (Preferred Provider Organizations), ensuring a great variety of choices and flexible plans and coverage, no matter where you live. BCBS also offers FSAs (Flexible Spending Accounts) and HSA (Health Savings Accounts).
Both FSAs and HSAs can be used for medical expenses, including deductibles, allowing you to choose a high deductible plan, which results in lower premiums.
- Easy to find health care providers anywhere in the USA
- Very good selection of plans available, fitting most people’s needs and budget
- Offering both FSA and HSA, which can be used for deductibles
- “A” financial strength rating from A.M. Best
UHC (United Health Care) is rated A for excellent financial strength by A.M. Best and has average overall customer satisfaction.
It is especially liked by those who prefer to take care of things online. UHC has an online service and a mobile app, which you can use to set up appointments, find doctors and speak to them, and file claims.
Their plans are available through Medicare Advantage, HMOs, and PPOs. The United Health Care PPO network is extensive, featuring over 1.3 million health care professionals.
UHC also offers discounts for vision services, hearing aids, and programs that help to quit smoking. UHC offers HSAs and FSAs.
- Extensive PPO network with over 1.3 million doctors
- Online services and mobile app
- Their insurance meets the requirements of the Affordable Care Act
- “A” financial strength rating from A.M. Best
Aetna is one of the biggest health insurance providers in the United States and offers health insurance in all states.
Aetna has excellent financial strength, being given five stars for overall customer satisfaction by J.D. Power & Associates. Surveys have shown that 81% of their customers would recommend it to their friends.
Aetna offers affordable and flexible health insurance plans through HMOs, PPOs, EPOs, and POS (Point of Service). They also offer a Health Savings Account (HSA) for high deductible plans.
Aetna stands out with the availability of many wellness programs such as weight-loss programs, gym memberships, chiropractic services, and many more.
- Available in all states
- Great selection of wellness programs
- HSA available for high deductible plans
- 5 Star rating from J.D. Power for customer satisfaction
Cigna is a well-known name in the health insurance industry and has been providing health insurance services for many years.
It offers health insurance in 10 states at the moment, including Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, and Virginia.
A.M. Best rated its financial strength as “A” – excellent – and has a great online platform which helps their customers to find network doctors, file claims, get estimate costs, and other information. Cigna offers many different plans that can vary from state to state.
Their high deductible plans also include an optional HSA. Besides all of this, Cigna also offers its clients out-of-network health care and many additional benefits, such as a rewards program, health information helpline, home delivery pharmacy, and Telehealth connection program.
- Flexible plans with HSA option
- Out-of-network health care without a referral
- Many benefits for policyholders, including Telehealth services
- “A” financial strength rating from A.M. Best
How do I choose the best health insurance plan?
While you are seeking a great health insurance company, you have to go a step further and choose a health insurance plan, and the cost is probably going to be your first and major concern. While cost is important, there are many more things to consider.
The premium (the amount you’ll pay) is a big part of the picture, but you also need to consider the health insurance network, coverage, and deductibles.
The health insurance network includes clinics, physicians, and other health care institutions and professionals that you can go to. Coverage is important because it determines what part of your health care expenses will be covered by the insurance company.
Deductibles, on the other hand, are the amounts you will have to pay for yourself. Usually, higher deductible plans have lower premiums.
If you choose a plan that offers HSA (Health Savings Account) or FSA (Flexible Spendings Account), you will be able to use those accounts to cover your deductibles. Other terms you should know about health insurance plans:
- HMO – Health Maintenance Organization. It ensures lower costs with selected doctors and clinics and usually has lower coverage.
- PPO – Preferred Provider Organization. It is slightly more expensive, but you are able to choose your preferred health care provider. It is more flexible than HMO and has better coverage.
- POS – Point of Service plan. It’s a combination of HMO and PPO, where you can choose an out-of-network provider, but this might come at an extra cost.
- EPO – Exclusive Provider Organization. It is similar to HMO and only covers selected health care providers inside the insurance company’s network. With EPO, unlike HMO, you don’t need your primary doctor referrals.
So, Which Health Insurance Company is The Best for You?
While there are more than a few excellent health insurance companies, not everyone has the same needs.
Your budget and preferences will be the two main things that help you decide which insurance company to choose.
What’s really important is taking a good look at each company and the policies they offer – to make sure they meet your and your family’s needs (especially if you plan to utilize your health insurance plan often because of a chronic condition).
Another thing you’ll want to bear in mind is doctors and prescriptions – for example, if you want certain doctors to be in the plan’s network, or to be able to get certain prescriptions.
All of these things should be considered before you commit to one health insurance provider – to make sure you’re getting a healthcare plan that meets your needs.