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Which health insurance network is best for you?

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 requires most U.S. adults to purchase health insurance. Health insurance is important because it can cover the costs of an unexpected accident, illness, or any routine medical care. And if more people decide to stay uninsured, the overall cost of health insurance will rise.

Health insurance might seem like a luxury for some. Plans can be expensive and hard to understand. We analyzed some of the top networks in the United States to help you find the best health insurance company.

We have broken down the seven choices.

As we researched health insurance companies, we took a few key factors into account:

  • Affordability. The cost of a monthly premium will vary based on your location, plan, and whether you’re covered by your employer. We still tried to find options that can fit every budget, though.
  • Benefits. Benefits are additional services covered by health insurance, such as The dental work. or vision care.
  • Customer ratings and reviews. Finally, we combed through customer ratings and reviews to make sure we only recommended highly rated companies.

What types of health insurance plans are available, anyway?

Health insurance can be hard to understand. Here is a quick breakdown of the plans that are available through networks.

  • Marketplace plans. Depending on what’s available in your area, you may find bronze, silver, gold, and platinum marketplace plans. These levels are broken down by how much you pay versus how much your network pays. Some of these can include:
    • Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO). This is a managed care plan where services are covered only if you use doctors, specialists, or hospitals in your plan’s network, except in an emergency.
    • Health Maintenance Organization (HMO). An HMO usually limits coverage to care from doctors who work for or contract with the HMO. It generally won’t cover out of network, except in an emergency. The plan may require you to live or work in its service area to be eligible for coverage.
    • Point of Service (POS). With this plan, you may pay less if you use doctors, hospitals, or other healthcare professionals that belong to the plan’s network. They typically require you to get a referral from your primary care doctor to see a specialist.
    • Preferred Provider Organization (PPO). You pay less if you use providers in the plan’s network. You can, however, use doctors, specialists, and hospitals that are out of network without a referral for an additional cost.
  • High Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs). For HDHPs, there’s a higher deductible than most healthcare networks, but there’s a lower monthly premium. You can combine an HDHP with a health savings account (HSA) or a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA).
  • Medicaid. Medicaid is a federal and state program that helps with healthcare costs for people with limited resources and incomes. Some people who are eligible for Medicaid include low income adults, children, pregnant people, older adults, and people with disabilities.
  • Medicare. This is a federal health insurance network for people who are 65 years old or older, some younger people with diseases, and people with end stage renal disease.

Best customer service


As one of the nation’s oldest health insurance companies, Aetna insures consumers for health, The dental work., and vision care. Part of CVS Health, they have an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

You get convenient walk-in care options by choosing Aetna, which is available across the country. By purchasing an Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace insurance plan, you receive access to Telehealth. services, $0 MinuteClinic visits, free screenings, preventive care, and more.

Aetna is also known for their Medicare and Medicaid plans available in all 50 states. With Medicare and Medicaid, you’ll receive all the benefits and services originally offered by Medicare, plus extras like a fitness benefit, The dental work., vision, or Hearing care.


  • They offer health plans with nationwide coverage, health savings accounts, and other programs.
  • There are online customer service options.
  • There is a reward program for healthy actions.
  • There is a wide selection of providers.


  • There are no short term plans available.
  • “They don’t work with independent insurance agents.”

Best overall customer satisfaction

Blue Cross Blue Shield

Blue Cross Blue Shield is a widely used health insurance provider. They have been serving people in the United States for more than 90 years.

BCBS offers a variety of insurance options. BCBS has a network of over 1.7 million doctors and hospitals. Blue365 is a program for Medicare members that provides discounts on health and wellbeing related products and services.

Other plans have benefits.

  • The dental work.
  • vision
  • Hearing
  • Telehealth.
  • The fitness discounts are available.
  • Over-the-counter medication management.

While BCBS is a widely trusted insurance company, if you’re looking to purchase a premium, you may have to do some extra work up front. BCBS consists of 35 separate companies that are locally operated, meaning it will take some research to find the plans that apply to you.


  • There are no premiums for Medicare members in 45 states.
  • There are additional benefits with the Blue365 discount program.
  • You can get coverage nationwide.


  • Extra research is required for separate plans.

Best for pharmacy programs


Although not available in every state, Cigna offers health insurance that may be more affordable than others on our list. The network also includes impressive pharmacy programs, making it an especially good option for people with regular prescriptions for medications.

With standalone drug plans that work alongside Medicare and over 67,000 contracted pharmacies, Cigna is an excellent choice for pharmacy programs. You can also receive home delivery with Express Scripts Pharmacy, or connect with a licensed pharmacist whenever you have questions about your medication.

Emigrants living abroad can get health insurance from Cigna. It is easy to manage health goals, appointment reminders, and claims with the myCigna website and mobile app.

Individual and family health insurance plans are only offered by Cigna in certain states.

  • Arizona…
  • Colorado…
  • Florida…
  • Georgia….
  • Illinois…
  • Kansas..
  • Missouri
  • Mississippi..
  • North Carolina…
  • Pennsylvania..
  • Tennessee…
  • Utah is located in the state of Utah.
  • Virginia…


  • Their call center is open.
  • Virtual medical visits with dedicated physicians are free.
  • Great pharmacy programs.


  • Telehealth care is not available for all plans.
  • Only 13 states are available.
  • The annual out-of-pocket limits are high.

Best benefits available

United Healthcare

United Healthcare, also called United, offers individual and family health insurance plans in 18 states. Customers love the extra programs and tools that are available, such as virtual visits, mental health care, rewards programs, house calls, and more.

United provides health insurance plans that include The dental work., vision, and health. Medicare, Medicaid, short-term insurance, and small business plans are also available.

Individual plans from United can be more expensive than other plans. Many resources are available for people who are insured by United.

Individual and family plans are also only available in 18 states:

  • Alabama.
  • Arizona…
  • Colorado..
  • Florida…
  • Georgia….
  • Illinois…
  • Louisiana..
  • Maryland..
  • Massachusetts.
  • Michigan..
  • Nevada is located in Nevada. is located in Nevada is located in Nevada..
  • New York.
  • North Carolina…
  • Oklahoma..
  • Tennessee…
  • Texas..
  • Virginia…
  • Washington…


  • They are the only health insurer that has a partnership with the AARP.
  • Plans are highly rated.
  • Virtual visits and free house calls are available.
  • A ton of programs are available with United, like support for quitting smoking, mental health care, maternity support, and more.


  • Plans are more expensive.
  • In some cases, the customer has to submit the claims.
  • Some states have United.

Best for The dental work. benefits


Centene Corporation is the owner of Ambetter, a health insurance marketplace.

Ambetter Health Insurance offers three main healthcare plans.

Other healthcare plans are available.

  • Ambetter Select Plans. Only available in select counties in Florida… and Georgia…., the select plans offer a low monthly premium and a selective network of providers and hospitals.
  • Ambetter Value Plans. Available in select counties in Florida…, Nevada is located in Nevada. is located in Nevada is located in Nevada.., and Texas.., the lowest priced premium plans available by Ambetter have specific healthcare professionals and hospitals. They also require referrals to see a specialist.
  • Ambetter Virtual Access Plans. These plans are available in Michigan.., Mississippi.., South Carolina., and Texas… Powered by Teladoc, they provide full virtual primary care with a $0 copay.

The cost and other details of the plan will be different depending on where you are. Ambetter is available in 26 states.

  • Arizona…
  • Arkansas.
  • California..
  • Florida…
  • Georgia….
  • Illinois…
  • Indiana.
  • Kansas..
  • Kentucky.
  • Louisiana..
  • Michigan..
  • Mississippi..
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska is located in the United States.
  • Nevada is located in Nevada. is located in Nevada is located in Nevada..
  • New Hampshire is located in the United States.
  • New Jersey is located in the United States.
  • New Mexico is located in the United States.
  • North Carolina…
  • Ohio.
  • Oklahoma..
  • Pennsylvania..
  • South Carolina.
  • Tennessee…
  • Texas..
  • Washington…

Ambetter is a great choice if you’re looking for good The dental work. and vision benefits. With some Ambetter plans, your The dental work. program could cost as little as $12 per month. Dental plans are available in all Ambetter markets except Washington…, New Mexico is located in the United States., and New Jersey is located in the United States..

The The dental work. plans include preventive and diagnostic The dental work., basic The dental work. care, and major The dental work. care.


  • Offers The dental work. programs that are as low as $12.
  • There is a nurses line.
  • Most plans offer health living rewards.


  • Not available in all 50 states.
  • They are a new company.
  • There is a lack of online customer platform.

Best for Medicare coverage


Humana is a great option for Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement, and a simple prescription drug plan.

Humana Medicare plans are available in every state, while Medicare Advantage is available in most counties. Although not every Medicare Advantage plan includes prescription drug coverage, you can purchase a standalone prescription drug plan or opt for the expanded coverage plans available through Walgreens and Walmart.

You can also enjoy the SilverSneakers program, which offers access to 15,000 gyms and fitness centers across the country. Humana is also known for their Humana Pharmacy mail order prescription options.


  • They offer rewards for good health.
  • Many plans offer The dental work., vision, and Hearing benefit coverage.
  • People 65 years and older can find great plans for retirement.


  • “Some plans don’t include prescription drug coverage.”
  • There are no short-term plans available.
  • When traveling outside the country, an extra plan is required.

Best for low cost options

Kaiser Permanente

As the largest nonprofit health insurance company, Kaiser is a managed care organization that offers individual and family plans as well as Medicare and Medicaid.

If you’re eligible, you can also receive extra benefits with certain plans — things like an exercise program, help with glasses and Hearing aids, and an over-the-counter allowance.

Kaiser Permanente also offers charitable health coverage (CHC) if you don’t qualify for public or private coverage. In order to receive CHC, you have to meet certain requirements, such as living in an area that Kaiser Permanente serves and falling below the federal poverty line.

Additionally, if you’re losing coverage soon, the company can help you find personalized recommendations. Some of the qualifying life events include losing job-related coverage, losing coverage on your parent’s plan, and getting divorced. Certain situations may even qualify for financial help that can make costs more affordable.

“The majority of Americans can’t access this health insurance option. It is available in the store.”

  • California..
  • Colorado..
  • Georgia….
  • Hawaii.
  • Maryland..
  • Oregon.
  • Virginia…
  • Washington…
  • Washington…, D.C.


  • They are a managed care organization.
  • Extra benefits are available, such as an exercise program, help with glasses and Hearing aids, and an over-the-counter allowance.
  • There are low cost options.


  • They are only available in eight states.

Insurance company name Considerations Coverage area Number of providers in network Benefits
Aetna They do not offer individual health insurance plans. all 50 states 35,000 vision or The dental work. coverage; Telehealth. care, free screenings, preventive care, all depending on the plan
Blue Cross Blue Shield Quality is average. all 50 states 1.7 million vision or The dental work., Hearing, Telehealth. care; The fitness discounts are available., over-the-counter medical management, all depending on the plan
Cigna The annual out-of-pocket limits are high. 13 states varies vision, The dental work., or Hearing coverage; pharmacy programs and Telehealth. care, all depending on the plan
United In some cases, the customer has to submit the claims. 18 states 1.3 million vision, The dental work., or Hearing coverage; virtual visits, mental health care, rewards programs, house calls, all depending on the plan
Ambetter Lack of digital tools. 26 states varies vision or The dental work. coverage depending on the plan
Humana Short-term plans are not available . all 50 states varies vision, The dental work., or Hearing benefit coverage; prescription drug coverage, and The fitness discounts are available., all depending on the plan
Kaiser Permanente There are low cost options. 8 states 23,000 vision or The dental work. coverage; an exercise program, help with Hearing aids and glasses care, and over-the-counter drug care, all depending on the plan

There are a few important factors to consider when shopping for a health insurance plan.

Consider affordability first. Regardless of whether you get medical care or not, your monthly premium will stay the same. When you receive care, your out-of-pocket costs will vary.

Next, consider the type of health insurance plans offered by a certain insurance company. There are four primary types of Marketplace plans: EPO, HMO, POS, and PPO.

If you use medical providers that are in the network, medical services will only be covered. If you pay more, you can use out-of-network care. Consider what type of plan would be best for you and what company offers that.

Also do some research on what kind of benefits the company provides. Some health insurance plans offer The dental work. and vision benefits. Preventive care and prescriptions are also important to look into.

Customer reviews and ratings are a good indicator of how well the company handles customers. You need to choose an insurance company that provides coverage in the state where you live.

What insurance company has the best benefits?

While many health insurance companies have good benefits, Blue Cross Blue Shield offers some of the best. BCBS customers can enjoy excellent The dental work. or vision benefits with most plans.

What’s a good health insurance deductible?

Your deductible is the amount of money you will have to pay each year for healthcare before your insurance kicks in and covers the rest.

The average deductible with employer-based coverage for an individual is $1,945. For families, it’s around $3,722.

How do I choose the right health insurance?

You can choose the right health insurance by considering factors that are important to you, such as affordability or the types of plans offered. It is important to research customer reviews and ratings to find a good health insurance company. You can compare your options side-by-side to make your final decision.

There are many companies that you can choose from if you are looking for a new health insurance provider. Use the information and tips to find the right health insurance company.

Hailey Hudson is a full-time freelance writer and content marketer based out of Atlanta, Georgia….. She focuses in the health, marketing, and education industries. Clients include Livestrong, Runner’s World, Dell, and others. Hailey is also a novelist and a musician.