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4 Best Health Insurance Companies of 2023

4 Best Health Insurance Companies of 2023

Kaiser Permanente is the best overall health insurance company because it is well rated and affordable. Blue Cross Blue Shield and UnitedHealthcare also have good ratings.

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Choosing a high-quality health insurance plan can help you avoid frustrations when using your medical benefits or getting claims paid.

Remember that quality ratings tell you about policyholder satisfaction, not the level of medical benefits, which is determined by the plan tier.

Health insurance company ratings

Kaiser Permanente is the top-rated health insurance company in the U.S., according to available state data from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). Good insurance companies include Blue Cross Blue Shield, UnitedHealthcare, Humana, Aetna and Cigna. The worst-rated health insurance companies are Oscar and Molina.

Overall, these performance ratings can give you a big-picture snapshot of which health insurance companies are the best, which are in the middle of the pack and which you should avoid.

Best health insurance companies

Editor's rating
Monthly cost
Kaiser Permanente
Blue Cross Blue Shield
Aetna (CVS Health)
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Average monthly cost for a 40-year-old buying a Silver health insurance plan.

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Because company performance can vary by state, we recommend that those shopping for insurance on HealthCare.gov also compare the star ratings of individual plans offered in their location. This will give you the best indication of which plans will give you a good experience.

Note that Humana does not sell individual health insurance plans and only provides health insurance through employer or group plans. This means that you may be able to get a Humana plan through your job, but plans are not available on the health insurance marketplace or directly from Humana.

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Best overall health insurance: Kaiser Permanente

  • Overall rating

  • Average monthly cost: $454

Kaiser Permanente's consistently high ratings mean you're likely to be satisfied with your health insurance, making it a good choice if plans are available in your area.

Insurer details

  • AM Best financial strength rating: Not rated
  • NAIC complaint index: 76% fewer complaints than the industry average
  • Unique value: Access to Kaiser's medical centers and doctors

Kaiser Permanente offers top-rated individual health insurance options in eight states — California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Oregon, Virginia and Washington — and Washington, D.C.

The company stands out for its good customer service and streamlined access to high-quality medical care. Kaiser Permanente consistently ranks as having the most satisfied customers.

Kaiser health insurance is paired with Kaiser's medical facilities, which can make it easier to manage both your insurance and health services through the same online portal. The downside is that enrollees have a limited provider network. Rather than having access to a wide range of doctors, the plans typically only provide coverage when you go to a Kaiser facility (except during emergencies).

If having access to a wide selection of doctors is important to you, consider Blue Cross Blue Shield, which has the largest network of medical providers in the county.

  • Overall rating

  • Average monthly cost: $607

Blue Cross Blue Shield stands out for its well-rated plans, large network of providers and wide availability in all 50 states.

Insurer details

  • AM Best financial strength rating: A
  • NAIC complaint index: 43% fewer complaints than the industry average
  • Unique value: BCBS has the largest network of doctors available

Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) has high-quality health insurance and is rated slightly ahead of other major competitors such as UnitedHealthcare and Humana. It also is the most popular health insurance company in the country.

BCBS offers a wide range of plan options and types including HMOs (health maintenance organizations), EPOs (exclusive provider organizations) and PPOs (preferred provider organizations). These choices can help you get the best type of coverage to meet your needs.

The company is also good if you want flexibility with where you get your medical care. The BCBS network includes 90% of the country's doctors and hospitals. Even though the exact network of each plan varies, you'll likely have a wide selection of doctors that are covered.

However, the plans are frequently more expensive than similar coverage from other providers, making Blue Cross not a good choice for those on a tight budget.

Best health insurance for the self-employed: UnitedHealthcare

  • Overall rating

  • Average monthly cost: $546

UnitedHealthcare offers a variety of insurance options including health, dental and vision, but availability in some states may be limited.

Insurer details

  • AM Best financial strength rating: A+
  • NAIC complaint index: 18% fewer complaints than the industry average
  • Unique value: Digital tools to improve your health care experience

UnitedHealthcare (UHC) offers good-quality health insurance plans, and the company stands out for its comprehensive care, including several add-on benefits and a robust app. For those who are self-employed, this can be a valuable way to streamline coverage, save time and reduce hassle.

Many UHC plans include benefits such as free primary care, low-cost prescriptions and access to wellness programs. And you can add on coverage for dental, vision and disability. Plus, the UHC mobile app lets you have telehealth appointments, estimate procedure costs, compare doctors and manage your plan, making it easier to get the most out of your policy.

However, there are some downsides. UHC health insurance policies can be more expensive than average, and interacting with the company can be frustrating, according to comments on the Better Business Bureau.

Best health insurance for young adults: Aetna

  • Overall rating

  • Average monthly cost: $450

Aetna's cheaper plans are best for those who would prefer a lower-priced plan that has average quality.

Insurer details

  • AM Best financial strength rating: A
  • NAIC complaint index: 10% more complaints than the industry average
  • Unique value: Cheap rates and rewards program

Aetna's plans have average ratings and lower monthly costs than other providers. This makes Aetna a good deal for those who are young and healthy.

Plus, many plans let you earn rewards or gift cards for healthy activities when you use the Attain by Aetna app on an Apple Watch or Fitbit, helping you save even more.

Plans also provide free or low-cost access to CVS minute clinics, which are located inside CVS or Target retail locations. This can make it easy for policyholders to access in-network care across multiple locations such as a hometown, college town or internship location.

However, these plans may not be a good choice for those who have ongoing medical conditions or who need significant or expensive health procedures. In these cases, you may be more satisfied with a higher-rated company like Kaiser Permanente, Blue Cross Blue Shield or UnitedHealthcare, which have better customer satisfaction and fewer complaints.

Understanding the data behind health insurance ratings

In the health insurance industry, a variety of rating agencies evaluate health insurance companies every year based on factors that include financial strength, customer reviews and policyholder complaints. You can use these metrics to evaluate companies and choose the best insurance for you. The most common third-party ratings for insurance companies include:

  • NCQA health insurance plan ratings: NCQA's overall performance rankings of 0 to 5 combine measurements of consumer satisfaction, clinical measures such as preventive care and quality scoring from the NCQA accreditation process.
  • NAIC complaint index: The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) complaint index calculates the rate of company complaints against the size of each insurer. A complaint index under 1.00 indicates the company receives fewer complaints than expected for its size.
  • AM Best financial strength rating: AM Best is a credit rating agency that gives health insurance companies a financial health score. A++ or "superior" is the top grade available. Usually, any company above A- is in an above-average financial situation.

Checking company ratings and customer evaluations can help you understand what the company values and how it stacks up against its competitors. Then, you can get quotes from these companies to decide which one makes sense for your situation.

How to choose the best health insurance company

When choosing a health insurance company, you should evaluate the costs for both the plan and your medical care, as well as customer reviews.

Policy costs, details and company benefits

The most important factor to consider is whether the insurer offers affordable policies that fit your needs.

The price of a health insurance policy can vary widely by insurer. This is typically because some providers offer additional benefits with their policies, such as online member portals or gym memberships.

Additionally, some policies have a wider provider network, which means your health insurance would be accepted by more doctors and medical facilities. However, policies with a bigger network or those that offer you the ability to see any doctor that you want will almost always come with higher monthly premiums.

Finally, besides the monthly price you pay, you should carefully review the deductibles and copays or coinsurance before choosing a policy. These can vary greatly not only by insurer but also by policy. By selecting the plan with a deductible and coinsurance that fit your needs, you can save yourself money.

Customer reviews

When evaluating insurers, you should also consider the experience of other policyholders as a way to indicate if you'll have problems with the insurance plan. Through metrics like the NAIC complaint index and J.D. Power's customer satisfaction scores, you can better understand how that health insurance company treats its policyholders.

Additionally, you should check reviews about the claims process and the ease with which consumers can get their claims filed. Some companies tend to have cheaper health insurance but will lag significantly in customer service. This is important to consider, as claims processing will be integral to your overall customer experience with the health insurance company.

Frequently asked questions

Which health insurance company is the best?

The best overall health insurance company is Kaiser Permanente because its plans are highly rated and have low prices. In addition, Blue Cross Blue Shield is a good health insurance company that offers more flexibility in its coverage and is widely available.

How do I pick the best health insurance plan?

First, choose a well-rated company that’s operating in your area. Then, compare plans to match the level of medical coverage to the amount of medical care you expect to need. A good rule of thumb is that a Bronze plan is a good choice for someone young and healthy. If you expect to need significant medical care, a Gold-tier plan could help you save money on health care.

Which health insurance company has the highest customer satisfaction?

Kaiser Permanente is almost always ranked as having the highest customer satisfaction, and it especially stands out for having the best Medicare Advantage plans. However, Kaiser Permanente is only available in eight states and Washington, D.C.


ValuePenguin evaluated more than 20 of the largest health insurance companies across the following rankings:

  • NCQA star ratings: Average insurer performance for customer satisfaction and quality of medical care, as calculated for available state ratings of private, commercial health insurers.
  • AM Best: Financial health ranking based on the average of each subsidiary's ability to meet its obligations.
  • NAIC complaint index: Ratio of complaints calculated as a weighted average of all subsidiaries by total annual premiums.

The costs of health insurance plans are based on aggregated data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) about private health insurance plans sold on HealthCare.gov. Averages exclude states that use their own health insurance marketplace instead of HealthCare.gov, and costs are calculated based on a sample 40-year-old policyholder choosing a Silver health insurance plan.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.