Best Health Insurance Companies of 2024

Best Health Insurance Companies

Best Health Insurance Companies If you are looking for the best health insurance for Affordable Care Act (ACA) plan coverage, Kaiser Permanente and Blue Cross Blue Shield are among the top contenders. However, it is still recommended to explore other options and compare insurers in your area to find the right plan that suits your needs. It might be worth considering smaller or regional insurers listed on the ACA marketplace as well. Comparing different policies can provide a better understanding of what each has to offer and help you make an informed decision about which one is the best fit for you based on your budget and medical needs. It’s important to note that premiums and deductibles can vary by state, so what may work well in one area may not be ideal in another.

Outlines Of Guide

Best Health Insurance Companies of 2024

Choosing the best health insurance company is crucial for ensuring that you and your loved ones have access to quality healthcare. As we look ahead to 2024, several companies stand out for their exceptional coverage and customer service. Blue Cross Blue Shield, known for its extensive network of providers and comprehensive plans, continues to be a top choice for many individuals and families. UnitedHealthcare also ranks highly with its wide range of plan options and innovative wellness programs. Cigna, Aetna, and Humana round out the list of top health insurance companies for 2024, offering competitive rates and excellent customer satisfaction ratings. When selecting a health insurance provider, it’s important to consider factors such as coverage options, network size, cost, and customer reviews to find the best fit for your specific needs.

The 3. Best Health Insurance Companies

  • Kaiser Permanente – Best Overall
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield – Best Provider Network
  • UnitedHealthcare – Best for Low Out-of-Pocket Costs

1. Kaiser Permanente

Why We Picked It

Kaiser Permanente is a preferred healthcare provider, with outstanding quality ratings, and highly affordable average deductibles for its silver plans. Its availability in four different metal tiers on the ACA marketplace provides individuals a range of options to choose from based on their budget and requirements. With its reputation for providing top-notch healthcare services, it is an excellent choice for those seeking quality medical attention at an affordable price. Furthermore, Kaiser Permanente also offers a range of health plans that cater to different needs such as HMOs, PPOs, EPOs, and POS plans. This wide array of options means that customers can find a plan that suits them best.

Pros & Cons


  • Operates an integrated health system, which means the medical providers and health plans work for the same company, reducing potential claims problems and potentially making healthcare more seamless.
  • Offers all four metal tier plans (bronze, silver, gold and platinum).
  • Better than average silver plan deductibles.
  • Excellent health insurance costs compared to other insurers analyzed.
  • Highest quality marks by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (4.2 out of 5), especially for prevention, among the health plans reviewed.
  • Kaiser Permanente has the best average ACA plan ratings of the insurers we reviewed.


  • Only available in eight states.
  • If you have an HMO and must stay in-network, finding a provider that accepts Kaiser Permanente may be a problem since it’s not accepted in many states.
  • Consumer complaints to state insurance commissioners are higher than the industry average.

Marketplace Health Plan Availability

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Virginia
  • Maryland
  • Oregon
  • Washington

2. Blue Cross Blue Shield

Why We Picked It

Blue Cross Blue Shield comprises 34 independent insurers and has high quality ratings, below-average silver plan deductibles, and provides three health plan types and four metal tiers on the ACA marketplace.

Pros & Cons


  • Over 1.7 million in-network providers.
  • Available nationwide.
  • Offers all four metal tiers (bronze, silver, gold and platinum).
  • Provides three types of health plans on the marketplace (HMO, EPO and PPO).
  • Lower than average silver plan deductible costs.
  • Excellent National Committee for Quality Assurance quality ratings (3.5 out of 5), especially for patient experience.


  • Consumer complaints to state insurance commissioners are slightly above average compared to the rest of the industry.
  • Higher ACA marketplace premiums than competitors analyzed.

Marketplace Health Plan Availability

All 50 states and Washington, D.C.

3. UnitedHealthcare

Why We Picked It

UnitedHealthcare stands out among the insurers we analyzed due to its low average silver plan deductibles, which are even lower than its competitors. The company also has a commendable record of receiving fewer complaints from state insurance departments, suggesting that it values customer satisfaction and prompt resolution of issues. Additionally, UnitedHealthcare boasts excellent quality ratings, indicating that it maintains high standards in providing healthcare services to its customers. These factors make UnitedHealthcare an attractive option for those seeking affordable and reliable health insurance coverage.

Pros & Cons


  • Lower average silver plan deductible than competitors.
  • Large provider network across the country.
  • Good National Committee for Quality Assurance quality ratings (3.5 out of 5) with good numbers for prevention and treatment.
  • Offers other types of insurance, including dental, vision, accident and critical illness plans.


  • Doesn’t offer as many metal tiers or types of health plans in the ACA marketplace compared to competitors.
  • Health insurance premiums are higher than some competitors.

Marketplace Health Plan Availability

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • IIllinois
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nevada
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Washington

What Is Health Insurance?

Health insurance covers healthcare expenses if the treatment or medication is included in the policy. You pay a premium for the coverage, and the insurer pays a portion of your healthcare costs. Health insurance plans typically have provider networks, comprising medical professionals who accept the plan. Some plans require staying within the network for coverage, while others permit out-of-network care at higher rates. Most pre-retirement age Americans receive health insurance from their employers, but plans can also be obtained through the ACA marketplace or directly from insurance companies.

Health Insurance Coverage

All health insurance plans sold on the federal marketplace are compliant with the Affordable Care Act, meaning they cover a set of 10 categories of services. These essential health benefits that must be covered are:

  • Outpatient care
  • Emergency services
  • Hospitalization, such as for surgery and/or overnight stays
  • Pregnancy, maternity and newborn care before and after birth
  • Mental healthcare and substance use disorder services
  • Prescription drugs
  • Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices for those with disabilities, injuries or chronic conditions
  • Laboratory services
  • Preventative and wellness services, including cervical cancer screening and HIV screening and counseling
  • Pediatric services, including vision and dental care

Bronze, Silver, Gold And Platinum Health Insurance Plans

The ACA marketplace allows you to compare the costs of health plans using “metal tiers,” which are determined by the premiums and cost-sharing of each plan, indicating the amount you are likely to pay from your own pocket. The metal tiers include bronze, silver, gold, and platinum health plans. Individuals who anticipate minimal healthcare usage may find bronze or silver plans advantageous, while those who require regular medical attention may find gold or platinum plans more suitable.

Out-of-Pocket Health Insurance Costs by Metal Tier

Metal Tier Insurance Company Pays Member Pays Premiums Out-Of-Pocket Costs
More than gold
More expensive
More than platinum, but less than silver
Most expensive

How Much Does Health Insurance Cost?

The average cost for a silver plan for a 30-year-old is $488 a month.

  • A 40-year-old pays an average of $549 a month.
  • A 50-year-old pays an average of $767 a month.
  • A 60-year-old pays an average of $1,164 a month.

Bronze Plans 2024: Average Monthly Health Insurance Costs

Company Age 30 Age 40 Age 50 Age 60
Blue Cross Blue Shield
Kaiser Permanente

Silver Plans 2024: Average Monthly Health Insurance Costs

Company Age 30 Age 40 Age 50 Age 60
Blue Cross Blue Shield
Kaiser Permanente

Gold Plans 2024: Average Monthly Health Insurance Costs

Company Age 30 Age 40 Age 50 Age 60
Blue Cross Blue Shield
Kaiser Permanente

Health Insurance Complaints by Company

Complaints filed with state insurance departments have revealed that UnitedHealthcare has a slightly better-than-average complaint level, while other large providers have above-average levels of complaints. The complaint ratios indicate the number of complaints a company receives in proportion to its size of business. It is important for consumers to consider these ratios when selecting an insurance provider, as they can provide valuable insights into the quality of service and customer satisfaction levels. While having some complaints is inevitable for any large organization, consistently high complaint ratios should be a cause for concern and prompt consumers to explore alternative options.

What Does Health Insurance Cover?

Health insurance generally covers:

  • Doctor visits
  • Hospital visits
  • Outpatient care
  • Preventive coverage, such as annual physicals
  • Prescription drugs
  • Labs and tests

What Does Health Insurance Not Cover?

The extent of coverage provided by health insurance plans varies depending on the plan type and the insurance company. There are some services that may not be covered at all, while others may only be partially covered. Some common examples of services that health insurance may not cover include cosmetic procedures, experimental treatments, alternative therapies, and certain elective surgeries. It is important to review your policy carefully to understand what services are covered and what additional expenses you may need to pay out-of-pocket.

For instance:

  • Care received outside of your provider network will not be covered by a health maintenance organization (HMO) or exclusive provider organization (EPO) plan.
  • A preferred provider organization (PPO) will cover out-of-network treatment, but at a reduced rate compared to in-network care. As a result, you, as a member, will be responsible for a higher portion of the out-of-network treatment expenses.

Here are examples of what a health insurance plan may not cover:

  • Out-of-network care
  • Cosmetic surgery
  • Some prescription drugs
  • Fertility care
  • Experimental treatments and drugs

Ways to Get Health Insurance

For many pre-retirement Americans, employer-sponsored health insurance is a common way to access healthcare coverage. Individuals under the age of 26 may also be eligible for health insurance through various means such as an employer, spouse’s plan, or parent’s health plan. However, it is important to note that once an individual reaches retirement age, they may need to explore alternative options for healthcare coverage such as Medicare or private insurance plans. Additionally, it is always advisable to carefully review policy details and coverage options before selecting a healthcare plan.

From an Employer

The majority of pre-retirement age Americans obtain health insurance through their employer, as it is often provided as part of their benefits package. This group coverage is generally more cost-effective compared to other options, as employers commonly cover over half of the expenses.

Affordable Care Act Health Insurance Marketplace

The health insurance marketplace at provides coverage for individuals who are not eligible for an employer-sponsored health plan. While some states have their own exchange websites, can direct you to the appropriate exchange for your state. Both the federal marketplace and state exchanges enable you to compare available plans in your location by entering your income and family details. The marketplace website utilizes your income to estimate costs for each plan, taking into account subsidies and premium tax credits that lower ACA plan expenses.

Directly from a Health Insurance Company

You have the option to purchase a personal health insurance plan directly from an insurance company without using the federal marketplace website. These plans may be identical to those available on the ACA exchange. If you choose this option, you will not qualify for the subsidies provided with ACA plans. Insurance companies may also offer plans that are not available on the ACA exchange and do not adhere to federal regulations. While you may find a more affordable plan directly from an insurer, it may not offer the same level of coverage as the plans available on the federal health insurance marketplace.


Medicare is a federal health insurance program that covers senior citizens, certain individuals with disabilities, and those with end-stage renal disease. It consists of various parts such as Original Medicare (Parts A and B), Medicare Advantage (Part C), and Medicare Part D.

  • Part A covers hospitalizations, skilled nursing facilities and hospice care.
  • Part B covers doctor services, outpatient care, preventive services and medical supplies.

Members enrolled in both Parts A and B have the option to purchase a Part D plan, which includes prescription drug coverage. Medigap plans help fill in the gaps in Medicare coverage. Another option is Medicare Advantage, provided by private health insurance companies, which offers benefits from Parts A and B as well as typically including prescription drug coverage. Medicare Advantage plans often include additional benefits such as dental care, vision care, and assistance with meal and transportation costs.


Medicaid is a health insurance program for low-income individuals that is operated by the federal and state governments. Eligibility is determined on a state-by-state basis, and the program’s costs are income-based, allowing eligible individuals to access comprehensive health coverage at little to no cost. In addition, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) serves as a comparable program for pregnant women and children, with some states opting to integrate CHIP with Medicaid and others maintaining them as distinct initiatives.

Short-Term Health Insurance

Short-term health insurance provides limited coverage at a low cost in many states, but some states prohibit it and critics argue that these plans offer insufficient coverage. These plans are designed to serve as a temporary solution, such as during job transitions. While most states allow insurance companies to offer short-term health plans for up to a year with the option to renew twice, some states impose shorter limits. One downside of short-term health insurance is the less comprehensive coverage compared to standard health insurance, making it challenging to find plans that include maternity care, prescription drugs, and mental health services.

Catastrophic Health Insurance

Individuals under 30 and those facing significant financial hardship, such as homelessness, are eligible for catastrophic health insurance. These plans, provided through the ACA marketplace, feature low premiums and high out-of-pocket costs for medical services. In contrast to short-term health plans with restricted benefits, catastrophic health insurance offers the same level of coverage as an ACA plan.

What Are the Types of Health Insurance Plans?

When it comes to health insurance, there are various types of benefit designs offered by different companies. The type of benefit design you choose can impact several aspects, such as the healthcare providers you can access, the amount you pay for services, and whether or not you need a referral to consult with a specialist. For instance, some plans may require you to get a referral from your primary care physician before seeing a specialist, while others do not have this requirement. It is important to carefully evaluate the benefit designs available to determine which one best suits your healthcare needs and budget.

Preferred Provider Organization (PPO)

Preferred provider organization (PPO) plans are known for their flexibility, which often comes at a higher premium than other plan types. With a PPO, you have the freedom to seek out-of-network care, but this comes at a higher cost than in-network care. However, you do not need a referral from a primary care provider to see specialists under this type of plan. It is important to note that while PPOs may offer more flexibility, they may not always be the best option for everyone. The higher premiums can make it difficult for some individuals and families to afford. Additionally, seeking out-of-network care can result in significant additional costs that are not covered by the insurance plan. It is essential to carefully consider your healthcare needs and budget before selecting a PPO or any other type of health insurance plan.

Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)

Choosing between a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) and a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plan can be a challenging task. However, it is important to note that HMO plans are generally cheaper than PPOs, but they come with more restrictions. With an HMO plan, you are required to designate a primary care provider who oversees your healthcare needs and provides referrals for you to see specialists. Additionally, if you seek out-of-network care, your HMO plan will not cover the cost. It is essential to understand these limitations when considering an HMO plan. On the other hand, PPO plans tend to be more expensive but provide greater flexibility in terms of choosing doctors and accessing care. Ultimately, the decision on which plan to choose should depend on your individual health needs and preferences.

Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO)

Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO) plans are health insurance policies that operate similarly to Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) in terms of cost. EPOs do not offer reimbursement for out-of-network care, making it important to stay within the designated provider network. However, unlike HMOs, EPOs do not require a referral from a primary care physician to see a specialist. This can be beneficial for patients who require specialized care or have ongoing medical conditions that require regular visits to specialists.

Point of Service (POS)

Point of service (POS) plans are a hybrid health plan type that incorporates features of both HMO and PPO plans. POS plans generally provide coverage for out-of-network care, similar to PPOs, but require members to select a primary care provider who will provide referrals to specialists, which is more akin to an HMO. Though POS plans are less common than other types of health plans, they can be a good option for those seeking flexibility in their healthcare choices while still maintaining a degree of cost control. It’s important to carefully review the details of any POS plan before enrolling to ensure it meets your specific healthcare needs.

ACA Marketplace Costs by Plan Type

Type Of Plan Average Monthly Cost For 30-Year-Old Average Monthly Cost For 40-Year-Old Average Monthly Cost For 50-Year-Old Average Monthly Cost For 60-Year-Old

How to Choose the Best Health Insurance for You

The type of health insurance plan that’s right for you depends on factors such as:

  • Your eligibility for a plan
  • Costs
  • Benefit design
  • Size and location of provider network
  • Prescription drug coverage

Here’s how to compare plans to find the best health insurance:

  • Look at the costs, including premium, deductible, coinsurance and out-of-pocket maximum. Some plans like HMOs have lower premiums, but they come with more restrictions. On the other hand, a PPO usually costs more but gives you the freedom to get out-of-network care.
  • Look at the deductible vs. premium. Someone who doesn’t expect to need much healthcare may prefer a plan with lower premiums and a high deductible. A person who regularly sees a doctor may do better with higher premiums and lower out-of-pocket costs like deductibles.
  • Compare plan type. Dig into the information about the benefit design types and weigh the pros and cons of PPOs, HMOs, EPOs and any other plan offered.
  • Check the provider network list to make sure your doctors and preferred facilities are in-network for the plans you’re reviewing. If they’re out-of-network, you may get no coverage for them, depending on the plan.
  • If you have prescriptions, check with the insurance company to confirm that they’re covered and see how much you would have to pay out of pocket.
  • Does the health plan offer extra benefits such as 24/7 nurse lines and telehealth?

Once you’ve done that work, you can feel more confident choosing the best health insurance plan.


To determine the best health insurance companies, we analyzed 84 data points on coverage and quality for seven large providers. Our ratings are based on various factors, including customer satisfaction ratings, financial strength and stability, network size and provider options, plan options and pricing, and overall performance. We also took into account the ease of use of each company’s website and customer service offerings. By considering all these factors, we were able to provide a comprehensive analysis of each company’s strengths and weaknesses, ultimately resulting in our rankings of the best health insurance providers available.

Complaints made to state insurance departments (30% of score):

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) provides complaint data that can be used to analyze the performance of insurance companies. This data is collected from policyholders who have filed complaints with their state insurance departments. By using this information, analysts can identify trends in consumer complaints and track the performance of different insurers. The NAIC’s complaint database is a valuable resource for consumers and industry professionals alike, providing insight into the quality of service provided by insurance companies.

Plan ratings from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (30% of score):

The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) is a nonprofit, independent organization that provides accreditation to health plans and evaluates them based on several metrics. These metrics include patient experience, prevention, treatment, overall rating of the health plan, and rating of care. The NCQA’s accreditation process is thorough and rigorous, ensuring that accredited health plans meet high standards of quality and patient care. This recognition can provide patients with peace of mind knowing that they are receiving care from a reputable and trustworthy health plan.

Average silver plan deductible (20% of score):

The deductible is an important term to understand when it comes to healthcare plans. It refers to the amount that a policyholder needs to pay out-of-pocket for medical expenses before their health plan starts covering some of the costs. In general, companies that offer health plans with low deductibles tend to be more popular among employees. This is because low deductibles mean less financial burden on individuals and better access to healthcare services. However, it’s important to weigh all factors when choosing a healthcare plan, including premiums, copays, and network coverage, in addition to the deductible.

Breadth of health plans (10% of score):

Health insurance companies typically offer four types of plan benefit designs: PPO, HMO, EPO, and POS. Companies that offer a greater variety of plans are likely to receive more points than those with fewer options. The type of plan one chooses depends on their individual needs, preferences, and budget. For instance, a PPO plan may be a better fit for someone who wants the flexibility to see out-of-network doctors, while an HMO plan might be more suitable for someone looking for lower out-of-pocket costs and comprehensive coverage. Ultimately, it is essential to carefully evaluate each option before making a final decision.

Metal tier offerings (10% of score):

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace provides four metal tier levels, namely bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. Companies that offer more options for each tier plan are highly favored and earned more points. The metal tiers distinguish the level of coverage you can expect from a health insurance plan. The bronze level typically has lower monthly premiums but higher out-of-pocket costs, while the platinum level has higher monthly premiums but lower out-of-pocket costs. It is important to compare plans and choose one that aligns with your healthcare needs and budget.


When is open enrollment for health insurance?

Health insurance open enrollment starts from Nov. 1 to Jan. 15 in most states. To have coverage effective from Jan. 1, enrollment in a plan must be completed by Dec. 15. Some states with their own marketplaces may have different open enrollment periods. The open enrollment periods for employer-sponsored health insurance plans are determined by the employer.

Why is health insurance so expensive?

Health insurance comes with a high cost due to the expensive nature of healthcare. According to Blue Cross Blue Shield, medical care makes up 90% of health insurance expenditure. Additional reasons for the high cost of health insurance include administrative expenses and the expensive nature of medical technology.

Is it illegal to not have health insurance?

There are only a few states where it is mandatory to have health insurance, with tax penalties for non-compliance in all but one state.

Which health insurance companies are accepted in all 50 states?

Aetna, United Healthcare, and plans affiliated with Blue Cross Blue Shield provide health insurance coverage to individuals in every state across the US. However, it’s important to note that not all of these companies participate in the Affordable Care Act marketplace. For instance, while UnitedHealthcare offers health insurance in all states, it only offers ACA marketplace plans in 23 states.


Choosing the right health insurance company is a crucial decision that can have a significant impact on your overall well-being and financial security. In this blog, we have explored some of the top health insurance companies of 2024 and highlighted their key features and benefits. Whether you prioritize affordability, comprehensive coverage, or excellent customer service, there is a health insurance company out there that can meet your needs. By carefully considering your options and comparing different providers, you can make an informed decision that will provide you with the peace of mind knowing that you are covered in case of any medical emergencies or unforeseen circumstances. Remember to take into account factors such as network coverage, policy flexibility, and reputation when making your choice. Invest in your health and protect yourself by choosing one of the best health insurance companies available today.

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