When it comes to health insurance, it is important to consider several factors. The largest providers in the nation have the largest market shares. However, the value of the company should not be the deciding factor in consumer choice. According to Forbes, customers should evaluate how health plans encourage collaboration between specialty and primary care physicians, focus on preventive care, and manage chronic illnesses. The top five companies in the United States offer an array of services, many of which can be purchased through the Marketplace in accordance with the Affordable Care Act.
United Health Group
United Health Group, offering health insurance plans through UnitedHealthcare, affords patients access to a network of about one million physicians and other health professionals at 6,000 hospitals. Dental and vision services are administered through a large selection of providers. Many plans are marketed to individuals, families, and small businesses. Short-term policies are popular because of their convenience and low cost. Benefits are available to seniors through Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement, Prescription Drug, and Special Needs coverage. To find more information and obtain a quote, visit www.uhc.com.
Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
Anthem is part of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and offers several different plans, including HMOs, PPOs, health savings accounts, short-term plans, and coverage for students. Insurance can also be purchased through the Marketplace. Through Anthem, consumers can also obtain life, dental, vision, disability, and long-term care insurance. Members can take advantage of significant discounts on several diagnostic procedures because of the insurer’s extensive nationwide network of healthcare providers. See www.anthem.com to shop for a plan.
Aetna Health Plans
Aetna expanded its Marketplace offerings in 2015 and 2016. The company provides medical, dental, and vision coverage through HMOs and PPOs and markets many of its plans to small businesses, and to seniors through Medicare. Marketplace plans are advertised in nine states (Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Florida, Delaware, Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona) and the District of Columbia. In most other states, “Off-Exchange” contracts are available. For more information about prices and services, go to www.aetna.com.
Cigna Health Insurance | A Global Health Service Company
Cigna offers individual and family coverage, both through the Marketplace and privately, in most states. Seniors can obtain policies through Medicare Advantage and can also access whole life coverage in case of additional expenses. Marketplace plans for younger members are available in several states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, and Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas). International policies provide coverage in twelve countries for Americans living abroad. Consumers can supplement their coverage with disability, dental, and vision benefits.
Humana Health, Medicare & Dental Insurance
What began as a nursing home company has grown to become a leader in providing health coverage not only to seniors but also individuals and families. People 65 and over can have access to three prescription drug plans and wellness and fitness programs through Medicare Advantage. For families, dental and vision plans are among the corporation’s most widely-purchased products. Though private contracts are available, twenty-two states offer Marketplace policies. Humana is known for its user-friendly online application and enrollment process and its mail-order pharmacy service, Humana RightSource Rx, which is especially convenient for people who cannot get to the drugstore. The company’s electronic resources are available at www.humana.com.
When selecting a company and deciding on a plan that is best for you and your family, it is crucial to consider deductibles, premiums, co-pays and the amount and types of medical services you are likely to utilize. While policies can be purchased directly from the insurer, you may be eligible for a subsidized plan. Visit https://www.healthcare.gov/ to see if you qualify and to complete an application.