If you’re lucky enough to live in an area with a lot of top health insurance companies offering competitively priced plans, you may be able to factor in an insurer’s reputation for providing satisfactory service. Be careful not to put too much stock in individual reviews of health care companies, however. They are highly dependent on very personal circumstances, and they are overwhelmingly negative across the board.
There are a few resources that allow you to get a wider, more reliable snapshot of the top health insurance companies. J.D. Power’s 2015 Member Health Plan Study ranks several providers by U.S. region. Insurers that come out at or near the top in several states include the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Blue Cross Blue Shield. (Be sure to check your specific region, as the same insurers that are in the top in some states may rank at the bottom in other states.)
In Insure.com’s 2014 customer satisfaction ratings, Kaiser Permanente (parent company of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan) comes out on top, followed by Humana, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, and UnitedHealthcare.
You may also obtain rankings for certain plans via Consumer Reports, which obtains data from the National Committee for Quality Assurance. You can search for plans in your area by selecting plan type (HMO, PPO, Medicare, or Medicaid) and your state.
Best Health Insurance Companies by Region
The following data come from J.D. Power’s 2015 Member Health Plan Study, which examined more than 31,000 plan members’ satisfaction with coverage and benefits; provider choice; information and communication; claims processing; cost; and customer service.
The survey covered 134 plans and 18 regions. All providers listed below were ranked above average in a given region.
|State(s) or region
|East South-Central (Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee)
|Humana, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana, Cigna
|AvMed, Cigna, Humana
|Heartland (Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma)
|Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma
|Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois
|Health Alliance Plan of Michigan, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Priority Health
|Kaiser Foundation, Cigna, CareFirst, Blue Cross Blue Shield, UnitedHealthcare
|Dean Health, HealthPartners, Medica Health
|Mountain (Idaho, Montana, Utah, Wyoming)
|New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont)
|Anthem Health Plans of New Hampshire, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
|New York/New Jersey
|Capital District Physicians’ Health Plan, Independent Health Association, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York, Blue Shield of Northeastern New York
|Northwest (Oregon, Washington)
|Kaiser Foundation, Group Health Cooperative, Providence Health Plan
|Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of Ohio, Aetna
|Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, Highmark Blue Shield, Independence Blue Cross, Capital Blue Cross
|South Atlantic (Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina)
|Kaiser Foundation, Aetna, Cigna
|Southwest (Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada)
|Cigna, Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona
|Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, UnitedHealthcare