bestaffheains1-1600347244317.jpg
Source: iStock

What Are the Best Affordable Health Insurance Companies?

By

Updated

The basic understanding that most consumers have in terms of health insurance mainly revolves around copayments. If you’re lucky, you won't have to dig deeper into the confusing jargon of your health insurance plan to determine what it will and won’t cover in terms of medical expenses.

Article continues below advertisement

What happens if you have an underlying condition? How do you figure out what health insurance plan is the best and most affordable for you? How do you know if health insurance is actually affordable or just cheap when it comes to coverage? 

bestaffheains2-1600347263634.jpg
Source: iStock
Article continues below advertisement

What are the best affordable health insurance companies?

Based on a number of factors, the following list includes the best health insurance companies in various categories. Overall, the best health insurance goes to UnitedHealth Group. The best network goes to Kaiser Permanente, the best short-term health insurance goes to Blue Cross Blue Shield, and the best customer service goes to Cigna. If health insurance companies fall into different categories, can one company be described as “the best?” 

Blue Cross Blue Shield and Cigna have been the top-rated health insurance providers for the past several years. They have a history of providing top-notch service. However, they are the most affordable choices. United Healthcare, Humana, and Kaiser Permanente are among the top choices for affordable plans. The most affordable plan may be one provided with assistance from the federal government. 

Article continues below advertisement
bestaffheains3-1600347270893.jpg
Source: iStock

Where can I find rated health insurance?

In terms of private health insurance, the best source of affordable coverage is often one of the plans available on the Health Insurance Marketplace, which is a result of the Affordable Care Act. Many plans are rated through Healthcare.gov. The five-star scale available on the website is based on three criteria. The first is a collection of surveys of members' experiences. The second looks at clinical measures like preventive screenings. The third focuses on plan administration — for example, an insurance provider's customer service.

Article continues below advertisement

You can find other affordable health insurance through Medicaid. You can also contact insurers directly for quotes, although this won't always yield the most affordable option.

What if you lose your previous health insurance?

If you lost your previous coverage, either through the loss of employment or a change in circumstances, you might be eligible for Medicaid or other government-subsidized insurance. The coverage might not be phenomenal, but it would be enough to take care of things if something unexpected occurs. Information on these types of programs can also be found on the Healthcare.gov website. 

Article continues below advertisement
bestaffheains4-1600347277506.jpg
Source: iStock

Which health insurance plans are rated best?

About 80 percent of the health insurance plans represented in the federal marketplace have earned three stars or more, although not every state is the same. Kaiser Foundation Health Plans were the only plans that won five-star ratings through the federal site. Blue Cross Blue Shield Plans mainly had four-star ratings. All of the ratings on the website vary from state to state. As a result, determining which plans are the most highly rated is still challenging. 

Article continues below advertisement

What do health insurance plans usually cover?

As a rule, consumers don’t usually have a say in which services are rendered or covered through their insurance plans. Consumers also don't control how much they will have to pay in the end. If you have ever opened an expensive medical bill even after assuming that your insurance had already paid the doctor, then you know what we are discussing. 

To find out if your doctor, specialist, surgeon, or medicine is covered by your plan, you need to make sure that the provider is in your network. If they are, they will likely accept your insurance plan. If they aren't, then you may have to find a different provider that's included in your plan.

Article continues below advertisement
bestaffheains5-1600347284537.jpg
Source: iStock

You should also see what copay you will be expected to pay and how much prescriptions usually cost by checking on the back of your insurance card. If you haven't chosen an insurance company yet, most companies will be able to answer these questions before you sign up. 

How do you know what’s covered?

Different insurance companies have different plans and different levels or tiers within the plans. Some plans might allow for certain specialists or medicines like a chiropractor visit or birth control, while other plans might not. It’s important to find out what you need as far as specialist coverage before signing up for a health insurance plan. 

Advertisement

More From Market Realist