While the Affordable Care Act provided millions of people with affordable health insurance, too many US citizens still fail to find a health plan that meets their needs.
There are still issues with affordability, coverage, and understanding of the policies. In fact, 26.2% of the population still struggles to afford health care in 2019.
This article will go over the best health insurance companies for those who need an alternative option. Let’s first take a look at what the criteria for selection were:
What Makes for a Great Health Insurance?
There are a few factors to take into account for rating a top health insurance provider:
- How affordable are the plans? Will you be roped into paying for services you don’t need? Are there any hidden costs? Is it worth using their services instead of relying on Obamacare?
- Is it flexible enough? There is no magic bullet for health policies. It’s important that the company gives you plenty of choices to find one that meets your needs and coverage. You should also be able to use as many medical services as possible that are covered by the policies.
- Is the company transparent? This ties in with the hidden costs, but also creating clear policies that aren’t filled with jargon. A good health insurance company should be as clear as possible about coverage for its members.
- How simple is it to use? Registration, filling forms, and paying for medical services should be made as easy as possible. Understanding payment breakdowns ahead of the procedure is also important to avoid bad surprises.
The Best for Affordability and Flexibility: Sidecar Health
While Sidecar Health is a recent newcomer, their team has experience in troves: they have previously connected more than 30M US citizens with the right insurance plans.
But their experience also made them understand the shortcomings of other providers’ plans. Their biggest takeaway: doctors charge different prices for the same services. And people were too quick to let the insurance companies be in control of their bills, as they were the ones deciding how much a procedure should cost.
This is why Sidecar Health was born: to turn the health insurance model on its head by letting members shop around for the best offer, and covering the bill later. To implement this model, they partnered with several A-rated carriers and created policies in a clear, simple language that everyone can understand.
In fact, their model has been shown to reduce health costs for their members by up to 40%.
Best of all, their strong focus on personalization means you can find the policy that best meets your needs. It removes unnecessary costs, reduces complexity, and gives you complete control over your coverage.
Pros of Sidecar Health
- Save up to 40% on yearly health expenses
- Get complete control over how much you pay each year towards health care
- Choose what you need to be covered and what you don’t
- See any doctor you like, and shop around for the best offers
- Simple payments with the Sidecar health card
- Get an estimate of how much your medical service should cost
- Handy app and website portal
- Cancel or change policy anytime
- Transparent policies and clear FAQ
Cons of Sidecar Health
- 3-year lock (that locks your monthly payment rates) is not available for all states
- Phone support not available 24/7
Note: Sidecar Health is not a health insurance company.
The product is a fixed indemnity benefit insurance product and does not provide major medical expense coverage, minimal essential coverage, or essential health benefits; e.g., it does not comply with ACA requirements.LEARN MORE
Best for Wide Coverage: Blue Cross Blue Shield
More than 100M North Americans have bought their insurance policies through the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBS). It is one of the most widely covered health insurance companies, found in every US state, but also 190 countries worldwide.
In fact, if there is a healthcare facility provider near you, chances are they accept Blue Cross Blue Shield. Members have access to the plans through a few options, which are sadly a bit complex and overwhelming.
For instance, as a Blue Cross Blue Shield Member, you will need to choose between Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), Exclusive Provider Organizations (EPOs), and Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs).
On the plus side, signing up and using the app is very easy and intuitive, and you get coverage for both branded and generic versions of prescription drugs.
Pros of Blue Cross Blue Shield
- Widest coverage possible in up to 190 countries worldwide
- Good number of plans and policies to choose from
Cons of Blue Cross Blue Shield
- Choosing a plan can be complex and overwhelming due to the amount of choice
- There have been reports that customer support isn’t as great as it should be, with complaints ranging from coverage denials to difficulty getting approval for medical procedures.
Best for Wellness Care: Molina Healthcare
Wellness and preventive care is all the rage in the health world these days, as they’ve been shown to help reduce costs in the long run. For instance, immunizations, contraception, and screenings are low-cost procedures that help lower general health costs, especially for emergencies.
And the good news is that if this is how you view health care, Molina has great plans and perks for its members. It currently insures more than 3.4M people across the US, and it’s just a shame that not all states are covered yet (at the time of writing, it works for California, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin, plus some parts of Virginia, Maine, and Idaho.
Pros of Molina Healthcare
- Great perks for people who favor preventative procedures
- Good wellness program
Cons of Molina Healthcare
- Not available everywhere
- Not as flexible as Sidecar Health
The 3 Best US Health Insurance Companies – Comparison Table
|Best for||Most impressive feature||How to use it|
|Sidecar Health||Uninsured people who want to choose plans that are affordable, flexible and simple.||Save up to 40% on your plans. Can be cheaper than Obamacare||Website and mobile app|
|Blue Cross Blue Shield||Those who want as wide a coverage as possible, both in the US and abroad.||The most recognizable brand of health insurance in the United States||Website and mobile app|
|Molina Healthcare||People who favor preventive health care that can save them on future emergency costs.||One of the best for access to health clubs and other related schemes through its health and wellness programs (Weight Watchers, clinics, counseling, etc…)||Website and mobile app|
Key Takeaway about the Best US Health Insurance Companies
The health insurance system is notoriously complicated and opaque for people who have never been insured before. This is why we’re very excited to see new companies trying to change the industry’s model, especially the way SideCar Health does it.
Whereas traditional insurance sits between patients and their doctors, Sidecar Health lets members get an estimate of their costs, go to the doctors they want, and only pay for what they truly need.
Still, there are enough health insurance providers to shop around these days. It’s easy enough to get a quote online, and if the policies are as clear as the ones from Sidecar Health, there should be no problem identifying the health insurance company that makes the most sense for your needs.