In the United States alone, there are dozens of health insurance (major medical) providers. Some of them operate privately. Others offer plans to individuals and businesses through the health insurance marketplace via state exchanges and SHOP (Small Business Health Options Program) plans.
There are also a number of insurance providers that offer Medicare plans and those that provide supplemental insurance policies. There are even businesses that elect to provide self-funded health insurance plans for employees. In other words, there are too many health insurance companies to list. Additionally, the number fluctuates as some go out of business, others form, and companies merge.
There are large groupings of health insurance providers that you may want to consider when selecting a suitable plan. Here are a few categories and some of the best-known insurance providers within them.
The state insurance exchanges that make up the Obamacare health insurance marketplace varies with insurance providers and how many participate. Some providers offer policies in only a few states. Others provide coverage options across the nation.
Many insurance companies that offer policies through Obamacare also continue to provide private insurance options to both individuals and businesses outside of the health insurance marketplace. Some of the companies currently providing insurance through the marketplace include Aetna/Coventry, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield (WellPoint), Centene/Health Net, Humana, Molina Healthcare, and UnitedHealth Care.
While some of the biggest health insurance providers have recently reduced their presence in the marketplace, other, smaller providers are growing. The latter project continued growth now that the market has started to adjust to Obamacare, and the exchanges have begun to stabilize. Many feel that failures on the part of larger insurance providers have to do with differences in the markets providers compete for.
They designed Obamacare to provide the greatest benefits to those in the greatest need. In turn, it is the demographic the marketplace attracted in the greatest numbers. The largest health insurance providers seeking to profit from high-end customers were disappointed.
While some health insurance providers participate in Obamacare and the private market, others have remained only private insurance companies. For example, there is AARP (American Association for Retired Persons) coverage for patients age 50 and older. There is Kaiser Permanente, which offers not only insurance but its own healthcare facilities and professionals.
There are also insurance providers like State Farm in which health insurance is only one of the many types of insurance offered. Additionally, there are dozens more. In many cases, private insurance costs more than plans provided through the Obamacare marketplace. Consequently, users have more opportunity to find specialized plans.
Medicare is a federally funded insurance program for Americans age 65 and older, along with some younger people, in certain circumstances. However, private insurance companies provide Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C), including Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Humana, and UnitedHealth Care.
Self-funded insurance plans are not the same as traditional, fully funded insurance. However, just because your company offers self-funded insurance does not make it an insurance company. However, it is almost always in the best interest of employees to partake in an employer-sponsored plan, regardless of who is providing it. Make sure to consider all of your options and weigh the risks before making a final decision on health insurance coverage.