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Top Health Insurance Providers

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The Best Health Insurance Companies In 2019

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If you are shopping for health insurance, you’ve inevitably come across an Aetna plan. Aetna has surprisingly been around for what seemed like forever. Founded in 1853, Aetna first sold life insurance policies, and entered the world of health insurance in 1899.

Today, Aetna is one of the 3 largest health insurance companies in the US (although it is international as well), with about 23 million members and a nearly $65 billion in revenue. This health insurance giant easily sits as a member of the Fortune 500 and is run by the CEO and Chairman, Mark Bertolini.

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Cigna is a relatively young health insurance company headquartered in Hartford, CT. The health giant was created in 1982 when Connecticut General Life (CG) and Insurance Company of North America (INA) merged. Even though Cigna may be a new company, INA and CG have historical roots being founded in 1792 and 1865 respectively.

Since the merger, Cigna has become a behemoth in the world of health insurance. It is listed as one of the 5 largest health insurance companies with about 15 million members, and a revenue of nearly $40 billion under CEO and Chairman David Cordani.

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It’s hard to believe that the biggest player in health insurance, United Healthcare, is such a young company. Since being founded in 1977 to help organize and be the parent company of Charter Med Incorporated, United Healthcare has seen more growth than any single health insurance company.

With over 70 million members, United Health Group easily topped the list as the single largest health insurance company in the country. In 2016 alone, this healthcare giant brought in a revenue of just about $185 billion, which is more than the next 2 largest health insurance companies combined, Anthem and Aetna.

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Molina healthcare knows all about humble beginnings. After seeing countless people struggle with their healthcare, emergency room physician Dr. C. David Molina wanted to fix the problem. Molina Healthcare was founded in order to help low-income, non-English speaking, or uninsured individuals get the quality care they deserve.

Dr. Molina started his new venture in 1980 by opening up a single clinic in Long Beach, California. Even though Molina is a younger company, they have grown significantly. Molina Healthcare has been a member of the Fortune 500 since 2012 and is currently overseen by President and CEO Joseph M. Zubretsky, who also happened to be the former CFO of Aetna.

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Based in Kentucky, Humana didn’t even get its start in health insurance. Founded in 1961, Extendicare Inc. focused solely on nursing homes. In 1972, the founders David Jones and Wendell Cherry sold its nursing home business to start focusing on hospitals, and in 1974, Humana was born. 

Although the name Humana Inc. was purchased in 1974, Humana health insurance plans were not available until 1980’s. 

Humana liquidated all their hospitals in 1993 to the Hospital Corporation of America. Since then, Humana has focused its efforts on becoming a health insurance giant. Humana health insurance plans are now among the most popular, and the company sits pretty as the third largest health insurance company in the US with about 15 million members, and over $54 billion in revenue.

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Kaiser may be one of the most recognizable names in health insurance. Based in Oakland, California, Kaiser Permanente is made up of 3 interdependent groups, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc., Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, and Permanente Medical Groups.

Kaiser Permanente was founded in 1945 by Henry J. Kaiser and Sidney Garfield. Originally, the two founders created a healthcare program for laborers who worked in the industrial field in the 1930’s but opened it to the public in 1945.

Since being founded, Kaiser has seen incredible growth as one of the nation’s leading healthcare providers. In fact, with nearly 12 million members and a revenue of around $65 billion, Kaiser Permanente is the biggest managed care organization in the US.

Kaiser Family Foundation

Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) is a non-profit branch of Kaiser that focuses on national health issues. According to the official website, Kaiser Family Foundation is a non-partisan outlet for all health news.

The Kaiser Family Foundation offers great insight into the problems in the healthcare world through its many programs. For example, The Program on Medicaid and the Uninsured give a great look at the level of access low-income individuals have to healthcare. The Healthcare Marketplace Project, on the other hand, shows in-depth analysis, trends, and costs in the health insurance marketplace.