by James Tuck
A short list and description of the top 10 health insurance companies. The state of the health insurance industry has been one of the most intensely debated topics in theUnited States. With such a wide range of diversity within the industry, targeting a list of the top 10 health insurance companies can vary greatly depending on criteria. This list of the top 10 health insurance companies was created using 2011 data based on direct premiums written.
UnitedHealth Group: With over 84 million policy holders in 2011, UnitedHealth Group has the highest market share and has the highest number of direct premiums written of any other insurance company on this list. It is also very committed to preventative medicine issues and to health education.
WellPoint: Since its merger with Anthem, Inc. in 2004, WellPoint Inc. has held the distinction of being the largest, publicly traded health benefits company. Though it is a young company, it stands out in its mission to provide high quality health care at an affordable cost.
Health Care Service Corporation: Offering a wide variety of private and group insurance options, Health Care Service Corporation stands out to employers as having affordable, versatile policy options. It is the largest customer-owned health insurance company which shifts the focus away from accountability from investors, towards accountability towards customers.
Humana: This company distinguishes itself by marketing its products in the United States, Puerto Rico and Western Europe. Additionally, they administer health insurance for one of the United States’ largest markets, the U.S. Military.
Highmark: Highmark Inc. covers a smaller market than most of other companies on this list but excels in a much needed niche, providing supplemental and temporary insurance policies. These types of policies provide services for short-term needs and cover costs that normally might not be covered under a single insurance policy.
Coventry Health Care: Coventry stands apart in it diversified coverage offerings. Plans are set up so that individuals or businesses can select the coverage options and create a unique package that suits their particular needs. As of 2011, their prescription coverage plan is ranked third in the nation.
Kaiser Foundation Health Plan: The Kaiser Foundation is a non for profit insurance provider, dealing exclusively in HMO insurance. This means a dedication to lower costs and affordable premiums. The Kaiser Foundation is often praised for its quality of customer care and stance on preexisting conditions.
Aetna: Aetna has a long history which starts in 1819 as a fledgling fire insurance company. At the turn of the century, it became one of the first companies to offer health insurance. Since that time it has grown to be one of the world leaders in health insurance providers and a Fortune 100 company.
EmblemHealth: Providing coverage exclusively to New Yorkers, EmblemHealth Inc. has committed itself to community-focused partnerships and superior customer care. It is a relatively young company yet, as of 2011 it held 2.3% of the total market share.
Independence Blue Cross: Innovation drives this Pennsylvania-based health insurance company. Independence Blue Cross has committed itself to seeking out creative solutions to meet the everyday challenges in health care systems. Their goal is not to keep up with the changes in health care, but to create those changes.