Medical health insurance is an important insurance to have. It protects your assets during an illness or accident, and it promotes overall good health. Finding the right health insurance company can be daunting as there are so many companies available.
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The best insurance company is the one that will best fit your budget and your health needs. There are large and small insurance companies that could provide the right health insurance for you.
What large medical health insurance companies are available?
Large health insurance companies usually have divisions in many states and offer multiple lines of coverage and options. These large companies have hefty assets and diverse financial capital. The risk of providing health insurance is spread across a diverse group of customers; some will use the coverage extensively, and some will hardly use it at all.
The Insurance Information Institute (III.org) lists the following largest medical health insurance companies for 2010:
WellPoint Inc. was listed by the III as the largest health insurance provider in 2010 with $42.2 billion in direct premiums and 10.7% of the market. WellPoint Inc. boasts 34 million direct customers and 66 million customers who get coverage through WellPoint Inc.’s subsidiary companies. Their mission is “to improve the lives of the people we serve and the health of our communities.” One of WellPoint Inc.’s largest companies, Anthem Insurance, was rated as “Excellent” by A.M. Best Company and Fitch Ratings Inc.; both are financial ratings companies recognized by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
UnitedHealth Group Inc. was listed as the second largest health insurance provider with $41.1 billion in premiums and 10.4% of the market. They serve over 75 million customers worldwide, and their mission is “to help people live healthier lives.” A.M. Best ranks all of UnitedHealth Group Inc.’s individual companies as “Excellent.”
The III lists Health Care Services Corporation as the third largest provider in the U.S. in 2010 with $20.2 billion in premiums and a 5.1% share of the market. They serve over 13 million people in four states. A.M. Best rates Health Care Services Corporation as “Superior,” and Standard and Poor’s, another financial ratings company, scores the company as “Very Strong.”
What are the benefits of getting health insurance from a large provider?
Oftentimes, large health insurance providers can offer lower health insurance rates because they have a larger pool of customers to support the risks associated with providing health insurance plans. In addition, large health insurance providers also have interactive websites that provide a wealth of information and services; this means that customers can file claims, get paperwork, ask questions, or find answers when it is convenient for them.
What are the disadvantages to using a large health insurance provider?
Many people feel that large health insurance providers that customer service edge that is so important. Some people want to speak with a dedicated insurance agent when they have a question or problem; or they don’t feel comfortable using online technology. Some clients might feel lost in the large group of customers or that they don’t have a personal relationship with the company.
What small medical health insurance companies are available?
Small medical health insurance providers are also available to meet customers’ health insurance needs. Each state has its own rules and regulations regarding licensing to sell health insurance, so small companies will vary from state to state. While smaller companies might not advertise like larger health insurance companies, they can be found through various means.
Check a phone book or online listing for small providers in your area. Online quote websites such as the one found on this page will link you to health insurance providers in your area. State insurance regulators’ websites will also have tips on finding smaller health insurance companies.
Consumer ratings websites such as the Better Business Bureau can also give you ratings on a company to make sure that they have a good reputation for resolving customer complaints. Always research the fidelity of a health insurance company through the toll-free phone number, 1-866-470-NAIC, provided by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, before buying insurance.
What are the benefits of getting health insurance from a small provider?
Small health insurance providers might be more interested in getting and retaining your business as a customer. Generally, most people feel that they have a vested relationship with a smaller company, and that their issues and questions are given higher priority than with a large company. Many customers enjoy having a dedicated agent who can be contacted by phone or in person to resolve issues.
What are the disadvantages of using a small health insurance provider?
Smaller health insurance providers have smaller financial resources to rely on to cover losses from catastrophic occurrences. Their rates might also be higher as the risk is not spread over as many customers as a larger company. Smaller companies also have a smaller online presence, so information may not be as readily available online as with a larger company.
However, many customers find great satisfaction through getting insurance through a smaller, local health insurance company that provides first-rate customer service.
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