Best Health Insurance for 2023

Blue Cross Blue Shield provides the best value and has strong ratings

We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more.

Though the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has established standards for health insurance plans, some health insurance companies are better than others in terms of both quality and value for the price.

To identify the five best health insurance companies for the 2023 coverage year, we evaluated 48 criteria across 14 major health insurance companies in the following categories: cost to value (25%), customer satisfaction (20%), plan benefits (20%), state availability (15%), dental coverage (10%), types of plans available (5%), and ACA metal levels available (5%).

Best Health Insurance of 2023

Best for Robust Coverage : Blue Cross Blue Shield

Investopedia's Rating

Blue Cross/Blue Shield

 Blue Cross/Blue Shield

  • Availability: Nationwide
  • NCQA Rating: 3.7 out of 5 stars
  • Additional Features: Best-value Gold plans
Why We Chose It

Blue Cross Blue Shield has strong ratings and offers a variety of quality, affordable health insurance plans, making it our top pick as the best overall health insurance provider.

Pros & Cons
  • Relatively high average NCQA rating

  • Available nationwide

  • A variety of plan types and metal levels

  • Lowest premium Gold plans

  • $0 virtual care available 24/7 in some states

  • High copays in some states

  • High deductibles on some plans


Blue Cross Blue Shield has an average NCQA rating of 3.7 out of 5 stars, the second highest of the insurers we reviewed. In addition to HMO plans, BCBS offers PPO, EPO, and POS plans, which is great if you don’t want to be restricted to in-network providers. Plans are available nationwide but vary by region, and Marketplace plans are not available in all areas.

BCBS offers four metal levels (Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum) and catastrophic coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Notably, it offers the best-value Gold plans (meaning overall costs, including premiums and deductibles, are relatively low). This makes it a good option for people who prefer robust coverage. Some BCBS companies also offer additional benefits, like $0 virtual care and medical management programs for depression, pain management, heart disease, asthma, diabetes, and high blood pressure. However, we found that in some states, physician copays were relatively high.

Blue Cross Blue Shield is also an excellent choice for small business health insurance plans and is our top pick in that category.

Best Value Plans : Oscar

Investopedia's Rating

Oscar Insurance

Oscar Insurance

  • Availability: 22 states
  • NCQA Rating: 2.75 out of 5 stars
  • Additional Features: Annual step rewards
Why We Chose It

Oscar is our pick as the health insurance provider with the best value because it offers the lowest-priced plans for each age group and the best value for bronze and silver plans.

Pros & Cons
  • Best value bronze and silver plans

  • Lowest cost plans across age groups

  • $0 virtual care with most plans

  • Convenient mobile app

  • Up to $75 annually in step rewards

  • Not available nationwide

  • Poor member experience ratings


Oscar has the lowest physician copays ($0) and offers the lowest cost plans across age groups (25, 35, 45, and 60 years old). In particular, its bronze and silver plans offer particularly low out-of-pocket costs. It also offers a wide range of medical management programs, including ones for asthma, diabetes, depression, pain management, heart disease, high blood pressure and cholesterol, low back pain, pregnancy, and weight loss.

You can get $0 virtual care with most plans and up to $75 in Amazon gift cards for meeting your annual step goals. Oscar’s convenient mobile app lets you sync your steps or request virtual care.

We also love that Oscar’s plan documents are easy to understand, and the company offers a variety of plan options, including high-deductible and $0 deductible plans to meet different needs. Though not all plan types are available everywhere, Oscar has PPOs, HMOs, and EPOs, and offers four different metal tiers. But Oscar has limited state availability so isn’t an option for everyone. 

Note that Oscar's plans only received a 2-star rating from and an average 2.75-star rating from the NCQA. These ratings indicate relatively poor member experiences compared to other companies. 

Highest Quality Plans : Kaiser Permanente

Investopedia's Rating

Kaiser Foundation Health Plans

 Kaiser Foundation Health Plans

  • Availability: 8 states and the District of Columbia
  • NCQA Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars
  • Additional Features: Highest customer satisfaction
Why We Chose It

Kaiser Permanente is our pick for the highest quality plans because of its high customer satisfaction and third-party ratings, as well as the free virtual care it offers with the majority of plans.

Pros & Cons
  • 4.3-star average NCQA rating

  • 5-star rating from

  • No-cost 24/7 virtual care available with most plans

  • Highest customer satisfaction rating

  • Most plans are HMOs

  • Limited availability


Kaiser Permanente’s plans have the highest member experience ratings of any of the providers we reviewed. Kaiser’s plans have an average 4.3-star rating from the NCQA and all are rated 5 stars by Plus, the company came in first across multiple regions in the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Commercial Health Plan Study. Not surprisingly, Kaiser Permanente received far fewer complaints than expected according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). 

Most plans include 24/7 virtual care at no cost, but coverage options are limited, as is state availability. 

Kaiser Permanente is only available in eight states and the District of Columbia and the insurer generally offers HMO plans, which restrict care to in-network providers. Kaiser Permanente offers four metal levels plus plans with minimum coverage, so people looking for an HMO in one of the states the insurer serves have a good variety of options. The company also offers medical management programs for several conditions, including depression. 

Best for Same-Day Care : Aetna CVS Health

Investopedia's Rating

Aetna CVS Health

Aetna CVS Health

  • Availability: 12 states
  • NCQA Rating: 3.4 out of 5 stars
  • Additional Features: MinuteClinic
Why We Chose It

Aetna CVS Health provides free or low-cost MinuteClinic services seven days per week, making it the best health insurance provider for same-day care for minor issues.

Pros & Cons
  • Offers MinuteClinic services at no or low cost

  • Plan premiums can be $0 with tax credits

  • 3.4-star average NCQA rating

  • Higher than average premiums

  • Doesn’t offer dental coverage with health insurance plans


With Aetna’s no- or low-cost coverage for MinuteClinic visits, you can access a variety of services with greater convenience and on short notice. You can schedule an appointment online to visit your local MinuteClinic seven days per week. Depending on your health needs, you may be able to get a prescription and pick it up on-site. In some cases, this could be a good alternative to more expensive (and time-consuming) urgent care or emergency room visits.  

Aetna’s premiums were higher than average in the ZIP codes we reviewed, but if you qualify for the premium tax credit, you could get that amount reduced to zero. This is not the case with all other companies, even if you qualify for the tax credit, and it’s why Aetna is one of the best health insurance companies for the self-employed

Aetna offers HMOs, PPOs, EPOs, and HMO-POS plans in Bronze, Silver, and Gold metal tiers. The company also offers plans with medical management programs for a variety of conditions. Aetna’s plans have an average NCQA rating of 3.4 out of 5 stars. The company does not offer dental coverage, however, and ACA plans are not available nationwide.

Best for Medicare Advantage Plans : UnitedHealthcare

Investopedia's Rating

United Healthcare Services Inc.

 United Healthcare Services Inc.

  • Availability: Varies by plan type; individual and family plans in 18 states
  • NCQA Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • Additional Features: Wide variety of short-term plans
Why We Chose It

UnitedHealthcare is our pick as the best for Medicare Advantage plans because it offers nearly nationwide coverage for Medicare in addition to having the highest-ranked Medicare Advantage plans

Pros & Cons
  • Offers child and adult dental

  • Offers a variety of short-term insurance plans

  • 3.5-star average NCQA rating

  • Nearly nationwide coverage for Medicare plans

  • Highly-ranked Medicare Advantage plans

  • Few medical management programs

  • Higher than average premiums for health plans

  • No PPOs


UnitedHealthcare is the largest health insurance company in the country and has an extensive provider network. The company’s health plans are well-rated for member experience, with an average of 3.5 out of 5 stars from the NCQA. But it stands out for its Medicare Advantage plans, which are ranked even higher by the NCQA (3.9 stars, on average). The CMS gives UHC's Medicare Advantage plans an average 4.2 Medicare star rating, which makes it the second-highest-ranked provider of Medicare plans in the country (behind Kaiser Permanente).

UnitedHealthcare has an A+ (Superior) financial strength grade from AM Best, which was the highest of the health insurance providers we reviewed. And the company offers a lot of options for different needs, including child and adult dental coverage, short-term coverage, student coverage, and plans for small businesses. 

But there are limits to UnitedHealthcare’s offerings as well. The company doesn’t have any PPO plans for individuals and families and doesn’t offer extended coverage for various conditions through medical management programs. And premiums are not low, so it may not be the most budget-friendly option (but check your state’s specific plans). You should also check the company’s J.D. Power ranking for your state since it fares poorly for customer satisfaction in some regions. 

Final Verdict

Ultimately, your options are limited by the availability of plans in your state and the drugs and services you need covered. But if you’re looking for well-administered plans and a positive member experience, Blue Cross Blue Shield offers good value alongside strong ratings. If Kaiser Permanente serves your area and you prefer an HMO, you can’t beat its plan ratings or track record for customer satisfaction. 

If you need the most affordable plan, Oscar is one company to consider, as is Aetna, especially if you qualify for the advance premium tax credits. Aetna also offers excellent value if you want the convenience of CVS MinuteClinic services. And UnitedHealthcare is a strong choice, particularly if you’re looking for a Medicare Advantage plan or short-term coverage. 

Compare the Best Health Insurance Providers

Company Availability NCQA Rating Additional Features
Blue Cross Blue Shield Best for Robust Coverage Nationwide 3.7 out of 5 stars Best-value gold plans
Oscar Best Value Plans 22 states 2.75 out of 5 stars Annual step rewards
Kaiser Permanente Highest Quality Plans Eight states and the District of Columbia 4.3 out of 5 stars Highest customer satisfaction
Aetna CVS Health Best for Same-Day Care 12 states 3.4 out of 5 stars MinuteClinic
UnitedHealthcare Best for Medicare Advantage Plans Varies by plan type; Individual and family plans in 18 states 3.5 out of 5 stars Wide variety of short-term plans

Guide to Choosing the Best Health Insurance

Determining the Level of Coverage You Need

Health insurance providers offer several categories of plans, from catastrophic to PPO, HMO, EPO, and metal-level plans including bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. These increase in coverage and cost, with platinum often being the most coverage for the highest price. Before purchasing health insurance, it's crucial to look at things like your health history and age to determine which plan type is right for you.

For example, catastrophic health plans are only available to those under 30 and, therefore, have coverage better suited for younger individuals.

Health insurance providers, under the Affordable Care Act, cannot refuse coverage or charge higher premiums based on pre-existing conditions. If you have been denied coverage based on pre-existing conditions, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services provides information about how to appeal health plan decisions.

Comparing Health Insurance Premiums

Having a manageable premium is crucial because it's how you pay for health insurance every month. There are several factors to examine to see how they might influence your premium with different providers. These factors include your age, your location, if you smoke, whether you’re enrolling an individual or family, the metal level you choose, and the specific plan and provider.

  • Your age: Older folks may pay up to three times more for coverage than young people. 
  • Your location: Local restrictions, cost of living differences, and competition within your area all affect your premiums. 
  • Tobacco use: Insurers can charge more for people who smoke. 
  • Family or individual enrollment: Plans that include your spouse or dependents will be more expensive than individual plans. 
  • Metal level: Plans come in four metal levels—Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum—and catastrophic coverage. Bronze plans have lower premiums with higher out-of-pocket costs, while Platinum plans have higher premiums and lower costs when you need care. For example, Bronze plans ranged in price from $237/month for a 25-year-old in Florida to $700/month for a 60-year-old in Texas. Gold plans, on the other hand, ranged from $326 to $1,244.
  • The specific plan and provider: Some providers charge more than others, and within each metal level, pricing may vary depending on how the plan is structured and what kind of coverage is offered. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • When Is Open Enrollment for Health Insurance?

    Open enrollment for 2023 extended from November 1, 2022, to January 15, 2023. You’re eligible to use the marketplace to buy coverage if you are lawfully present in the United States, are not incarcerated, and do not have Medicare coverage. Your coverage starts January 1 as long as you’ve enrolled and paid your first premium.

  • What Is the Premium Tax Credit?

    The premium tax credit is designed to reduce premiums for people with incomes between 100% and 400% of the Federal Poverty Level. For 2023, you may qualify even if your income is above that level. Be sure to estimate your income when you are shopping for plans to see if you qualify. Keep in mind that if your income is at or below 133% of the Federal Poverty Level, you may also qualify for your state’s Medicaid program.

  • What is the most popular type of health insurance?

    The Kaiser Family Foundation reported, in 2022, that PPOs are the most common plan type. Of covered employees, 49% are enrolled in PPOs compared to 12% in HMOs.


To determine the best health insurance companies for 2023 and establish Investopedia star ratings, we considered criteria in the following categories. The percentage next to each category indicates how important that category is to the overall star rating.

Customer satisfaction (20%): We used NCQA ratings, primarily, and ratings, secondarily, to measure this criteria. 

State availability (15%): This measure indicates how widely available plans are across the U.S.

Plan features (40%): For each company, we researched whether it offered the following:

  • Types of plans (5%): HMO, PPO, EPO, POS, and other plan types
  • Plan benefits (20%): Programs to help manage asthma, heart disease, depression, diabetes, pain, high cholesterol and blood pressure, pregnancy, low back pain, and weight loss
  • Dental coverage (10%): Coverage for child dental, adult dental, both, or neither
  • Metal levels (5%): Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum plans, and catastrophic coverage

Cost to value (25%): We compared physician copays, specialist copays, monthly premiums, and deductibles for bronze, silver, gold, platinum, and catastrophic plans across different age groups across two ZIP codes, representing the highest enrollment in ACA plans by state.

Doctor and patient in conversation, looking at digital tablet

Solskin / Getty Images

Research and analysis by Shanker Narayan
Article Sources
Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy.
  1. J.D. Power. “2022 U.S. Commercial Member Health Plan Study.”

  2. National Association of Insurance Commissioners. "Kaiser Permanente Ins Co National Complaint Index Report."

  3. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. "Can I Get Coverage if I Have a Pre-existing Condition?"

  4. Kaiser Family Foundation. "2022 Employer Health Benefits Survey."