Health Insurance Review Methodology

Health insurance helps patients get the medical care they require

PhotoAlto/Frederic Cirou / Getty Images

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

The Affordable Care Act made it easier to get health insurance, especially for those who don’t have access to coverage through work. Most people can buy health insurance every year during open enrollment at the federal Health Insurance Marketplace ( or at their state marketplace. But as there are dozens of different companies offering multiple plan types, choosing the best can be tough. That’s where we come in. 

We extensively researched the top health insurance companies in the country, including a few regional carriers, across a range of criteria to determine the best health insurance companies for the 2023 coverage year. The criteria considered and our evaluation method are detailed below.

Which Articles Use Our Methodology

We have many articles about the best health insurance companies for specific products or to meet the needs of particular readers. This methodology describes the process used for compiling our list of Best Health Insurance Companies. Other articles that list the best health insurance companies for certain products or readers (for example, Most Affordable Health Insurance or Best Self-Employed Health Insurance) rely on information collected as part of the grading process described here. But selections and order of providers are based on additional product-specific criteria, plus subjective insights from our editors and industry experts.

Literature Review

To identify which health insurance companies to review, we analyzed business and market insight databases, including Statistia, Plunkett, and Gale; considered health insurance company market share; and researched user-generated data from Google to determine public interest and trends in health insurance companies and plans. 

Data Collection and Verification

Our data was collected from third-party rating agencies, official government websites and databases, and directly from companies via websites, media contacts, and existing partnerships. Our sources include: AM Best, the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), J.D. Power, the federal government’s health insurance exchange website (, and partners at HealthNetwork.

Data was verified to ensure data integrity and accuracy by independent review of individual data points and their sources.

Ratings Methodology

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 collected and analyzed 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.

Meet the Research Team!

Shanker Narayan
Research Analyst
Shanker Narayan

Shanker's background in Applied Statistics has equipped him with both the tools and logical framework necessary to develop, refine, and execute research methodologies.

Read more
Hannah Kang
Research Manager, Performance Marketing
Hannah Kang

Hannah has been conducting research for over a decade, with a recent focus on providing data-driven recommendations from synthesizing quantitative data with qualitative data on services and products across finance, health, and lifestyle. 

Prior to joining the Performance Marketing team as a Research Associate, Hannah conducted research for Fortune 500 companies and multinational biotech companies including Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and Takeda. Her experience leading rigorous studies for FDA reviews shaped her standard of research integrity which guides her work at Performance Marketing.

Read more