COMMERCIAL HEALTH INSURANCE: How it Works & Top Largest Commercial Health Insurance Companies

Commercial Health Insurance
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A commercial health insurance plan is one that is managed and controlled by a private company rather than by the government of the state or the federal government. Commercial health insurance comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. More information on examples of commercial health insurance, coverage, companies, and how it works are found here.

What Is Commercial Health Insurance? 

A commercial health insurance company is one that is not administered by the government of the state or the federal government. Instead, a private or public company manages this sort of insurance. According to Census Bureau data, the majority of Americans have commercial health insurance.

Because it is government-run, public health insurance, such as Medicare and Medicaid, is not considered commercial health insurance. Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans, on the other hand, are commercial health insurance because they are managed by private health insurance firms.

Commercial health care is divided into two types: group and non-group. Employees or employee organizations frequently offer group health coverage. Individuals can purchase non-group health plans through their state’s Health Insurance Marketplace or outside of it.

How Commercial Health Insurance Works

Medical treatment can be costly. You’d have to pay for all of your doctor appointments, procedures, prescription drugs, and other medical bills out of pocket if you didn’t have health insurance, which may be prohibitively expensive. Many people are unable to pay this, which is why the majority of us rely on health insurance to help us save money on healthcare.

Commercial health insurance is a contract between you and a healthcare provider to split the cost of your medical treatment. To use the plan, you must pay a monthly fee. The cost-sharing that follows is by the specifics of your plan. In fact, a deductible, copay, and coinsurance are common ways to cover some of your medical expenses.

After enrolling in a commercial health insurance plan, you should receive a membership packet that includes your insurance card and other plan information. Because commercial health insurance policies cover a wide range of treatments, you’ll want to keep your paperwork and examine it as needed. If you have any further queries, you can contact your commercial health insurance company.

Remember to bring your commercial health insurance card with you to the doctor once you have it. Verify that the doctor is in your insurance plan before making an appointment. Some health insurance policies limit you to a specified network of providers, so check with your doctor or healthcare practitioner to see if they accept your plan.

Your doctor’s office will check your insurance coverage after you arrive for your appointment. After your appointment, your provider will submit a claim to your commercial health insurance company. The claim will be reviewed by your insurance company, and the covered amount will be sent to the provider.

What Is the Difference Between Commercial and Private Health Insurance?

Technically speaking, there is no distinction between commercial health insurance and government-sponsored health insurance. Commercial health insurance is issued by private issuers, whereas government-sponsored health insurance is issued by federal organizations. An employer might pay for an employee to have commercial insurance, or an individual might buy it on their own privately. The vast majority of suppliers of private insurance are for-profit businesses, although some of them are also nonprofit organizations.

How Do I Know if I Have Commercial Health Insurance?

If the government is not the entity that provides your health coverage, then you have what is known as commercial health insurance. A commercial health insurer is any business that sells health insurance to the general public. This covers health insurance plans offered by the government, such as Medigap, that are administered by commercial health insurance firms.

What are the Benefits of Commercial Health Insurance?

Health insurance provided by private companies may be more reliable than health insurance provided by the government. It’s possible that getting a wage boost at work could make it more difficult for you to qualify for certain government programs, and lawmakers have the authority to alter those programs any way they see fit. On the other hand, the terms of commercial health insurance plans, particularly group plans, are more or less guaranteed to be the same as long as you keep your current work.

Is PPO Medicare or Commercial?

The inner workings of a PPO plan. A form of Medicare-approved health plan offered by a private company that can serve as an alternative to Original Medicare to cover the majority of the benefits provided by Parts A and B of your Medicare package. In most cases, it also covers coverage for the medication (Part D). For further information, please refer to the Medicare vocabulary.

Examples of Commercial Health Insurance

Commercial health insurance comes in a variety of forms. It’s crucial to know what options are available, how they work, and what the distinctions are between them. Certain varieties can also be mixed and matched. Flexible spending accounts and health savings accounts, for example, are to supplement other plans by paying expenses that are not by the primary insurance. Some of the most frequent types of commercial health insurance examples are listed below.

#1. Health Maintenance Organization

You must choose a primary care physician (PCP) from within the HMO’s network. Apart from the emergency, you must consult this PCP for any health condition. If the PCP is unable to adequately manage the problem, they can refer you to a specialist in the HMO’s network. Obstetricians/gynecologists are the only exceptions; patients can schedule an appointment with them immediately. HMOs often have the lowest premiums and out-of-pocket payments, but they also have the smallest number of options. It will not be if you wish to see a doctor who is not in the network. Your monthly premium, deductible, and co-pay will vary depending on your plan.

#2. Preferred Provider Organization

PPOs, like HMOs, features a network of doctors, but policyholders have more freedom and flexibility. Your co-pay is lower and a higher amount of the services are covered if you see an in-network doctor. If you visit an out-of-network doctor, you will still be covered, but only a percentage of the cost will be paid, and you will have to pay extra out of pocket. You do not need a recommendation from your primary care physician to see a specialist. PPOs charge monthly premiums, deductibles, and co-pays, just like HMOs. Depending on your coverage, the amounts differ.

#3. Exclusive Provider Organizations

You must see in-network doctors if you have an EPO, but you are not to see a primary care physician for a referral before seeing a specialist. Because you don’t have any out-of-network benefits, you’re in-network providers. Most HMO and PPO policies are more expensive than EPO plans. They might be best for young, healthy people who don’t anticipate needing much medical attention in the following year. You pay premiums, deductibles, and co-pays on a monthly basis.

#4. Point-of-Service Plan

A POS is a hybrid plan that includes HMO and PPO features. Additionally, a PCP who provides most services can refer you to an in-network specialist if necessary in a POS plan. A deductible may not be for many of the PCP’s services. You can see an out-of-network doctor, just like with a PPO. You will be covered to some extent, but your out-of-pocket expenses will be higher. Monthly premiums, an annual deductible, and co-pays will be assessed.

#5. Flexible Spending Account

Employers who provide health insurance may also offer a flexible spending account as an add-on to the health benefits package. You choose an amount that will be from your salary in equal increments from each paycheck throughout the year, tax-free. You can use this money to cover any eligible out-of-pocket medical or dental expenses you have throughout the year, such as deductibles, co-pays, over-the-counter drugs, eyeglasses, other medical equipment, and various health-related supplies.

#6. High-Deductible Health Plan

Most other health plans have a lower deductible than HDHPs. A yearly deductible of at least $1,350 for an individual or $2,700 for a family meets the requirement. The monthly premiums are frequently lower than those of a traditional HMO or PPO plan. To make the deductible more reasonable, HDHPs frequently with a health savings account. This plan is best for healthy people who do not expect to need much healthcare and can afford to pay a substantial sum in the event of a medical emergency.

#7. Health Savings Account

A health savings account is a good addition to a high-deductible health plan. You can use the account to save money for your deductible, co-pays, and other eligible healthcare expenses. You do not pay taxes on the money you put into this account, just like you do with a flexible spending account. Health savings accounts are many health insurance companies that provide HDHPs, but you can also open one at most banks.

#8. Private Fee-For-Service

A private corporation administers a PFFS plan, which is a type of Medicare advantage plan. A PFFS allows you to see in-network providers without the need for a referral to see a specialist. Doctors, on the other hand, can decide which services are on a case-by-case basis. Although you can see an out-of-network doctor who accepts the plan’s terms, your out-of-pocket expenses will be higher. You are responsible for paying your Medicare premiums and any co-pays on a monthly basis.

Top 5 Largest Commercial Health Insurance Companies

The largest commercial health insurance companies are organizations with the most members. Membership refers to the number of people who are in a health insurance plan with a certain provider. A health insurance policy can be in a variety of ways. Your employer’s benefit plan, some examples, may include commercial health insurance coverage. The following are top commercial health insurance companies.

#1. UnitedHealth Group

UnitedHealthcare, which is a subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group, is the largest health insurance provider in terms of total members. UnitedHealthcare provides a wide range of products, from individual health insurance to full-fledged employee benefit plans for some of the world’s largest companies. In addition, its policies are available in all 50 states. The headquarters of UnitedHealthcare is in Minnetonka, Minnesota.

UnitedHealthcare, in addition to having the most members, has a network of over 1.3 million physicians and healthcare professionals, as well as over 6,500 hospitals. This implies that if you have UnitedHealthcare, you will have a wide range of treatment options.

#2. Anthem

With over 45 million members, Anthem is the second-largest medical insurance provider by total members. Large and small businesses, individuals, and Medicaid and Medicare markets are all served by the company’s commercial and business healthcare section.

The blue cross blue shield association owns Anthem. This means that you may come across goods with the BCBS brand when shopping for Anthem insurance on your state marketplace exchange, but you will be purchasing from Anthem.

California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Virginia, and Wisconsin are among the states where the Anthem commercial health insurance company works.

#3. Aetna

CVS Health Corp. purchased Aetna in 2018. The organization is now run by CVS Health, which has been able to smoothly combine its provider networks with Aetna’s membership base. More so, Aetna is the third-largest supplier of health insurance and services by membership, having been in 1853. However, a large portion of its membership comes from the private market, where it provides health insurance to corporations and their employees. For the 2023 plan year, Aetna returned to a small number of ACA markets.

#4. Cigna

Cigna is the United State’s fourth-largest significant medical insurance provider. Furthermore, Cigna, based in Bloomfield, Connecticut, provides health insurance and health services to businesses all around the world. Also, Cigna provides dental, behavioral health, vision, supplementary health, and Medicare/Medicaid coverage in addition to corporate health insurance policies and plan management.

Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah, and Virginia are among the 13 states where Cigna offers individual health insurance. Cigna also offers Medicare Advantage plans in 16 states and the District of Columbia.

#5. Humana

Humana is the fifth-largest health insurance provider in terms of membership. The company began selling long-term care insurance in 1961 before expanding into selling commercial health insurance policies. Since January 2018, Humana has not issued new individual ACA health insurance, but it will continue to recognize current ACA policies. Humana is now primarily on the medicare market, offering either a medicare advantage or supplementary plan (or both) in every state.

Is Obamacare Commercial Insurance?

The Affordable Care Act is most well known by its shortened nickname, “Obamacare.” This piece of legislation is a federal law that is frequently used to refer to individual health insurance policies that are bought through state health exchanges or marketplaces. Since these plans are supplied by private firms, strictly speaking, they are considered to be commercial insurance; nonetheless, they are required to adhere to certain regulations that have been set by the federal government.

What Are Examples of Commercial Health Insurance?

HMOs, PPOs, POS (point-of-service) plans, HRAs (health reimbursement accounts), and LTC (long-term care) plans are some of the most common types of health insurance offered by private companies. In addition to traditional Medicare, commercial health insurance also includes Medicare Advantage, Medigap, and any other Medicare supplemental plans. The meaning of the phrase can also be expanded to encompass dental and vision insurance in addition to general health insurance.

What Is Commercial Prescription Drug Insurance?

A percentage of the cost of prescriptions recommended by a doctor and filled by a pharmacist is covered by commercial prescription drug insurance. Commercial prescription medication insurance is a policy section in most commercial health insurance plans. Some plans that only cover medications, on the other hand, can if you do not already have prescription coverage. Large commercial health insurance companies are the most likely to offer them.

The policyholder pays a monthly fee for commercial prescription drug insurance, just like they do for health insurance. Most plans also have an annual deductible, as well as a co-pay dependent on the type of medication prescribed. Different co-pay rates apply to different drug levels in most circumstances. If generic medications are available, insurance companies prefer them since they are less expensive. Typically, name-brand pharmaceuticals are more expensive, especially if a generic counterpart is available. Specialty medications have their own co-pay and require particular management.


You probably have commercial health insurance if you aren’t on a public health insurance plan like Medicare or Medicaid. There are many different sorts of plans available, so make sure you pick one that best suits your needs. All examples around commercial health insurance are clearly split out in this article.


How should one compare health insurance companies?

When looking for a health insurance policy, it is critical to compare health insurance firms. Aside from rates, deductibles, and plan networks, businesses might differ in a variety of ways.

How should one determine the largest health insurance companies?

There are a number of factors to consider when deciding on the largest health insurance, provider. Among all the examples ones can use to determine commercial health insurance is that its market share examines the percentage of the industry that a firm controls and so demonstrates the company’s reach among policyholders.

What are the top five largest health insurance companies?

The list of top five commercial health insurance companies: UnitedHealth Group, Anthem, Centene, Humana, and Health Care Service Corp. among the top health insurance firms (HCSC).

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