Here are the Best New York health insurance companies we represent as well as some good reasons to do business with them. Since we are independent insurance brokers, our reviews are unbiased and based on our history of doing business with all the companies listed here and more. If you need a customized quote or have any questions, feel free to contact us at: 800-514-3513
Highlights for 2018:
- HealthFirst enters the group health insurance marketplace
- Oscar’s 2nd year of providing group plans shows they are ready for the competition
- EmblemHealth closes Select Care Network and changes to Prime Network
- Empire Blue Cross increases plan offerings for “Blue Network”
- HealthPass replaces CareConnect with HealthFirst
Some of the Best New York Health Insurance Companies we represent are:
(Click the links below to jump directly to the company)
Oxford (OXHP.com) is owned by The UnitedHealthcare Company, which is one of the largest health insurance companies in the U.S. Their health plans are available to small businesses with as few as 2 employees and for businesses with over 100 employees.
Oxford is one of our premier providers with some of the most widely accepted health plans in the tristate area. Oxford offers a variety of plans within their 3 networks; The Freedom Network, The Liberty Network and the “new” Metro Network.
Within the 3 networks, Oxford offers several different health plan designs to fit just about any organization; EPO Plans (Exclusive Provider Organization) PPO Plans (Preferred Provider Organization), HMO Plans (Health Maintenance Organization) and HSA’s (Health Savings Accounts).
All plans provide coverage to doctors and hospitals in NY downstate counties including the 5 boroughs. Upstate coverage includes Westchester, Duchess, Orange and Sullivan Counties.
Oxford Freedom Network
The Freedom Network is their largest network and has the largest participation of doctors and hospitals. Health plans within this network are the most inclusive but also they are the most expensive. This network would be a good fit for businesses who want the most comprehensive health plans and are willing to pay more for highest level of coverage.
Oxford Liberty Network
The Liberty Network has a very comprehensive network of health care providers but has an estimated 25% less participants than the Freedom Plan. Liberty HMO plans have no employee participation requirements so you could utilize this plan with only 1 employee on payroll.
For their PPO and EPO plans a 60% minimum employee participation is required. Valid health plan waivers such as spousal, Medicaid and Medicare waivers are also required to meet participation.
Oxford Metro Network
The Metro Network is their newest network and has the smallest participation of doctors and hospitals. The network is growing but it takes time and much negotiations to convince doctors or hospitals to join a new network. Metro health plans are the least expensive of all their health plans but also require doctor referrals. CVS Pharmacy and North Shore LIJ to name a few, have yet to participate in this network.
Oxford is also unique in a way that you can choose more than one health plan to meet the needs of your employees. For instance; if you have minimum wage earners who can only afford basic coverage, they can choose a lower cost plan with higher deductibles. For executives or higher paid employees, they can choose a health plan with better coverage and less out of pocket expenses. Contact us at 914-633-1717 for us to design a plan for your company.
Empire operates under its parent company Anthem Inc. Anthem is one of the largest health benefits companies in the United States. Empire blue cross has been serving New York since 1934. The company provides health insurance to individuals and companies as well as other insurance services such as, dental, vision, group disability and group life insurance.
In 2012 Empire exited the New York small group marketplace (1 -50 employees) but remained a dominant health insurance provider to large employers with more than 51 employees. In 2016, Empire reentered the NY small group market with their Pathway Network (HMO only plans) The Pathway Network offered a limited amount of plan options and a very small network of participating doctors and hospitals.
In 2018, Empire is expanding their plan options with their Blue Priority Network. This is an EPO network with comprehensive coverage and access to in-network doctors that participate in their Enhanced Personal Health Care program.
Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield is probably one of the most admired insurance providers by many New York Businesses. The company operates across the entire state of New York. Upstate and downstate, they have a strong network of more than 85,000 participating doctors and 160 hospitals across New York State. If members live or work across the country, they have access to doctors and hospitals through one single electronic network: BlueCard. The BlueCard program lets employees use providers almost everywhere in the U.S. and in almost 170 countries.
The company offers a wide variety of health plans for both small and large businesses; CDHP Plans (Consumer Driven Health Plans) EPO Plans (Exclusive Provider Organization) PPO Plans (Preferred Provider Organization), HMO Plans (Health Maintenance Organization) and HSA’s (Health Savings Accounts).
We work with Empire Blue Cross and if your company would like to explore your health plan options, please contact us. For more information about the company, read our Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield Review.
CareConnect was a new comer to the New York health scene but have announced they are calling it quits. Yup, the company announced last summer that they will be exiting the health insurance business in 2018. All small group and individual health plans will be phased out. You can read the full story here: CareConnect to Exit NY Marketplace
Founded in 2013 by the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, (Now called Northwell Health), this insurance company has some of the lowest cost (about 20%) health plans compared to its competitors.
If your business is located in the 5 boroughs, Long Island or Westchester County, you will find a robust network of participating doctors and hospitals. CareConnect is ever expanding their network and has increased coverage in these locations. It won’t be long before this new comer becomes one of the dominant insurance companies in the tristate area- if they continue to offer quality health plans at reasonable pricing.
CareConnect offers insurance plans using the NorthWell Health System formerly known as North Shore LIJ hospital system and their affiliated doctors. In 2016 CareConnect will begin offering National access plans using the Multiplan network
All of their Health Plans are in-network only EPO Plans (Exclusive Provider Organization – no referrals), so there is no out of network coverage but with these 2 exceptions:
1. Emergency care or Emergency medical transportation is covered on a cost-sharing basis whether those emergency services are in-network or out-of-network.
2. Health care procedures or treatments that are not available within CareConnect’s network, may be covered from an out-of-network provider if you have prior written approval. Approval decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.
3. While traveling and if you need to see a physician, CareConnect has set up a relationship with CVS Mini Clinic Centers for treatment
CareConnect has no participation requirements so their health plans are a good fit for just about size company with 2 to 100 employees.
Cigna is one of leading health insurance providers in the world. Their roots go back over 200 years of providing insurance solutions to consumers. The company we know today was formed in 1982 when Connecticut General Life Insurance Company and the Insurance Company of North America (INA) merged. See our full Cigna review for more detailed information about the company and plan offerings.
Cigna provides health insurance to individuals and companies across the United States and throughout the world. Other insurance services provided are, dental and vision care benefits, group disability and group life insurance. Cigna is headquartered in Philadelphia, but they also operate in 30 other countries. Cigna health insurance has more than 90 million customers worldwide.
Cigna Health Insurance Company specializes in providing group benefits to the small, medium and large business marketplace. They require a minimum of 51 eligible employees – 100 in New York – for a business to utilize their benefits programs.
Like Oxford and Aetna, Cigna has one of the largest networks of doctors and hospitals in the tri-state area. They offer several different health plan designs to fit just about any organization; PPO Plans (Preferred Provider Organization), HMO Plans (Health Maintenance Organization) and HSA’s (Health Savings Accounts). Just about every type of health care coverage you can imagine.
Cigna makes our list as one of the Best New York Health Insurance Companies that we represent. If you are a business with more than 51 employees, we can help you implement a group benefits plan with Cigna.
Aetna is one of our top picks for 2018 as a group health insurance provider in New York. This company has one of the best networks of doctors and hospitals, both locally and nationally. See our Aetna Review for more about the company.
Their health plans include PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) plans, EPO Exclusive Provider Organization) plans and HSA (Health Savings Accounts). Plans are available in all counties in New York State.
Aetna requires 60% enrollment after valid waivers, (spousal, parental, individual, Medicare and Medicaid) for your employees to enroll in their health plans. Aetna also allows business owners to offer more than one of their health plans to your employees. A “high-low option” which lets executives choose a more comprehensive plan while lower paid workers can elect a basic, more affordable plan.
Aetna NYC Community plans
Aetna’s NYC Community Plans are unique to local New York City businesses. If your business is located in NYC or the boroughs the NYC Community Plans are accepted by many health care providers and are reasonably priced. Caution! – if your employees live outside the NYC area, they will not be able to find many participating doctors or hospitals.
After Health Care Reform, these plans like many other health plans under went some benefit restructuring but they remain very comprehensive. NYC Community plans are EPO plans which require primary doctor referrals to see a specialist. Approximately 40% of the NYC Aetna health care providers accept this plan with a co-payment.
You can use the Aetna national network with this plan in the event of an emergency, but you will pay the health care provider’s contracted rates and not a co-pay. A small business located in the NYC region can use these plans with as few as 2 employees on payroll.
This is a private health exchange that was created by the Giuliani administration in the 1990’s. They offer 18 different health plans under 1 program to small businesses in the downstate NYC area and even some areas in upstate New York.
Plans include quality providers such as Oxford, HealthFirst, Oscar, Guardian and Soltice. Programs available are; Medical insurance, dental insurance, Vision, life insurance, disability insurance, as well as Section 125 Plans and COBRA administration.
HealthPass is an excellent program for small business owners who want to offer several health plan options to his or her employees without the hassle of multiple bills. See our HealthPass review.
Cost conscious employees can choose low cost CareConnect plans and employees who are looking for more comprehensive coverage, can choose Oxford plans and pay the difference.
No matter how many health plans your employees choose or how many plans you offer, it all comes under one bill making the administration of your health care program simple.
Emblem divides their health plan programs between small business groups (less than 100 employees) and large groups (over 100 employees). Starting January 1, 2018 EmblemHealth will no longer be offering offering their Select Care network for small groups.
The Select Care network will be replaced with their larger Prime network. The Prime Network includes 51,000 more health care professionals and 39 more hospitals.
Over all, Emblem’s Prime network makes them one of the largest health care providers for small group health insurance in New York State. The Prime Network uses HMO plans only and some plans require referrals. Emblem gives you access to over 90,000 health care professionals, facilities, and hospitals. The Prime network covers 28 New York Counties, including: Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Westchester Long Island,Rockland and Orange County.
For larger groups or businesses with more than 100 employees, Emblem offers several plan designs including EPO Plans, PPO Plans and HMO Plans which utilize the Emblem Health National Network. For more information, see our full EmblemHealth Insurance Company Review.
MVP (Mohawk Valley Physicians) was founded in 1986 by by a group of doctors in upstate New York. They are located in Schenectady NY but only offer insurance plans in New York, Vermont and New Hampshire. The company boasts more than 500,000 health care providers and if you live in New York State, you will not have trouble finding a doctor or hospital in their network. MVP offers health plans to small businesses, groups and individuals.
MVP has an extensive network of doctors throughout northern New York but has been making an effort in the past few years to grow its network in southern New York locations such as: Westchester, Putnam and Rockland Counties as well as New York City.
MVP offers EPO, PPO health plans and high deductible Plans. If you get injured or become sick out of New York State, you have access to their national network through Cigna PPO. MVP currently has no minimum enrollment requirements for small businesses and groups with 2 or more employees can enroll with only 1 employee – as long as there are at least 2 employees on payroll.
If you own a business or live in the Hudson Valley, you should check out MVP for your health insurance needs.
Healthfirst is not-for-profit managed care organization and has more 1.2 million members in the New York City area. The company entered the small business arena in 2017 but has been providing quality health care plans to individuals and families for more than 23 years.
This insurance company is affiliated with some of the most recognized hospitals and medical centers in New York. Hospitals such as Montefiore, Mount Sinai and Long Island Jewish Medical Center, just to name a few. Healthfirst’s network is focused primarily in the downstate New York region so if your business is located in New York City or Long Island, you will find a strong network of doctors and hospitals to provide coverage for your employees.
Healthfirst offers EPO (Exclusive Provider Organization) plans only through their “Pro Plus Small Business Program.” Their health plans are in-network coverage and do not require referrals from your PCP (Primary Care Physician).
Along with providing quality health care plans to small businesses, they also offer:
Vision and dental benefits
$0 copay for access to 24/7 telemedicine
Up to $600 in exercise rewards
Coverage for acupuncture visits
Healthfirst’s health plans are compliant with The Affordable Care Act (ACA) covering all metal tiers: Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze. Their small business plans are competitively priced and slightly less expensive than Oxford or Aetna but nowhere near the vast provider networks offered by these 2 insurance companies. You can learn more by reading our HealthFirst Insurance Company review.
This company is a new-comer to the small business market. Oscar started offering group health plans January 1st, 2017 and provides coverage to businesses with less than 100 employees.
“If Jeff Bezos of Amazon was to start an insurance company, he would probably build it like Oscar.”
Oscar is one of the first insurance companies to utilize a technology oriented platform to bring insurance plans to their customers.
Almost everything regarding their health plans can be accomplished online: quotes, enrollment, billing, booking doctor appointments and even licensing for brokers like us. They have an easy-to-use phone app for employees to access all their benefits, prescriptions and more. If Jeff Bezos was to start an insurance company, he would probably build it like Oscar.
Oscar health plans are EPO plans (Exclusive Provider Organization), which means your employees can only see doctors in network. No referrals are needed to see a specialist. Their health plans can be customized to different classes of employees, meaning you can offer more than one plan design to your employees.
Oscar’s physician network is relatively small compared to other New York health care providers but they are working hard to grow their network. It’s not easy when you are “the new kid on the block.” If you have a small business in the 5 boroughs and Long Island, you will probably find a good network of doctors, medical facilities and hospitals.