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: 914-633-1717

What’s new for 2024?

  1. Empire Blue Cross is now Anthem Blue Cross
  2. EmblemHealth replaces Prime Network with Select Network for small groups
  3. HealthPass includes Anthem Blue Cross to their Benefits Exchange
  4. Oscar Health exits New York Group Health market
  5. HealthFirst is leaving the small group health insurance market

Some of the Best New York Health Insurance Companies we represent are:

(Click the links below to jump directly to the company)

Aetna
Anthem Blue Cross
Cigna
Emblem Health
Healthfirst
HealthPass
MVP
Oxford
Oscar

Oxford Health Plans

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. If you have 1099 employees and have been having trouble finding health coverage for them, Oxford will cover them!

Oxford health plans reviewOxford is one of our best NY health insurance companies because they are one of the most widely accepted health plans in the tri-state area. Eight out of Ten New York businesses rely on Oxford for their health plan.

Oxford has more than 1.5M physicians and health care professionals and 6,200 hospitals Nationwide and The company offers a variety of health plans within their 3 networks; The Freedom Network, The Liberty Network and the “new” Metro Network.

The Freedom network offers National coverage through UnitedHealthcare’s “Choice Plus Network” while the Liberty Network provides National coverage for your employees with their “Core network,” offered through parent company, UnitedHealthcare. The Metro Network only provides coverage in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

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).

Group health quotes in less than one minuteAll 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 offers more than 42 health plans for their small business customers. Two of their most popular plans are the “Zero Deductible Plans.”

Oxford Freedom and Liberty Zero Deductible (ZD) Health Plans

No referral EPO plans:

1. Oxford Liberty Non-gated EPO (Gold)
2. Oxford Metro Non-gated EPO (Silver)

Plan Features:

•$0 deductible
•100% plan coinsurance
•Benefits are subject to fixed copay amounts
•Oxford Liberty Non-Gated EPO plan design includes national network access

Oxford Freedom Network

The Freedom Network is their largest network and has the largest participation of doctors and hospitals. Nationwide, the Freedom Network includes more than 1.2 million health care professionals and 6,100 hospitals. New York employers enrolled in the Freedom Network have access to 124,000 individual medical providers across New York State, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Health plans within this network have the highest quality of benefits but also they are also the most expensive. This network would be a good fit for a business owner who wants the most comprehensive health plan and is willing to pay more for the highest level of coverage.

Oxford Liberty Network

The Oxford Liberty Network now uses the UnitedHealthcare “Core Network” for out-of-area coverage and the network includes over 1.1 million physicians and 6,500 hospitals Nationwide. The Liberty Network has a very comprehensive network of health care providers but has an estimated 25% less health care professional than the Freedom Plan. Employers enrolled in the Liberty Network have access to 58,333 health care providers and 105 hospitals in New York State.

Liberty HMO plans have no employee participation requirements so you could utilize this plan with only 1 employee (not your spouse) 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 Metro network has a network about 25% smaller than the Liberty network. For instance, the Metro Network does not include Northwell Health (one of the largest medical providers in New York), New York University Hospital or Stonybrook, just to name a few.

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. To read our full review, go to: Oxford Health Plans Review.

Anthem Blue Cross

Anthem Blue CrossAs of January 2024 Empire Blue Cross has now become Anthem Blue Cross. Anthem is one of the largest health health insurance companies in the United States. The company uses the health network “Blue Card” which is one of the most widely accepted health plans in America. The Blue network includes 95% of doctors and 96% of hospitals in the U.S. and 1 in 3 Americans carries a Blue card.

Anthem requires a minimum of 2 employees for a company to be eligible for a group health plan. The company offers a broad range of benefit and cost-share options, such as, HMO’s, PPO’s, POS plans and Health Savings Accounts (HSA’s) to meet different situations and budgets.

Anthem requires a minimum of 2 employees to be eligible for a group health plan. They offer 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). All plans can be used nationally and do not require referrals with the exception of the GateKeeper EPO.

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Group Health Plans

Anthem health plans include their largest EPO/PPO networks or The Blue Priority Network and their slightly smaller network called Blue Access. Blue Access uses the old Pathway Network which has a limited network of providers and participating hospitals. Small business customers who were using the Pathway network will now be participating in the new Blue Access network. The Pathway Network will be utilized for Empire members who purchase individual insurance plans on the New York State of Health marketplace, or the Health Exchange.

In January 2020, Empire introduced a new network called Connection. It is their smallest network of doctors and hospitals but offers the greatest premium savings to small business clients. Empire Connection joins their 2 other existing networks: Empire PPO/EPO (Blue Priority) and Blue Access. It’s important to note that employers can offer any combination of their 3 networks as part of their benefit plan.

Blue High Perfomance Network (HPN) for Employers.

The HPN network was introduced in January 2021 and gives employees in-network access to medical care through an national network that offers more than 10 percent cost savings compared to the BlueCard PPO. Employees will pay less in co-pays, co-insurance and etc. provided they use the carefully selected network providers who are committed to enhancing quality care with Blue Cross.

HPN offers medical care across 55+ major U.S. markets and is the only high-performance network with a presence in all of the top 10 U.S. cities.

We work with Anthem Blue Cross and if your company would like to explore group health plan options, please contact us. For more information about the company, read our Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield Review.

Cigna

Cigna Health Insurance CompanyCigna 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

Aetna was founded in 1853 and is headquartered in Hartford, CT. Aetna has one of the largest health care networks in the Country, coming in 2nd to United Health Care. The Aetna network includes over 1 million health care professionals, 690,000 primary care doctors and specialists, and more than 5,700 hospitals.   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.

Aetna Health PlansIn 2018, Aetna was purchased by CVSHealth with a transaction cost valued at $69 Billion. The company serves approximately 22 million medical members. Aetna Dental is one of the most popular and widely accepted dental programs in the Country with over 12 million members. The company also offers Vision plans, Medicare, Accident, Critical illness and Hospital Indemnity Plans.

Aetna Group Health Plans

The company does not offer any Platinum plans in New York. Only Gold, Silver and Bronze. Their group health plans include PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) plans, EPO Exclusive Provider Organization) plans, HSA (Health Savings Accounts) and now their new Aetna Saving Plus plans. Savings Plus plans will have reduced rates and are designed to compete directly with the Oxford Metro plan. All Aetna plans are available everywhere in New York State.

Aetna Open Choice PPO Plan:

Employees can visit any provider, in network or out-of-network, without a referral. But when they stay in network, claims are handled at the lower, contracted rates.

Aetna Open Choice POS 2 Plan:

This plan allows employees to visit any doctor, hospital or facility, in or out of network, with no referrals. But depending on their plan, if they choose a primary care physician (PCP) and stay in network health care costs will be less.

Aetna Managed Choice Plan:

These plans are a type of health insurance that have contracts with health care providers and medical facilities to provide care for members at reduced costs. Members can select a network PCP to guide their care. Or they can go out of network for a higher cost.

Aetna Open Access Managed Choice Plan:

This plan takes some of the “managed” out of managed care, while keeping the savings. Members can visit any provider. And while employees are not required to choose a PCP, savings are offered by staying in network.

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.

HealthPass

HealthPass NYHealthPass is now know as “Health Pass Benefit Exchange.” The company was created by the Giuliani administration in the 1990’s. They offer more than 40 different health plans under 1 billing program to small businesses in the downstate NYC area and even some areas in upstate New York.

HealthPass Benefit Exchange

The program provides benefits to small employers (1-100 employees) in the lower 14 counties of New York State.  Benefit plans include medical insurance, dental insurance, vision, term life insurance, disability, flexible spending accounts (FSA), identity theft, accident insurance and Pet insurance. HealthPass has partnered with quality insurance providers such as:

  • Anthem
  • EmblemHealth
  • Oxford

HealthPass Ancillary Exchange

Ancillary benefits are available to New York small businesses of all sizes and offers voluntary products, including Dental, Vision, Life and Disability Insurance as well as Accident, Identity Theft and Pet Plans.

Ancillary Partners Include:

  • Guardian
  • Solstice
  • Nationwide
  • Allstate
  • LifeLock
  • Total Pet Plan

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. For more information about the company, see our HealthPass review.

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 Health

Emblem Health

In 2005, EmblemHealth merged with 2 major New York insurance companies: Group Health Incorporated (GHI) and Health Insurance Plan of New York (HIP). Emblem offers health insurance coverage to small groups (1-100 employees) and large groups (101 or more employees) with very competitive pricing compared to most other providers.

Emblem is excellent choice for employers looking to save money while delivering a quality employee group health plan.

Emblem offers 3 networks to New York Employers:

1. Prime Network
2. Select Care Network
3. Millennial Network.

Effective January 1, 2024 the Emblem Select Care Network will be replacing the Prime Network which is Emblem’s largest network and is now only available to large groups of 100 or more employees.

Prime Network available only to large groups with 100 or more employees, covers New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut service areas with plans that make it easy to access the top providers where your employees live and work. The Prime Network includes over 147,000 providers in the tristate area spanning across all counties in the state of Connecticut through the ConnectiCare network, all counties in the state of New Jersey using the QualCare Network, and 28 counties in New York.

The Select Care Network available to small groups of 1-100 employees, is a smaller network but still includes over 38,000 Physician Care Providers and specialists throughout 28 counties in NY.

The Millennium Network is the smallest network and gives employees access to medical care in the five boroughs, Nassau County, Suffolk County, and Westchester County.

In the Fall of 2020, Emblem announced that their Point or Service (POS) health plans will offer National coverage through FirstHealth making them competitive with other top providers such as Oxford, Blue Cross Aetna and Cigna. For more information, see our full EmblemHealth Insurance Company Review.

MVP

MVP Health CareMVP (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 750,000 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 several small group health plans:

  • Platinum EPO (National network)
  • Platinum HMO (Regional network)
  • Gold EPO (National network)
  • Gold HMO (Regional network)
  • Silver EPO (National network)
  • Silver HMO (Regional Network)
  • Bronze EPO (National network)
  • Bronze HMO (Regional network)

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

Healthfirst health plansHealthfirst recently announced that they intend to withdraw all of its comprehensive small group health insurance products. Members will lose their coverage upon renewal after January 1, 2024.

We will be removing this review in the near future.

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.

OSCAR

hioscarIf you are a New York small business looking for Oscar group health insurance, you better hurry, Oscar has made the decision not to renew Small Group plans in New York as of September 1, 2024. We will be removing Oscar from our Best New York Health Insurance Companies in the future.

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.

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