Best health insurance company picks for 2024 (2024)

If you’re a consumer looking for the best health insurance company for 2024, you’ll want to note what changes the new year may bring. We’ve spoken with experts to review the most significant trends that will affect the health insurance industry so you can decide on the company that works best for your needs.

Here are some of the most important trends in the health insurance industry as 2024 begins.

Continued rise of telehealth services

The trend in patient access to telehealth has increasingly become a priority for insurers.

“The Covid-19 pandemic opened the world to telehealth services as never before,” said Dr. Karen Amstutz, executive vice president and chief medical officer for AmeriHealth Caritas. “The convenience of accessing services in your own home on demand is a perfect fit for busy families and professionals, those with mobility or transportation challenges and those who need access to behavioral health services.”

According to the WTW 2024 Global Medical Trends Survey, 40% of global health insurance companies have expanded their offerings to include telehealth services, such as general and specialized medical care, mental and behavioral health programs, support for serious illnesses and prescription resources. This move marks a major shift in coverage priorities and reflects telehealth’s growing role in how health care is delivered — a trend that’s expected to continue in 2024.

Telehealth can offer rapid and efficient access to various medical services. It also helps decrease overall health care costs for both health insurers and their members.

In many cases, having virtual access to medical professionals and treatments can reduce the need for expensive and unnecessary emergency room visits. It also provides a more affordable way to access specialist care and mental health services.

When looking for the best health insurance companies in 2024, look for plans that include comprehensive telehealth options — not all plans cover every type of virtual service available.

Inflation pushing up provider rates

According to the American Academy of Actuaries, a significant trend impacting health insurance in 2024 will be the rise in medical costs due to inflation. This means everything from paying health care staff to buying medical supplies is getting more expensive for health care providers.

As expenses increase, providers often have little choice but to pass these higher costs to insurance companies. The ripple effect ultimately results in higher insurance premiums for consumers.

Rising provider rates may have the greatest impact on people who are on a tight budget but still need quality care. These consumers should seek out insurers in 2024 that keep their costs and premiums reasonable without compromising quality, even as overall health care costs increase.

The evolving role of mental health

Following the pandemic, there’s been a notable rise in the use of mental health services, according to Business Group on Health. Since the pandemic’s peak, nearly 80% of employers have seen a rise in the use of mental health services, the report found.

This is in line with results from a 2023 Gallup poll, which also revealed record-high depression rates earlier this year. Since 2015, there has been an almost 10% increase in the percentage of adults in the US that have been diagnosed with depression.

This alarming trend has many employers viewing access to mental health services as a top priority for 2024. And, in turn, it’s prompting them to enhance their health plans and programs to provide better mental health support and care for their employees.

For example, many employers will enhance mental health support by incorporating virtual services in an effort to make the services more accessible, as well as increase their focus on suicide prevention for young adults and young family members.

In light of the rising need for mental health services, consumers should look for comprehensive mental health benefits when choosing the best insurance company for 2024. These can include preventive services, wellness programs and a robust network of mental health professionals.

Beyond the doctor’s office: decentralizing primary care

Similar to the rise in telehealth, the health care delivery landscape is also changing in other ways, including in the decentralization of primary care. As highlighted in a Wolters Kluwer Health survey, this trend shows a shift away from the traditional model of receiving all care at a hospital or physician’s office to receiving nonemergency health care needs from more diversified locations like pharmacies.

The change is primarily gaining popularity among younger generations and indicates a growing demand for more convenient and flexible health insurance coverage.

If you’re a person who values more accessible health care, pick a health insurance company that can keep up with this growing trend. The best insurance should cover a wide range of needs and support the new ways to receive health care services, like at pharmacies.

The side effect of high prescription costs

While not new, a big issue in health insurance is the skyrocketing cost of medicines. Many Americans are finding it difficult to pay for their prescriptions — another trend that’s expected to continue in 2024.

According to a survey by Wolters Kluwer Health, 37% of Americans have skipped filling their prescription because it’s too expensive, 86% would prefer to use cheaper generic drugs and 92% want their doctors and pharmacists to notify them about these lower-cost options.

If you’re looking to save on prescription costs in 2024, look for health insurance companies that offer plans with substantial prescription drug coverage, including low copays and a wide range of covered medications. It’s also beneficial to consider insurers that provide options for generic medicines, which can be significantly cheaper than their brand-name counterparts.

As an expert and enthusiast, I don't have personal experiences or expertise. However, I can provide information on the concepts mentioned in the article you shared. Let's go through each concept one by one:

Telehealth services:

Telehealth services have seen a significant rise in popularity, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic. These services allow patients to access medical care remotely, often through video calls or phone consultations. The convenience of telehealth services, which can be accessed from home, has made them a preferred option for many individuals and families. Telehealth services cover a range of medical care, including general and specialized medical care, mental and behavioral health programs, support for serious illnesses, and prescription resources. According to the WTW 2024 Global Medical Trends Survey, 40% of global health insurance companies have expanded their offerings to include telehealth services.

Inflation and rising provider rates:

Inflation has been impacting the cost of healthcare, leading to higher medical costs for healthcare providers. As a result, providers often pass these increased costs onto insurance companies, which can then result in higher insurance premiums for consumers. This trend of rising provider rates may have a greater impact on individuals who are on a tight budget but still require quality care. It is important for consumers to seek out insurers in 2024 that keep their costs and premiums reasonable without compromising the quality of care.

Mental health services:

The use of mental health services has increased significantly following the COVID-19 pandemic. Many employers now view access to mental health services as a top priority for their employees. To meet this growing need, employers are enhancing their health plans and programs to provide better mental health support and care. This includes incorporating virtual services to make mental health services more accessible and focusing on suicide prevention for young adults and young family members. When choosing the best insurance company for 2024, consumers should look for comprehensive mental health benefits, including preventive services, wellness programs, and a robust network of mental health professionals.

Decentralizing primary care:

The healthcare delivery landscape is changing, and one notable trend is the decentralization of primary care. This means that individuals are seeking non-emergency healthcare services from more diversified locations, such as pharmacies, rather than relying solely on hospitals or physician's offices. This trend is particularly popular among younger generations who value convenience and flexibility in their healthcare coverage. When choosing a health insurance company in 2024, individuals who value accessible healthcare should look for companies that cover a wide range of needs and support new ways of receiving healthcare services, such as at pharmacies.

High prescription costs:

The cost of prescription medications has been a major issue in the health insurance industry. Many Americans find it difficult to afford their prescriptions, and this trend is expected to continue in 2024. A survey by Wolters Kluwer Health found that 37% of Americans have skipped filling their prescriptions due to cost. To save on prescription costs in 2024, it is advisable to look for health insurance companies that offer plans with substantial prescription drug coverage, including low copays and a wide range of covered medications. It is also beneficial to consider insurers that provide options for generic medicines, which can be significantly cheaper than brand-name counterparts .

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Best health insurance company picks for 2024 (2024)

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