When searching for a health plan in Alabama, your options are slim, but it can still be a tough call when entrusting your health to one company. You want to make sure they have a good reputation and organizational experience, and that you get a high quality of care from their provider networks. Much of these characteristics go beyond what you can see when presented with a health insurance quote, though you will see an A.M. Best rating and maybe even a few customer reviews. A.M. Best ratings are good indicators of how a company operates in terms of financial stability, which is important, but doesn’t explain much about care and coverage.
On a larger, more thorough scale, you can find out how Alabama companies rank for benefits, providers, keeping members healthy, and managing conditions with a NCQA Health Plan Report Card. Not all companies are listed through the National Committee for Quality Assurance, but in Alabama, the main commercial insurers listed are Aetna (group plans) and UnitedHealthcare (group and individual).
An equally valuable assessment is made each year in the J.D. Power and Associates Member Health Plan Study. Alabama is included in the East South Central Region, which proved to be one of the most satisfied areas in the country for 2013. In fact, Alabama’s Blue Cross and Blue Shield plan was the top ranking plan in the entire region, with 730 of 1,000 points, making it one of the most highly favored plans nationwide. The survey showed Humana to be the next best plan in the region, with 711 points received collectively from their members.
Real Alabama policyholders evaluated their health plans in seven different areas, giving other consumers a better idea of where to find the best customer service, coverage, provider choice, information and communication, claims processing, statements, and approval processes. According to their responses, J.D. Power assigned Power Circle Ratings to the group, showing that Alabama’s Blue plan is “among the best.”
Alabama Health Plan Rankings
Rated on a 1,000-point scale, the following Alabama insurers were measured by their members. Aetna still sells employer-sponsored plans, and though Celtic is an individual coverage option, they didn’t have enough members to make in into the study.
1. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama: 730 points, J.D. Power Circle Rating of 5 (Among the best)
2. Humana: 711 points, J.D. Power Circle Rating of 3 (Above average)
3. Aetna: 683 points, J.D. Power Circle Rating of 2 (The rest)
4. UnitedHealthCare: 664 points, J.D. Power Circle Rating of 2 (The rest)
1. J.D. Power and Associates. 2013 Member Health Plan Study.