There are several ways to evaluate the quality of a health insurance company in order to decide which one is the best suited to insure your health. Each year, companies must be accredited by the NCQA and URAC in order to be considered legitimate in business practice, and A.M. Best gives ratings based on a health plan’s financial performance and outlook for a successful future. Though these are all necessary industry practices, it tells nothing of the personal end and how this plan will actually affect you as a member.
More than one company will claim to have the largest networks, the most benefits, and best service, making it difficult to make a decision. This why, firstly we compare plan benefits and costs by region. Another good indicator of how well a plan works is talking to actual policyholders in Minnesota. You can do so personally, or get a wider scope by read the results from the 2013 J.D. Power Health Plan Study.
Each year, J.D. Power and Associates conducts a study on the satisfaction of private health plan members in 17 regions throughout the country. Minnesota was included in the Minnesota-Wisconsin Region when they surveyed 1,980 commercial plan members in the area from December 2012 to January 2013.
According to the study, overall member satisfaction with their health plans has declined since last year’s survey. The study assesses seven different factors to determine satisfaction, which include information and communication, statements, customer services, approval processes, claims, coverage/benefits, and provider selection.
Now averaging 697 of 1,000 total points, compared to last year’s 702, policyholders in Minnesota and Wisconsin report a lesser amount of satisfaction from their respective insurers. As one of the more satisfactory regions in the nation last year, this is an interesting shift, though certain similarities in top plan choices remains, like Dean Health Plan and HealthPartners.
Minnesota Health Plan Rankings
The results of this annual study is a helpful tool when deciding which health plan to choose. Though all Minnesota insurers have positive track records and awards to support their organizations, a good measure of quality is to hear from the people who have actually purchased and used these plans. A generalized representation of the people who have purchased coverage through BCBSMN, HealthPartners, and Medica, has shown which stand out as the most exceptional.
This year, HealthPartners is the winner in Minnesota, and for the entire region, receiving a score of 731, and showing particularly strong levels of quality in claims processing. HealthPartners exceeded every plan in both states, earning high consumer approval.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota improved significantly from 2012, moving from below the regional average to the second most favorable plan in the state. With 701 points, their rating increase, outperforming Medica by a few points.
One very important aspect of health plan satisfaction is cost. To find how much these top-ranking plans will charge for individual and family premiums, get a quote and compare.
1. J.D. Power and Associates. 2013 Member Health Plan Study.