Archive for April, 2011

Health Insurance Rates Only Part of Customer Satisfaction

Friday, April 29th, 2011

map PAPennsylvania health plans ranked higher in customer satisfaction than the national average in J.D. Power & Associates’ U.S. Member Health Insurance Plan Study.  According to “UPMC, Geisinger, Highmark lead Pa. customer satisfaction rankings” by Bob Graham of Insurance & Financial Advisor, UPMC Health Plan ranked the highest in Pennsylvania.  While health insurance rates are important to consumers, this study also looked at the coverage and benefits, customer service, communications, information, provider choice, claims processing, statements given, and the approval process.  UPMC scored 744 out of 1,000, well above the national average of 696 and significantly higher than Pennsylvania’s average of 714.

Geisinger Health Plan and Highmark BlueCross BlueShield followed UPMC in Pennsylvania’s rankings with scores of 737 and 735, respectively.  Capital Blue Cross and Independence BlueCross also scored higher than the state’s average.  Although Pennsylvania’s scores went down slightly in 2011, compared to 2010, four of the seventeen other regions surveyed saw much more significant declines.  Some of the insurance companies that scored lower than average in Pennsylvania were Highmark Blue Shield, CIGNA, HealthAmerica/HealthAssurance, Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania, Aetna, and UnitedHealthcare.  Of the 34,000 insurance plan members surveyed, 2,684 were in Pennsylvania.

Compare Health Insurance Quotes in North Carolina

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

A recent customer satisfaction survey ranked Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina the second best health insurer in the South Atlantic Region.  Bob Graham’s article “North Carolina health insurer earns high customer satisfaction score” in Insurance & Financial Advisor talks about the J.D. Power and Associates’ U.S. Member Health Insurance Plan Study.  The 2011 study polled 34,000 commercial health plan members of insurers like Aultcare health insurance.

Kaiser Foundation Health Plan was the top ranked with a score of 747 out of 1,000.  Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina’s score was 714, 14 points higher than the regional average.  Out of the five years that this study has been given, this year marked the lowest national average for the 137 health plans studied in 17 regions throughout the United States.  This year’s national average was 696 points.

To compare health insurance quotes is not the only aspect that this study looks into.  They also ask about customer service, different coverage and benefit options, processing of claims, provider choices, the communication process and information offered, statements, and the approval process.  The companies rounding out the rest of the South Atlantic Region’s best were Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia, Aetna, UnitedHealthcare, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina.

Go Blue Florida Customer Satisfaction

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

bcbsAccording to a company press release, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida has received an award for their high customer satisfaction.  In “Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Awarded Prestigious J.D. Power and Associates Award,” we learn that the company has received this award for the third time.  They have received the award for “Highest Member Satisfaction among Commercial Health Plans in Florida.”  Go Blue Florida is just one of the plans Blue Cross and Blue Shield offers Florida residents.  Their customer service skills reach across their entire network of plans.

The 2011 National Health Insurance Plan Study from J.D. Power and Associates polled health insurance members in 17 regions throughout the United States.  They were asked to compare health insurance plans from 2010 on a number of factors regarding their overall experience.  The seven main factors companies were judged upon are the approval process, processing of claims, their coverage and benefits, customer service, information availability and communication skills, provider choice, and their statements.  Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida is pleased that the commitment to their members shows and they plan to use the survey information to improve their customer service even further.

Health Insurance Rates for Pre-existing Conditions

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

It used to be next to impossible to anyone with pre-existing health conditions to find health insurance.  Since it will be mandatory in 2014 for insurance companies to offer health care coverage to Americans with pre-existing conditions, many companies are offering “bridge” coverage that allows people to get insurance now.  Some states are running their own programs, while others are letting the government run theirs for them.  P.C.I.P.’s, or Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plans, are different from high-risk health insurance pools run by the states and federal government.  With more than one option, those with pre-existing conditions are able to compare health insurance costs from multiple places and look for better deals.

Most P.C.I.P.’s offer lower costs than the high risk health insurance pools.  The article highlighted the story of a man who lost his health insurance but had $2,000 a month in medication he needed for a kidney transplant six years ago.  He was denied coverage by multiple insurance companies in Michigan because of his pre-existing condition, but was able to find insurance through the state’s P.C.I.P.  His health insurance rates are actually less now than they were with his previous insurance plan.

The plans come in three different forms and vary between the states and the federal government.  You can get a standard coverage plan, an extended coverage plan with higher premiums but a lower deductible, or a high deductible plan with a health savings account.  One of the limitations to these plans is that you have to be uninsured for at least six months to qualify, even if your health insurance rates would be much lower with a P.C.I.P.  Federal plans also require proof that you were denied coverage from an individual health insurer such as Aultcare before you qualify.  States have different requirements, but most accept a letter from a doctor saying that you do in fact have a pre-existing condition.  As with any plans, do your research and compare details to make sure that this is the best insurance for you.