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Consumer Reports Survey: HMOs Beat PPOs on Cost, Customer Support and Billing Services
Date:8/3/2009

s are based on overall satisfaction with the health plans. The ratings also measure access to doctors and medical care, choice of doctors, quality of telephone support, frequency of billing problems, and the care doctors provide. Web site quality and support is also included.

Get a report card. For plans not in Consumer Reports' ratings, check out NCQA's Web site (reportcard.ncqa.org). The site, which is partially funded by the insurance industry, provides report cards on 55 PPOs and 404 HMOs.

Consider health issues. Patients with chronic conditions may run into shortcomings in either kind of health plan. Look for one with disease-management programs for specific conditions.

Check complaints. Call the state department of insurance to see whether current members have logged complaints against the plan.

Plan ahead for changes. For example, if having children is in the plan, keep that in mind when selecting a plan; look for one that pays for prenatal care and well-baby visits.

SEPTEMBER 2009

The material above is intended for legitimate news entities only; it may not be used for commercial or promotional purposes. Consumer Reports(R) is published by Consumers Union, an expert, independent nonprofit organization whose mission is to work for a fair, just, and safe marketplace for all consumers and to empower consumers to protect themselves. To achieve this mission, we test, inform, and protect. To maintain our independence and impartiality, Consumers Union accepts no outside advertising, no free test samples, and has no agenda other than the interests of consumers. Consumers Union supports itself through the sale of our information products and services, individual contributions, and a few noncommercial grants.

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