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J.D. Power and Associates Reports: Satisfaction with Health Plans Varies Dramatically From Region To Region, Largely Due to Poor Communication From Insurance Providers
Date:4/30/2008

More Than 50 Percent of Members Say They Don't Fully Understand the Details

of Their Health Insurance Plan

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Health plan performance varies widely among some insurers across the U.S., yet contacting plan members regularly and increasing their understanding of plan details can lead to more consistent and positive satisfaction ratings, more renewal business and additional sales of services to members, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2008 National Health Insurance Plan Study(SM) released today.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20050527/LAF028LOGO-a)

Now in its second year, the study measures member satisfaction among 107 health plans in 17 regions throughout the U.S. by examining seven key factors: coverage and benefits; choice of doctors, hospitals and pharmacies; information and communication; approval processes; claims processing; insurance statements; and customer service.

The study finds that the majority of health plan members rate their insurer lowest for the communications and information that are provided to help them understand their plan. Only 45 percent of members reported they fully understand how to use their health insurance coverage and member services. Enhancing member understanding with critical plan details -- such as prescription coverage, co-pays, how to locate physicians and how to appeal coverage denials -- can lead to higher satisfaction ratings for insurers.

"Health insurer performance fluctuates greatly -- even among different regional plans from the same insurance company -- and this lack of service consistency can present a real challenge for human resources executives attempting to select the best health benefits for their employees working in multiple regions across the country," said Jim Dougherty, executive director of the
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SOURCE J.D. Power and Associates
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