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U.S. News Media Group and NCQA Release 2008 Rankings for America's Best Health Plans
Date:11/7/2008

- Nearly 700 health plans evaluated based on quality of care, service -

WASHINGTON, Nov. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. News Media Group and The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) today released the fourth annual edition of America's Best Health Plans on USNews.com. Launched at the start of open-enrollment season, when millions of Americans prepare to select their healthcare coverage, the 2008 Best Health Plans guide provides comprehensive rankings and important consumer information for nearly 700 commercial, Medicare, and Medicaid health plans.

The full rankings of America's Best Health Plans are online today at http://www.usnews.com/healthplans, and the top 50 commercial, top 25 Medicare, top 25 Medicaid, and "Honor Roll" health plans will be featured in the November 17/24 issue of U.S. News, available on newsstands on Monday, November 10.

The 2008 America's Best Health Plans rankings are based on more than 100 aspects of prevention, treatment, and consumer experience, such as how quickly members receive needed care or how well a plan controls blood sugar levels in individuals with diabetes. The Best Health Plans guide also identifies 126 plans that chose to report no data.

"America's Best Health Plans places health plans nationwide on a level playing field and provides crucial information when consumers need it most," said NCQA President Margaret E. O'Kane. "These rankings recognize the best health plans and identify those that are committed to improving their quality of care through measurement and reporting."

"Health consumers today are overwhelmed with data and not all of it is clear, let alone trustworthy, said Avery Comarow, U.S. News editor of America's Best Health Plans. "The health plan rankings are part of the U.S. News mission to bring consumers data that is reliable, understandable, and timely."

The complete 2008 Best Health Plans rankings are available at http://www.usnews.com/healthplans. Highlights of this year's rankings are featured below:

Top 10 Commercial Plans

1. Harvard Pilgrim Health Care (Maine, Mass.)

2. Tufts Associated Health Maintenance Organization (Mass., N.H., R.I.)

3. Harvard Pilgrim Health Care of New England (N.H.)

4. Grand Valley Health Plan (Mich.)

5. Geisinger Health Plan (Pa.)

6. Health New England (Conn., Mass.)

7. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield - Connecticut

8. Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin

9. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts

10. CIGNA HealthCare of New Hampshire

Top 5 Medicare Plans

1. Preferred Care (N.Y.)

2. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Southern California

3. Geisinger Health Plan (Pa.)

4. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts

5. Security Health Plan of Wisconsin

Top 5 Medicaid Plans

1. Fallon Community Health Plan (Mass.)

2. Neighborhood Health Plan (Mass.)

3. Excellus BlueCross BlueShield (N.Y.)

4. Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island

5. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Hawaii

About NCQA

NCQA is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. NCQA accredits and certifies a wide range of health care organizations and recognizes physicians in key clinical areas. NCQA's Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS(R)) is the most widely used performance measurement tool in health care. NCQA is committed to providing health care quality information through the Web, media and data licensing agreements in order to help consumers, employers and others make more informed health care choices.

About the U.S. News Media Group

The U.S. News Media Group is a multiplatform digital publisher of news and analysis, which includes U.S.News & World Report magazine, http://www.usnews.com, and http://www.rankingsandreviews.com. Focusing on Health, Money & Business, Education, and Public Service/Opinion, the U.S. News Media Group has earned a reputation as the leading provider of service news and information that improves the quality of life of its readers. The U.S. News Media Group's signature franchises include its News You Can Use(R) brand of journalism and its "America's Best" series of consumer guides that include rankings of colleges, graduate schools, hospitals, health plans, and more.


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SOURCE U.S. News Media Group
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