For 20 years, the National Committee for Quality Assurance has been on the forefront of promoting the highest quality for health care and health insurance services. The organization uses HEDIS, the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set, to measure performance. This year, the organization examined 227 health plans and selected the best 20 private plans available in the United States.
Their methodology was based on several factors – clinical effectiveness, NCQA accredation, and patient satisfaction. These factors should be important to any consumer looking to purchase health coverage.
According to NCQA, these are the best private health insurance plans for 2010-2011:
- Harvard Pilgrim Health Care: Available in Massachusetts, Maine
- Tufts Associated Health Maintenance Organization: Available in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island
- Harvard Pilgrim Health Care of New England: Available in New Hampshire
- Capital Health Plan: Available in Florida
- Geisinger Health Plan: Available in Pennsylvania
- Grand Valley Health Plan: Available in Michigan
- Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin: Available in Wisconsin
- Fallon Community Health Plan: Available in Massachusetts
- Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Colorado: Available in Colorado
- Health New England: Available in Massachusetts
- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts: Available in Massachusetts
- CIGNA HealthCare of New Hampshire: Available in New Hampshire
- Priority Health: Available in Michigan
- HealthAmerica Pennsylvania: Available in Pennsylvania
- Health Net of Connecticut: Available in Connecticut
- Independent Health Association: Available in New York
- Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New Hampshire: Available in New Hampshire
- Anthem Health Plan of New Hampshire: Available in New Hampshire
- HealthPartners: Available in Minnesota
- Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine: Available in Maine
Interestingly, a significant percentage of these plans are in Massachusetts, a state which implemented its own version of healthcare reform several years ago. Michigan, New Hampshire, and Maine also have multiple entries on the list.
What if none of these health insurance plans are available in your area? There are several options: shopping around for products with similar benefits and costs is a good idea. At the very least, the NCQA list can provide a yardstick for judging quality.