Consumer Reports, a market research agency focused on the health care industry, has released the findings of a new study regarding the quality of the nation’s largest health insurance plans. With major changes coming to the health care system in the coming years, consumers, insurers and political groups have been eager to dissect the findings of studies from Consumer Reports and other research agencies. Much of the controversy surrounding the Affordable Care Act is, indeed, spurred by such reports as they provide useful data for opponents and supporters of health care reform.
The agency’s study found that of the 830 largest health insurance plans in the U.S. – comprised of private, Medicare and Medicaid plans – quality varies wildly amongst the plans. The findings are based on results from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), a non-profit organization that measures the quality of service offered by insurance companies. The organization uses a rigorous and intricate method of determining the value of insurance plans and has found that quality is not uniform throughout the industry.
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Of note, the largest insurance plans are often the lowest quality plans, according to the report. Though these plans are often well populated due to the fact that they come from large, well-known insurance companies, the money generated by the populace of these plans rarely goes toward improving quality.
The NCQA notes that all 830 policies rated in the report are high quality when compared to the majority of the nation’s health insurance plans.