Selecting the best health insurance provider depends on your age, health, medical needs, location and finances. There is no single provider that can lay claim to being the best for everyone. However, there are several companies who stand out based on the Health Effective Data and Information Set (HEDIS) used to measure quality of service. Use this information as you compare the health insurers available.
The National Committee for Quality Assurance assessed and ranked 600 providers in November of 2009. Each organization received a rating between 0 and 100, with 100 being the top and ideal score. (Sorry- no private insurer scored a perfect 100!) However, many did make it in the 90s and high 80s. The five highest rated for commercial (private) insurance plans were:
Harvard Pilgrim with a 91.2
Tufts Associated Health Maintenance Organizations with a 91.2
Harvard Pilgrim Health Care of New England with a 90.6
Grand Valley Health Plan with an 89.1
Geisinger Health Plan with an 88.2
Other top ten health insurance providers were Health New England, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield-Connecticut, Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts and CIGNA Health Care of New Hampshire.
The above study was run in a partnership with US News and World, and the study focused on managed care operations (MCOs) only. Plans are in effect for a 2010 study that will include preferred provider organizations (PPOs). To decide what type of plan you are looking for, you will need to decide how much flexibility you require in terms of physician choice, and how much you are willing to pay for that privilege.