Consumers give healthcare plans low marks

Feb. 20, 2012 at 7:53 PM
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WABAN, Mass., Feb. 20 (UPI) -- U.S. consumers gave poor or very poor marks to healthcare plans in a survey that rated opinions on 206 large companies across 18 industries, researchers said.

Bruce Temkin, author of the report and managing partner of Temkin Group, said the analysis was based on a survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers last month, and included ratings for 13 healthcare plans. Overall, the healthcare industry received lower ratings than other industries, and was one of only three industries to receive an average rating of poor.

Kaiser Permanente was the top-rated health plan, the only plan to receive an "OK" rating, but it only ranked 87th in the overall ratings, Temkin said.

TriCare -- which provides coverage for the U.S. military -- Medicare, Aetna, United Healthcare, Humana, Empire BCBS, Blue Shield of California and CIGNA all received "poor" ratings. Highmark BCBS, Health Net, Medicaid and Anthem BCBS received very poor ratings and are ranked in the bottom seven across all 18 industries.

"It's troubling that only one healthcare plan can even achieve an (OK) rating; the entire industry needs a customer experience wake-up call. While it's great to see some improvement, it's not enough," Temkin said in a statement.

The Temkin Experience Ratings evaluated three dimensions of customer experience:

-- Functional: Does the company meet consumers' needs?

-- Accessible: How easy is it for consumers to do what they are trying to do?

-- Emotional: How do consumers feel about their interactions with companies?

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