Policyholders give health insurance plans lousy marks for customer service, according to a new study released by J.D. Power.
Customer service scores plunged 33 points in the past year, according to the consumer insight firm’s 2023 rankings of U.S. commercial health plans. J.D. Power notes that members of Generation Y and Generation Z are particularly unhappy with health plan customer service. The company defines Generation Y as those born between 1977 and 1994, with millennials being a subset of that group. Gen Z includes those born between 1995 and 2004.
The large decline in customer service scores helped cause overall satisfaction with private health insurance plans to drop 13 points.
The rankings were made for a mix of regions and states.
Plans were rated based on customer satisfaction in six areas:
- Billing and payment
- Coverage and benefits
- Customer service
- Information and communication
- Provider choice
Policyholder rankings fell in several of these categories, including coverage and benefits (down 20 points), provider choice (down 16 points) and information and communication (down 16 points).
Some plans performed better than average. The top-rated commercial health insurance plan in each region or state in the survey — and how it scored — are as follows:
- California: Kaiser Foundation Health Plan (overall customer satisfaction score of 749 out of 1,000 points)
- Colorado: Kaiser Foundation Health Plan (716)
- Delaware/West Virginia/Washington, D.C.: Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware (725)
- East South Central: Aetna (760)
- Florida: Florida Blue (739)
- Heartland: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (743)
- Illinois/Indiana: Health Alliance Medical Plans (731)
- Maryland: Kaiser Foundation Health Plan (797)
- Massachusetts: Mass General Brigham Health Plan (formerly Allways) (711)
- Michigan: Health Alliance Plan of Michigan (735)
- Minnesota/Wisconsin: Quartz Health Plan (709)
- Mountain: UnitedHealthcare (721)
- New Jersey: Cigna (727)
- New York: Capital District Physicians’ Health Plan (773)
- Northeast: Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Connecticut (730) and Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (730) in a tie
- Northwest: Aetna (723)
- Ohio: Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Ohio (715)
- Pennsylvania: Geisinger Health Plan (732)
- South Atlantic: Kaiser Foundation Health Plan (785)
- Southwest: Aetna (720)
- Texas: UnitedHealthcare (729)
- Virginia: UnitedHealthcare (726)
J.D. Power did not say why not all states were included in the study.
How to save more for health care costs
The J.D. Power survey reveals how important it is to do your research when choosing a health insurance plan. Another way to improve your health care experience — and to save a little money — is to open a health savings account (HSA) if you are eligible for one.
As we have reported:
“An HSA can help you stretch your health care dollars and build your retirement savings at the same time, as long as you’re eligible for one and you spend the money in your HSA on eligible expenses.”
For more, check out “3 Ways a Health Savings Account Can Improve Your Finances.”
Not eligible for an HSA? Check out “7 Ways Anyone Can Cut Their Health Care Costs.”