Members of health insurance plans in Connecticut offered by a changing list of companies competing for their business, were “always or usually able to see a specialist or obtain routine care as soon as they wanted,” according to a new annual report card released by the state insurance department.
Insurance Commissioner Katharine L. Wade said that the 2016 Consumer Report Card on Health Plans in Connecticut is now available on the Insurance Department’s website, providing consumers with information on nearly 20 health insurers that are marketing plans for 2017.
“Open enrollment season is upon us and the Department’s newly formatted and consumer friendly Report Card can be a very useful tool for individuals and employers researching their coverage options for 2017, particularly for the thousands who can begin shopping November 1 for health insurance through Access Health CT,” Commissioner Wade said.
The Commissioner also noted that the department has “expanded mental health information in this report based upon work of the Insurance Department-led behavioral health working group which included consumers, providers, health plans and other agencies.”
Among the aspects that the report card reviews, by company, are the reasons and proportion of denial of claims as well as member satisfaction with the leading companies in Connecticut, including Aetna Health, Anthem, Cigna, ConnectiCare, Harvard Pilgrim , and Oxford Health.
The Department has been publishing the report for nearly two decades and the information has expanded each year as more quality measures were added. “The intent remains the same – provide useful information to educate consumer on what health plans best suit their needs,” Commissioner Wade said.
The 2016 Report Card provides an overview of Connecticut’s health insurance managed care landscape by comparing care measures and member satisfaction surveys from six health maintenance organizations (HMOs) and 11 indemnity companies that have a total enrollment of more than 2.4 million members.
For this report, the Department worked with the Connecticut Economic Resource Center to help provide a statistical analysis and redesign. The report now includes three years of comparative data where available to reflect changes in insurance provisions due to the implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act.
The report also indicates that “most participating primary care and specialist physicians are board certified, with increases in the percentage of providers by company from 2013 to 2015.”
“This new, expanded report card offers everyday people, advocates and policymakers a graphic snapshot of consumer experience with the state’s health plans, said Lynne Ide, Director of Program & Policy, Universal Health Care Foundation of CT. “It illustrates successes and gaps in our state’s health care marketplace – and helps us all focus on opportunities for improvement.”
The mission of the Connecticut Insurance Department is to protect consumers through regulation of the industry, outreach, education and advocacy. The Department recovers an average of $4 million yearly on behalf of consumers and regulates the industry by ensuring carriers adhere to state insurance laws and regulations and are financially solvent to pay claims. The Department’s annual budget is funded through assessments from the insurance industry.