Health Insurance Companies Fail To Please All

When you are shopping for health insurance it would be helpful to know how often health insurance companies fail to provide the service you would expect. The Arizona Department of Insurance has released a report listing fines and complaints filed against health insurance companies in the state.

The report covers 27 insurers or about 75% of the companies serving Arizona. Does the report reflect health insurance performance in other states? I can’t be sure, but it does give us a peek into the workings of the health insurance industry.

United Healthcare of Arizona is one of the major insurers in the state and it had the highest number of complaints per insurance policy. Time Insurance and Mega Life And Health Insurance are smaller companies and they had even high complaint ratios.

In Arizona Humana Health Plan satisfies the appeals of its insured more than any other company. On the other hand the report shows that Mega resolves fewer appeals to the satisfaction of the insured.

When it comes to the number of fines levied in the past 5-years by the AZ Department of Insurance the Arizona arm of CGNA Healthcare garbs the top spot. They were assessed the most fines.

If you would like to read more about the performance of health insurance companies you can find the full report online if you do a search for “Report on AZ Health Insurers”. Chances are the insurance department or commission in your state issues a similar report.

Another fact we can learn from this Arizona report is that your state’s insurance regulatory body may be able to help you in a dispute with your insurance company. You can find state insurance regulators on the internet by doing a search for National Association of Insurance Commissioners. The NAIC has a map of the United States on their web page. Just click on your state and you’ll find your state’s insurance department information.

Before you buy any policy it would be sensible to learn just which health insurance companies fail to please consumers in your state.

What Are 2010’s Best Health Insurance Plans?

This is one of the most important times of the year for health insurers. Of course, the open enrollment period for the majority of Americans with employer-sponsored health insurance is coming up. In addition, it is when the National Committee for Quality Assurance releases its annual Health Insurance Plan Ranking. A high score allows victors to promote their seal of approval to consumers, who may be convinced to select them over others.

How does NCQA create its list? The members of the organization base their rankings on three main factors: accredation by NCQA, clinical performance, and the level of satisfaction of health plans’ members. Admittedly, the first factor is somewhat biased. However, the organization’s views are still generally respected by the health insurance industry. This is especially due to its widely used Healthcare Effectiveness and Data Set (HEDIS) performance measurement tool.

Many of the plans ranked highest were Medicaid, Medicare, or Medicare Advantage plans. For the most part, those policies are in different markets than private health insurance plans. However, some commercial plans still received high ratings.

Tied for second place overall (and the best among commercial plans) is Tufts Associated Health Maintenance Organization. Although HMOs are declining in availability, their breadth of coverage (albeit with in-network limitations) for a relatively fixed price is still appealing to consumers.

Also in the top 10 are Capital Health Plan (#4), Geisinger Health Plan (#5), Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin (#7), Fallon Community Health Plan (#8), and Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Colorado (#9). Joining them in the top 20 are Priority Health (#13), Independent Health Association (#16), and HealthPartners (#19). Rounding out the commercial plans included are #21 (Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Northern California) and #22 (ConnectiCare — EmblemHealth).

Fortunately for those seeking health care, the best plans appear to be generally evenly spread nationwide–as opposed to concentrated in one region of the country.

Health Insurance – Alcohol

The consumption of alcohol in the form of recreational alcoholic drinks is something that many people do not think about in connection with their health insurance applications or premiums but it is definitely a factor. The amount of alcohol a person consumes on a regular basis affects the rate of their health insurance premiums as well as the limits and exclusions to the policy. It is important, however, to be honest when filling out the insurance application for if untruths are found, the policy will likely be cancelled immediately and the reasoning cited as to prevent or severely hamper the procuring of insurance from somewhere else in the future.

Social drinking of alcohol is classified as a drink or two on social occasions now and again, with no real regularity. This type of drinking of alcohol does not have any impact on the insurance application, the policy limits or premium costs. Social drinkers do not have any need to worry about their insurance policies being affected by their alcohol consumption. Binge drinking that takes place periodically where a person drinks a lot of alcohol in a short period of time is another matter altogether. Binge drinking of alcohol is extremely dangerous and potentially life threatening to the body in the form of alcohol poisoning.

Health insurance companies do not like to insure binge drinkers or alcoholics who drink daily because those people are huge risks for the company to take on in that there will surely be dangerous repercussions to the body that result in expensive medical intervention needs. From alcohol poisoning to liver problems and all kinds of physical and mental issues, the abuse of alcohol is a lose-lose situation all the way around for a insurance company to consider. As a result, most people who abuse alcohol cannot get quality insurance coverage.

Alcohol is considered to be a drug in many ways due to the negative effects it has on the body when not carefully controlled. It is ranked with smoking when it comes to health insurance applications so both will get a person a higher premium, certain policy limits or even denied health insurance coverage outright. Health insurance companies are not in the business of taking high risks with their money. Alcohol in excess and good health practices do not go together. Insurance companies do not insure people they feel are at risk for medical care problems that result from excessive alcohol consumption.

If you need assistance in this regard or need help looking for several coverages to cover this, please visit our website at and leave your contact information so we can respond to your request.