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Members: Anthem health plans subpar

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Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Indiana fell slightly below average for customer satisfaction among scores of health plans, according to a new survey by California-based J.D. Power & Associates.

The Indianapolis-based health insurer, a subsidiary of Indianapolis-based WellPoint Inc., scored 698 out of 1,000 on J.D. Power’s report. That compares with a national average of 701 and an average among plans in Indiana and Illinois of 708.

BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois scored the highest in Indiana and Illinois, with a score of 714.

The scores come from independent interviews of health plan members, who are asked to score their health insurer in such areas as coverage and benefits; provider choice; information and communication; claims processing; statements; customer service; and approval processes.

Among Anthem’s major competitors, Aetna Inc. scored 700, UnitedHealthcare scored 698, Cigna Corp. scored 696 and Humana Inc. scored 657.

The good news for Anthem and its peers is that, despite getting bad press during the health reform debate, survey respondents still give the industry a slightly positive image. Of course, that includes only people who still have insurance.

“I would have expected it to be below neutral,” said Jim Dougherty, executive director of J.D. Power’s health care practice.

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