What computer problems? Customers still laud Anthem

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Despite a year when it made doctors around the state boil with frustration, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield still outscored most of its peers in a customer satisfaction rating.

Indianapolis-based Anthem placed second among major health insurers in Indiana and Illinois in a J.D. Power & Associates survey of 1,700 health insurance members. The results were released this month.

Topping the list for the second year was BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois, which is a not-for-profit independent of for-profit Anthem. BCBS of Illinois scored 712 out of 1,000 on the survey, while Anthem scored 711.

Other insurance companies ranked included Humana (704), Aetna (693), UnitedHealthcare (683) and Cigna (678). UniCare, which—like Anthem—is a subsidiary of Indianapolis-based WellPoint Inc., ranked last with a score of 657.

Anthem dwarfs all other health plans in Indiana for number of customers. Still, it might have to watch out for its fellow Blues plan. BCBS of Illinois ranks No. 6 in market share in the Indianapolis area and has been rising, according to data from HealthLeaders-InterStudy.

BCBS of Illinois claimed 37,000 customers with employer-sponsored insurance as of last July, according to Health-Leaders-InterStudy. That represented 3.5 percent of the commercial marketplace.

Anthem claimed 359,000 commercial customers, or 33.5 percent of the commercial market.

Neither company’s total included customers they might have picked up from M-Plan, a local HMO that has since gone out of business. M-Plan recommended that its customers join Anthem.

Anthem appeared to suffer no harm in J.D. Power’s survey in spite of year-long computer snafus that delayed payments to doctors and hospitals that served Hoosier patients insured by Blues plans in other states.

The payment delays largely have been resolved for most doctors, but Anthem is still in litigation with St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers in part because of the claims payment issues.

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