Survey: Customers prefer not-for-profit health insurers

March 16, 2007

Publicly traded health insurers, such as Indianapolis-based WellPoint Inc., received lower marks from their customers than did not-for-profit health plans in a recent survey by J.D. Power & Associates.

Not-for-profit plans rated higher in coverage allowed, level of benefits, and choice of doctors and hospitals, Bloomberg reports. The survey questioned more than 10,000 customers across 49 plans.

Not-for-profit Blue Cross Blue Shield plans in Florida, Minnesota and Washington state scored particularly well compared to plans operated by UnitedHealth Group Inc., Aetna Inc. and Cigna Corp.

WellPoint spokesman Jim Kappel told Bloomberg that a number of WellPoint plans, many of which also use the Blue Cross or Blue Shield name, rated highly.

California-based J.D. Power conducts consumer satisfaction surveys in many industries, including autos and airlines.

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