Health plan satisfaction up, but still lags behind other industries

quality
This year, the health insurance industry saw a 4.3% improvement in overall customer satisfaction scores, according to a report from the American Consumer Satisfaction Index.

Consumers are more satisfied with their health plans than they were just a year ago, thanks to better access to healthcare services and improved coverage. But the industry’s overall satisfaction scores still rank below those of other commercial businesses.

The health insurance industry saw a 4.3% improvement in overall customer satisfaction scores, according to a report from the American Consumer Satisfaction Index. The top two companies, Anthem and Aetna, scored a 75 out of 100, increasing 9% and 10%, respectively, compared to the previous year. Earlier this year, Anthem executive David Poole told attendees at the 2016 AHIP Institute that the insurer was using lessons from consumer-focused companies like Amazon as a blueprint to overhaul its customer experience.

Cigna had the lowest overall score (67 out of 100), but the highest year-to-year improvement with a 12% increase. UnitedHealth and Blue Cross and Blue Shield both fell below the industry average with scores of 70 and 71, respectively. Kaiser Permanente scored a 74, a 4% increase from the previous year.

Better access to primary care physicians and specialists, as well as easier claims submission and call center improvements, helped drive up the industry average over the last year. However, consumers remain equally dissatisfied with the range of plans available. A report released earlier this year indicated that consumers are more satisfied with health plans where there was more competition.

Overall, the healthcare industry's satisfaction scores still lag behind several other industries, including banking, property and casualty insurance, life insurance, and internet investment services, according to the report. Last year, the Consumer Benchmark Survey gave health plans a “poor rating” when it came to customer satisfaction, and the industry trailed behind leaders in other commercial markets.