J.D. Power and Associates Reports: Account Servicing and Problem Resolution Matter More to Employer Satisfaction With Health Pla

Kaiser Ranks Highest in Employer Satisfaction among Fully-Insured Commercial Health Plans; UnitedHealthcare Ranks Highest among Self-Insured Commercial Health Plans

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., June 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Amid questions about how implementation of healthcare reform laws will impact the existence of employer-sponsored coverage, a J.D. Power study finds that employers might be more satisfied with health insurance plans if service fundamentals improved. The availability of customized account services and how problems are handled can have a strong influence on employer satisfaction with health plans, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 U.S. Employer Health Insurance Plan Study(SM) released today.

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The study finds that specific service actions have a particularly strong effect on raising employer satisfaction with health plans, including:

  • Ensuring that the insurance carrier representative understands the employer's specific business needs
  • Providing customized cost management solutions
  • Processing claims accurately and efficiently

"As employers evaluate how implementation of healthcare reform will affect coverage for their employees, it's critically important for health plans to understand what is really driving their satisfaction," said Rick Millard, senior director of the healthcare practice at J.D. Power and Associates. "Health plans will have challenges if they need to emphasize marketing to individual purchasers, particularly with new medical loss ratio requirements. To retain employers as customers, paying attention to their service expectations will be as important as offering lower rates."

According to Millard, carrier representatives should proactively offer advice and provide customized options.  Examples include giving employers a choice of provider network discounts, or developing cost reports that employers can act on with employees.  

Efficiently resolving problems also has a strong effect on employer satisfaction. There are specific errors that have a significant negative effect on employer satisfaction, including problems with claims processing and errors on member enrollment cards. Even a small percentage of errors can have a noticeable impact. Prompt resolution of these issues will help mitigate the resulting loss in satisfaction.

The study, now in its second year, examines overall satisfaction with contracted health plans, as reported by more than 7,000 individuals responsible for health benefit design and health insurance carrier performance.  The study measures five key factors that affect employer satisfaction with carriers: employee plan service experience; account servicing; product offering/benefit design; problem resolution; and cost/cost management. Health plans are ranked in two segments: fully-insured plans (the health plan assumes the risk of providing health coverage for insured events) and self-insured plans (the employer bears the risk associated with offering health benefits.)

Among fully-insured plans, Kaiser ranks highest in employer satisfaction with a score of 714 on a 1,000-point scale. Kaiser performs particularly well in all factors in this segment.  

Among self-insured plans, UnitedHealthcare ranks highest in employer satisfaction, achieving a score of 665.

The 2011 U.S. Employer Health Insurance Plan Study is based on responses from 7,024 employers, with quotas to assure an adequate distribution of small, medium, and large companies. The study was fielded between March and April 2011.

Employer Satisfaction Index Ranking

Fully Insured Plan Segment

(Based on a 1,000-point scale)





Fully Insured Plan Segment Average










Employer Satisfaction Index Ranking

Self-Insured Plan Segment

(Based on a 1,000-point scale)



Self-Insured Plan Segment Average








About J.D. Power and Associates

Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, performance improvement, Web intelligence and customer satisfaction. The company's quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit JDPower.com. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies

Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies is a leading global financial information and education company that helps professionals and students succeed in the Knowledge Economy.  With leading brands including Standard & Poor's, McGraw-Hill Education, Platts energy information services and J.D. Power and Associates, the Corporation has approximately 21,000 employees with more than 280 offices in 40 countries.  Sales in 2010 were $6.2 billion.  Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com.

Media Relations Contacts:

Jeff Perlman; Brandware Public Relations; Woodland Hills, Calif.; (818) 317-3070; [email protected]

John Tews; J.D. Power and Associates; Troy, Mich.; (248) 312-4119; [email protected]

No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in this release without the express prior written consent of J.D. Power and Associates. www.jdpower.com/corporate

SOURCE J.D. Power and Associates