Kaiser, Aetna lead the way in NCQA’s Medicare plan ratings

Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser and Aetna both notched high marks for their Medicare plans, according to NCQA ratings. (Ted Eytan/CC BY-SA 2.0)

Kaiser and Aetna plans are beating out their competition when it comes to comprehensive Medicare plans, according to new ratings released by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).

The nonprofit organization rates more than 1,000 commercial, Medicare and Medicaid health plans in each state based on customer satisfaction, how well plans provide preventative services like screening and immunizations, and treatment around chronic and acute conditions.

Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, which offers plans in just eight regions, had six plans with a perfect score of 5. All of its plans scored a 5 in the prevention category.

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Two plans that scored a 4.5 overall (in Georgia and Washington) were dinged for lower consumer satisfaction scores.

Kaiser was also one of just two insurers to receive a perfect score for commercial plans, alongside Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin. 

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All but 8 of Aetna's 70 Medicare plans that were rated received an overall score of 4 or higher. Just of the insurer's plans received a score of 3 or lower. Aetna’s plans were also carried by higher rankings in prevention and treatment.

Other Medicare major insurers came in slightly above average. Of the 75 UnitedHealth plans scored by NCQA, 31 rated a 4 due to lower customer satisfaction and treatment scores. The remainder scored a 3.5 or lower.

Humana fared worse, with 27 of its 29 plans scoring a 3.5 or lower. Four of Cigna's 16 Medicare plans scored higher than a 3.0.

Across private and government plans, insurers were fairly mediocre across the board. Just 8% of the 1,040 plans received a rating of 4.5 or higher, while 2% earned a 2 or lower. New England states made up a large portion of the top 10 highest rated plans, with Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Maine occupying the top three slots.

Editor's Note: This story has been updated to make statistical corrections.