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Blue Cross Blue Shield plans top health insurance companies in customer satisfaction survey Posted: January 19th, 2012

By Maryalene LaPonsie

Blue Cross Blue Shield affiliates earn top rankings among health insurance companies, according to a customer satisfaction survey of insurance customers. The affiliates nabbed four of the top five spots in a recent analysis conducted by insurance website Insure.com.

The survey went out to 4,500 auto, home, life and health insurance customers during the spring and summer of 2011.

According to the results, health insurance companies lag behind other types of insurers in terms of customer satisfaction. While 73 percent of home insurance policyholders were completely or somewhat satisfied with their company's customer service, only 61 percent of health insurance customers could say the same. What's more, only 50 percent of respondents would recommend their insurer to others.

BCBS of Illinois ranks first

Ranked on a 100-point scale, less than a half-point separated the top three health insurance companies. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois took top honors with a score of 84.74. It was followed by Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, which scored 84.52, and Kaiser Permanente, which had a score of 84.45. All three insurers garnered People's Choice designations from Insure.com.

Survey questions focused on five measures of customer satisfaction:

  • Customer service
  • Claims experience
  • Value for price paid
  • Percentage of respondents planning to renew their policies
  • Percentage of respondents who would recommend their insurers

With the exception of Kaiser Permanente, Blue Cross Blue Shield affiliates swept the top five spots and claimed seven of the top 10 positions. Humana and UnitedHealthcare also made the top 10, ranking sixth and 10th respectively.

Consumers value hassle-free health insurance coverage and claims

Insure.com reports consumers are looking for health insurance coverage that is hassle-free. Many survey respondents cited an easy claims process as being important. BCBS of Illinois received five out of five stars for its claims processing. For customer service, the insurer scored 4.5 stars.

Health insurance rates are another concern for consumers. The highest-scoring health insurance companies in the value for price measurement all received four stars. Overall, six companies had this score, including top 10 insurers such as Independence Blue Cross Blue Shield, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield.

However, it wasn't all good news for Blue Cross Blue Shield. Blue Shield of California came in last, with a score of 59.2. Health insurance rates and coverage concerns were cited by customers who gave the company low marks across all categories. Just 30 percent of Blue Shield of California customers say they would recommend the company to a friend.