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UnitedHealthcare ranks at the bottom of customer service index Posted: December 17th, 2010

By Maryalene LaPonsie

Since 2001, the American Consumer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) has been calculating how well health insurance companies provide services to their members. Despite improved ratings the last two years, the 2010 index shows an increasing number of consumers are dissatisfied with their health plan.

According to the 2010 ACSI, health insurance companies saw their satisfaction ratings drop by the following percentages:

  • UnitedHealthcare: -9.7 percent
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield: -4.1 percent
  • Aetna: -2.9 percent
  • All Others: -1.3 percent

WellPoint was the only company to experience an increase in customer satisfaction. Its ACSI went up by 3 percent for 2010.

In addition to experiencing the steepest decline in customer satisfaction, UnitedHealthcare had the lowest overall score in the health insurance industry. In commentary accompanying the ACSI results, Claes Fornell, Professor at the University of Michigan, noted that UnitedHealthcare has higher premiums than the average. Other factors contributing to its low score include consumer complaints regarding its handling of Medicare claims and the phase-out of the company's popular MedicareRx program.

The ACSI was founded at the Ross School of Business in the University of Michigan. The index updates scores nationally from more than 225 companies across 45 industries as well as government agencies.