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Home / News & IndustryManaged Care Insight and Analysis
Updated: March 17, 2009
Access To Physicians Is Consumers’ Highest Priority When Choosing A Health Plan

WellPoint Institute of Health Care Knowledge released its first study: "Choosing a Health Plan: What Should Consumers Look For?"

Based on responses from more than 100,000 consumers, employers and industry thought leaders, the breadth of a health plan’s network is the highest priority when choosing a health plan.

Highlighting the need for consumer engagement, the study also found that only one-third of consumers were knowledgeable regarding what services were covered by their current health plan.

"Millions of Americans are in the middle of open enrollment season, a 6 to 8 week period when employees have the option to change their health plan," said Sam Nussbaum, chief medical officer, WellPoint Inc. "As employees become more informed healthcare consumers and are paying a greaterportion of their overall healthcare costs, it is especially important for consumers to take a careful look at those benefits that are of particular value to their healthcare needs, including pharmacy benefits, wellness and health improvement programs."

According to "Choosing a Health Plan: What Should Consumers Look For?" the following categories were found to strongly influence consumers’ overall experiences with their current health plans and are important factors to consider when choosing a health plan:

  • Choice of networks and doctors;
  • Affordability and health plan value;
  • Health and wellness tools and services;
  • Health plan communications regarding how to find a doctor or clinic within a network and benefit coverage;
  • Access to information on the cost and quality of services and providers; and
  • Quality of customer service.

Address: WellPoint, 120 Monument Circle, Indianapolis, IN 46204; (317) 532-6000,

  This article was taken from:
The Executive Report on Managed Care

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