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California PPOs get mixed grades
By Insure.com staff

Six of California's largest preferred provider organizations (PPOs) received mixed ratings in a quality-of-care report card recently released by California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones.

The report card, now in its third year, assessed six of the largest PPOs in the state. The health insurance plans were rated from one to four stars in various categories. The criteria used included how well the plans met national standards and how patients rated them in areas such as customer service and scheduling appointments.

None of the six plans received the highest four-star, excellent rating. However, Aetna, Cigna and UnitedHealthcare received good ratings of three stars each for meeting national standards of care. Anthem Blue Cross, Health Net and Blue Shield of California/Blue Shield Life each received two stars, or fair ratings, for the same category.

Four plans received one-star poor ratings from members on plan service -- Aetna, Blue Shield of California/Blue Shield Life, Cigna and Health Net. Anthem Blue Cross and UnitedHealthcare each received two-star ratings in the category.

Members gave both Anthem Blue Cross and UnitedHealthcare good grades for making it easy for patients to get care. They rated Aetna, Blue Shield and Health Net as fair and Cigna as poor in the same category.

"This report card is an important tool, because it provides consumers with more information about the quality of care so they can make choices that best serve their health care needs," Jones said in a press release.

His department encourages residents to review the findings before they shop for health insurance.

The PPO report card is available through the California Department of Insurance.

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