Health Insurance Quality

Do quality rankings matter?

There have many policy initiatives to measure and improve quality of care.  For instances, NCQA’s HEDIS measure are the most widely used quality measures among commercial insurers.  Since employers generally choose insurance plans for employees (or at least select the menu of insurance options for employees), one would expect that employers would look for high quality, low-cost plans when evaluating their plan choice.  Employers may value “quality” but likely do not do so in an objective fashion.  A recent report from RWJ finds:

  • Six in 10 employers offering insurance think plan quality ratings are important, but 9 in 10 are unfamiliar with objective quality metrics.
  • When selecting health plans, employers’ top consideration is their own bottom line, but the cost to their employees is also important.

Unsurprisingly, cost to employers is the key factor when choosing an insurance plan.  Employers themselves may engage in improving the health of their employees, but these activities typically do not draw much attention.

  • Although half of employers (50 percent) offer some sort of wellness program to their employees, fewer (24 percent) have any promotion strategy for those programs.

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