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Good Health Insurance 10/21/12

When Kate Evans was freelancing, she says trying to sort through health-insurance choices was a nightmare.
Kate Evans "The options weren't really straightforward, and it was very confusing as to what you really got.
Pages of information that just didn't make sense." Consumer Reports analyzed 984 private, Medicare, and Medicaid
health-insurance plans ranked by the National Committee for Quality Assurance, or N-C-Q-A, a nonprofit accreditation
organization. Nancy Metcalf Consumer Reports "The rankings take a number of factors into consideration, including customer satisfaction and how good a job the plan does on treatment and prevention." Hospital hallway On the plus side - the quality of care has improved. But Consumer Reports says there are troubling trends as well. Nancy Metcalf
"There are treatments and tests that have been shown not to be helpful, yet research shows many are still being overused. That's not only a waste of money, but you could end up getting treatments that are unnecessary, and sometimes even dangerous." Turns out the providers of the top ten private plans are all nonprofits. Nancy Metcalf
"That means they don't have to worry about turning a profit for investors, they only about pleasing their customers."
In the rankings, big name for-profit companies - UnitedHealthcare, Aetna, and Humana - had more private plans at the bottom than at the top. When it comes to shopping for insurance, a new form will make the process much easier.
Nancy Metcalf "For the first time, every plan will have a form that looks exactly the same, which will make it much
easier to compare them side by side." So people will have a much easier time comparing different policies.

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