CT’s best healthcare secret — CID’s Consumer Report Card

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It may not attract the same enthusiasm as other holidays this time of year, but if you’re shopping for health insurance during this Open Enrollment season, you need this resource. As a health policy researcher, there are few better sources of information on how insurers are performing.

The Consumer Report Card on Health Insurance Carriers in Connecticut definitely needs a better name, but it’s a gold mine.

Consumers and employers can compare insurers on member satisfaction (my favorite measure), numbers of participating providers by specialty and county (important for access), and quality. Measures include cancer screening rates, vaccine rates, prenatal and preventive care access, controlling high blood pressure (critical outcome measure), and tons of detailed behavioral health stats.

Be sure to scroll down to page 59, where you’ll find the plans’ Medical Loss Ratios (MLR). A wonderful metric with a terrible name. The MLR measures how much of our money (premiums) they spent on the medical care we need (as opposed to administration and profit). The report includes spending per member and utilization across services. Maybe the best part is the Glossary of Terms; healthcare is full of misleading labels. It also includes contact information for all Connecticut plans.

Definitely worth a read.