Covered Calif. Releases Quality Ratings for Exchange Health Plans
On Tuesday, Covered California posted quality ratings for health plans sold through the exchange, about two years before it was required to do so under federal law, the Sacramento Bee's "Capitol Alert" reports (Cadelago, "Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 1/28).
The Affordable Care Act requires states by 2016 to provide quality information for all plans participating in their health insurance exchanges.
In August 2013, California officials announced that they did not plan to post quality ratings early because data only would be available for certain plans (California Healthline, 10/25/13).
However, health policy groups, some health insurers and exchange board members urged Covered California to post quality ratings as early as possible ("Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 1/28).
Details of Ratings
The ratings are based on data collected from the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems, which asks policyholders about their experiences with:
- Customer service;
- Making appointments with physicians;
- Testing and treatment; and
- Medical care.
The health plans are scored by region, with the highest score being four stars, the Sacramento Business Journal reports (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 1/28).
In a release, Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee called the new ratings "preliminary," adding, "These scores are just the beginning of a robust reporting and evaluation system planned for 2016" (Covered California release, 1/28).
Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California, said that group is "pleased that [the ratings] are in place and that folks can take advantage of it." He added that he was happy the exchange did not go "down the path that everybody got four stars" ("Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 1/28).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.