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Independent Health emerges as top-ranked in WNY for private health insurance plans [The Buffalo News, N.Y.]

By Henry Davis, The Buffalo News, N.Y.
McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Sept. 20--Independent Health Association ranked 31st for its private insurance plans, the highest locally, in an annual evaluation of health plans by the National Committee for Quality Assurance.

Univera ranked 70th, and HealthNow, the parent company of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York, ranked 74th.

NCQA evaluated 577 private health plans and ranked 484 of them based on quality measures and member satisfaction surveys.

The non-profit NCQA develops quality measures and accredits, or certifies, health insurers. Consumer Reports magazine uses the NCQA rankings for its annual insurance plan rankings.

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care -- which sells insurance in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine -- was the highest-ranked for private health plans.

Among Medicaid plans for low-income consumers, Independent Health ranked 20th and HealthNow 24th. Univera did not submit information for a listing.

In managed care Medicare plans for the elderly and disabled, Univera ranked 23rd, Independent Health 28th and HealthNow 41st.

"In particular, we are very pleased that our overall score and ranking has increased for our commercial line of business, which is a testament to the fact that we're always looking for ways to improve," Dr. Michael W. Cropp, president and chief executive officer of Independent Health, said in a statement.

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(c)2013 The Buffalo News (Buffalo, N.Y.)

Visit The Buffalo News (Buffalo, N.Y.) at www.buffalonews.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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