Insurer invites members to rate coverage
■ An online review program will let enrollees rate their plans on customer service, value and access to physicians and prescription drugs.
Blue Shield of California is offering its members a chance to give feedback about their insurance coverage through a new "Ratings and Reviews" program that allows members to post anonymous comments to the company's Web site.
Blue Shield opened up the site to select members in late 2009 and plans to expand it to all 3.4 million enrollees this year.
Members can rate their plans on a five-point scale in several categories: overall satisfaction, customer service, value, access to doctors, access to prescription drugs and whether the plan is easy to use and understand.
Blue Shield spokeswoman Melody Parrette said the company will edit reviews only for offensive language, violations of patient privacy, or personal attacks (including any on specific physicians).
The goal, the company says, is for Blue Shield to learn how its products work for customers, and to allow prospective customers to hear from peers about what coverage might be best for them.
Parrette said there are no immediate plans to allow members to review or rate physicians, but the company does plan to start an online "Ask and Answer Forum" where members can ask for and give advice, including which physicians they recommend for certain conditions or treatments. More information is available on the plan's Web site (link). (See Clarification)