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How does your health insurer stack up in national ratings?

The main insurers in Western New York received above-average results in the latest annual ratings of health insurance companies by the National Committee for Quality Assurance.

The committee rated more than 1,000 plans for 2017-18, including 20 private, 30 Medicare and seven Medicaid plans in New York state.

The national group examined three general categories – consumer satisfaction, prevention and treatment – on a scale from zero to five, with five indicating the highest performance. The plan ratings focus on the results of the care delivered to health plan members and what patients say in surveys about their care, according to the committee.

The committee rated the insurers’ private plans, Medicare plans – which serve the disabled and individuals 65 and older – and Medicaid plans, which serve people with low incomes. Not all insurers were rated.

For the insurers’ private plans in this region, Buffalo-based HealthNow New York, which operates here as BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York, received 4.5 out of five, as did Independent Health. Univera Healthcare received a 4.0 rating. One other insurer with a smaller share of the commercial market, United Healthcare, received 3.5.

For Medicare, the health plan ratings were Univera, 4.5; HealthNow, 4.0; Independent Health, 4.0; and Wellcare, 3.0. United Healthcare received three ratings for three plans, 2.0, 3.0 and 3.5.

For Medicaid, HealthNow and Wellcare rated 4.0, and United Healthcare and YourCare Health Plan, which is run by Pittsford-based Monroe Plan for Medical Care, rated 3.5.

A rating of 1.0 to 2.0 is considered lower-performing, and 4.0 to 5.0 higher-performing by the not-for-profit committee, which rates and accredits health plans. For more information on the health insurer assessments, visit


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