Cover image for Consumer's guide to health plans
Consumer's guide to health plans
Center for the Study of Services (Washington, D.C.)
Publication Information:
Washington, D.C. : Consumers' Checkbook, [2002]

Physical Description:
96 pages ; 28 cm
Added Uniform Title:
Washington consumers' checkbook.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HG9396 .C66 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize
HG9396 .C66 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

On Order



A slim, information-packed guide comparing 385 health plans, state by state, in terms of their ratings from doctors and members' ratings about such features as speed of getting care, problems in getting referrals, and the plans' ability to process claims efficiently. Data is presented in tables; narrative text gives further consumer guidance, including advice about Medicare. The publisher is a Washington DC-based non-profit. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Reviews 1

Choice Review

American health care is confusing and expensive. The editors hope to make things easier by rating 385 plans for nonfederal employees, based on surveys of some 20,000 doctors and 200,000 members. The plans are arranged alphabetically under state; top-rated plans are indicated by a check. Categories include doctors' and members' overall rating, accreditation statutes, percent of members who had problems, ability of patients to get needed tests, appropriate specialists, customer service, claims processing, and estimated cost index for a single person. Chapters also discuss how to choose a plan, types of plans available, Medicare issues, and how to find a good doctor. Appendix A explains how surveys were conducted and can be interpreted; Appendix B lists phone numbers of state insurance counseling programs; Appendix C is a directory of state health insurance regulators. Both the latter lack Web site addresses. For $12.95, subscribers to Checkbook magazine can purchase this title or obtain a two-year subscription to the online version. The Web site maintained by the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has links to similar useful information. A.M. Best: The Insurance Information Source is more financially oriented. The Web page for Consumer's Guide can be viewed at . A sister publication is entitled Checkbook's Guide to Health Insurance Plans for Federal Employees, (1981- ). Suitable for all libraries, especially those dealing with consumer health questions. L. A. Blewett formerly, University of Chicago

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 5
Top-Rated Plansp. 6
Chapter 1 Does It Matter Which Plan You Choose?p. 8
Chapter 2 What Choices Do You Have?p. 12
Chapter 3 Types of Plansp. 13
Chapter 4 Choosing a Plan: Finding Top-Quality Medical Care and Servicep. 16
Plan Ratingsp. 22
Chapter 5 Choosing a Plan: Finding Low Costs and Good Coveragep. 58
Chapter 6 Choosing a Plan: Special Choices If You Are Eligible for Medicarep. 65
Chapter 7 Finding a Good Doctorp. 76
Chapter 8 Getting Good Care in Any Planp. 79
Appendix A About the Doctor and Member Surveysp. 83
Appendix B State Insurance Counseling Programsp. 94
Appendix C State Health Insurance Regulatorsp. 95