It can feel like nothing is more confusing than figuring out a health insurance provider–but few things are as important when it comes to taking care of your health.

Illinoisans have several options when it comes to buying health insurance. Consumer Reports ranked the best of various health insurance provider categories in the state: Private HMOs, Private PPOs, Medicare HMOs, Medicare PPOs and Medicaid HMOs. The publication ranked health insurance providers in Illinois based on data from the National Committee for Quality Assurance, “a nonprofit group that develops quality measures and accredits health insurance plans, doctors, and other organizations.” The NCQA’s rankings were based on quality of care, customer satisfaction, commitment to improvement and disclosure of information.

Consumer Reports then gave the plans an overall score out of 100 and also measured plans on a scale of one through five based on consumer satisfaction, prevention, treatment and whether or not they were accredited. Plans are accredited by the NCQA–doctors and managers review the plans’ policies and that they are following their own policies. They also evaluate whether or not the plans are honest, transparent and that their networks contain competent healthcare providers. To be accredited, plans must also hold themselves accountable by reporting their data publicly. Under the new Affordable Care Act, all plans sold through healthcare exchanges must be accredited.

The top five Private HMOs in Illinois were, with scores out of 100 and consumer satisfaction scores out of five:

1. Health Alliance Medical Plans (Overall score: 85, consumer satisfaction: 5, accredited: yes)

2. Coventry Health Care of Illinois (Overall score: 84, consumer satisfaction: 5, accredited: yes)

3. UnitedHealthcare of the Midwest (Overall score: 82, consumer satisfaction: 4, accredited: yes)

4. Aetna Health (Pennsylvania) Illinois (Overall score: 80, consumer satisfaction: 1, accredited: yes)

5. Cigna HealthCare of St. Louis (Overall score: 80, consumer satisfaction: 4, accredited: yes)

The top five Private PPOs in Illinois were, with scores out of 100 and consumer satisfaction scores out of five:

1. Cigna Health and Life Insurance (Overall score: 83, consumer satisfaction: 4, accredited: yes)

2. Connecticut General Life Insurance Plan (Cigna) (Overall score: 83, consumer satisfaction: 4, accredited: yes)

3. Health Alliance Medical Plans (Overall score: 83, consumer satisfaction: 4, accredited: yes)

4. Aetna Life Insurance (Overall score: 82, consumer satisfaction: 2, accredited: yes)

5. Coventry Health and Life Insurance (Overall score: 81, consumer satisfaction: 3, accredited: yes)

The top five Medicare HMOs in Illinois were, with overall ratings out of 100 and consumer satisfaction scores out of five:

1. Health Alliance Medical Plans (Overall score: 87, consumer satisfaction: 5, accredited: yes)

2. Medical Associates Health Plan (Overall score: 86, consumer satisfaction: 5, accredited: yes)

3. Humana Benefit Plan of Illinois (Overall score: 85, consumer satisfaction: 4, accredited: yes)

4. UnitedHealthcare of the Midwest (Overall score: 83, consumer satisfaction: 3, accredited: yes)

5. UnitedHealthcare Plan of the River Valley(H4456) (Overall score: 82, consumer satisfaction: 3, accredited: yes)

The top five Medicare PPOs in Illinois were, with overall ratings out of 100 and consumer satisfaction ratings out of five:

1. Aetna Life Insurance (Overall score: 85, consumer satisfaction: 4, accredited: yes)

2. Health Alliance Medical Plans (Overall score: 85, consumer satisfaction: 4, accredited: yes)

3. Humana Insurance–Illinois (Overall score: 84, consumer satisfaction: 3, accredited: yes)

4. Humana Insurance–Kansas, Missouri (Overall score: 84, consumer satisfaction: 3, accredited: yes)

5. UnitedHealthcare Insurance–Midwest (Overall score: 83, consumer satisfaction: 3, accredited: yes)

There was not enough data to properly rank most Medicaid HMO plans. Harmony Health Plan of Illinois was ranked number one, with an overall score of 57 and a consumer satisfaction rating of 1. Meridian Health Plan of Illinois came in at number two because prevention and treatment were able to be measured, though there wasn’t enough data for an overall score. Neither were accredited, but both were scheduled to be accredited. The other Medicaid plans in the state did not report their data publicly and so could not be ranked. None of them were accredited.

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