Medicare patients give higher overall marks to nonprofit health plans

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Study finds preference for nonprofit plans over for-profit entities

The first large-scale national study that examines the relationship between health plan characteristics and patient ratings of their plan found that Medicare patients prefer not-for-profit or local plans over for-profit and nationally affiliated health care plans. These results are consistent with the growing number of other studies that have shown poorer performance in some aspects of care by for-profit health care. Patients in for-profit and nationally affiliated health plans, for example, report more problems in their dealings with the health plan and in their ability to obtain needed services and equipment. “On the whole, for-profit health plans were rated significantly worse, though some individual for-profit health plans still performed well,” said lead author and Harvard Medical School instructor in health care policy Bruce Landon.