For the fourth straight year J.D. Power and Associ

For the fourth straight year J.D. Power and Associates ranked Independent Health highest health plan in New York/New Jersey

BUFFALO, N.Y. (March 11, 2013) - For the fourth consecutive year, Independent Health is the highest-ranked health insurance plan in the New York/New Jersey region, according to J.D. Power and Associates 2013 U.S. Member Health Plan StudySM.

"Independent Health is thrilled to be recognized for the fourth straight year as the highest-ranked health plan in the New York/New Jersey region by J.D. Power and Associates, a global company synonymous with quality and customer satisfaction," said Michael W. Cropp, M.D., president and chief executive officer, Independent Health. "This prestigious award reinforces what we strive to do each day – to engage our members to improve their health while we provide quality coverage and service to our members."

The study by J.D. Power and Associates, an internationally known, credible and accurate third party, surveys health plan members and ranks members’ experiences in seven categories, including coverage and benefits; information and communication; provider choice; customer service; claims processing; approval process; and statements. Independent Health scored the highest in five of the seven categories among the plans surveyed in the New York/New Jersey region. The regional awards recognize health plans in the country committed to providing a high level of customer satisfaction for their members and their communities. Independent Health's overall score is 763. The regional average score is 694.

"Our members want a trusted source to help them simplify and navigate the complex health care system and this study provides a credible representation of the experience they have with us during a time of great change in health care," Dr. Cropp said. "Our focus remains on working to improve the health care system and lower costs in our community through improved access and care coordination and developing plans and services that help our members – and the community - make long-lasting and meaningful changes."

Independent Health received 5 Power Circles in the Power Circle Ratings for the Member Satisfaction Index Rating. The 5 Power Circle rating is the highest a plan can achieve.

Conducted across 17 market-based regions, this annual syndicated study examines the experience of a typical health plan member and is designed to provide health insurance plans with information that will add focus and clarity to the factors contributing to the member experience. The study, conducted through an online survey, is based on the responses of 33,535 members in 136 health plans throughout the United States. Plans in the study represent more than 90 percent of the nation's commercial health maintenance organizations, preferred provider organizations and point of service plans, according to industry data source Mark Farrah Associates.

In addition to the J.D. Power and Associates award, Independent Health has also been recognized as one of the highest-rated private (commercial) health plans in the nation by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) in its Health Insurance Plan Rankings, 2012-2013 – Private. The rankings are based on clinical quality, member satisfaction and NCQA accreditation standards. Independent Health was also the top health plan in the nation for customer service for 2009 and 2010, according to the NCQA Quality Compass®. The customer service survey category measures members’ experience when contacting their health plan.

Independent Health Association, Inc. received the highest numerical score among commercial health plans in the New York-New Jersey region in the proprietary J.D. Power and Associates 2010-2013 U.S. Member Health Plan StudySM. 2013 Study based on 33,533 total member responses, measuring 13 plans in the New York-New Jersey Region (excludes Medicare and Medicaid). Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of members surveyed December 2012-January 2013. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.

Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, performance improvement, training and customer satisfaction. The company’s quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit JDPower.com. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

Headquartered in Buffalo, Independent Health began operations in 1980 and has consistently been rated among the top health plans in the country for customer service and member satisfaction. Independent Health’s comprehensive portfolio of product and service offerings include HMO, POS, PPO and EPO products, Medicare and Medicaid plans, traditional indemnity insurance, consumer-directed plans, coverage for self-funded employers, plus health savings account (HSA) and pharmacy benefit management (PBM) services. Combined, the company provides health benefits and services to nearly 375,000 individuals in Western New York and throughout the country. For more information, visit Independent Health’s website at www.independenthealth.com.