Pryor Adds Consumer-Friendly Tool to Simplify Health Care Choices, Hold Insurance Companies Accountable

Washington D.C. –Senator Mark Pryor today said surveys rating participant satisfaction about their health care company will both simplify a consumer’s search for the right health care company and make health insurance companies more responsive to patient needs. The Senate voted 98-0 in favor of his amendment to strengthen the health care exchanges proposed in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Pryor said under his amendment, the Department of Health and Human Services would establish, gather and post online consumer feedback about the health care plans offered through the proposed health care exchange. These surveys will allow consumers and employers who participate in the exchange to make informed decisions when selecting an insurance company, hold insurance companies accountable for their decisions, and provide Congress with an oversight tool to monitor the progress of the exchange.

“Fixing the problems within our health care system is complex, but picking the right plan for your family or employees shouldn’t be,” Pryor said. “Surveys provide a consumer-friendly tool that will make the proposed health care exchange easier to navigate while also providing consumers an effective way to hold their insurance company accountable.”

Pryor’s amendment is modeled after the Federal Employee Health Benefit Program.  Under this program, federal employees can provide feedback about their experience with an insurance company to the Office of Personnel Management. This feedback is then available to other federal employees who are considering one of the various health care plans available to federal employees.   To read the latest member survey results under the federal employee program, click here and scroll to page 34.

“Federal employees have long benefited from the candid survey responses of one another when comparing health plans, and this same opportunity should be available to others,” Pryor said. “These surveys are just one more way we can make accountability improve the performance of health insurance companies.”