News Release

PO 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360
Christine Grant
Commissioner
For Release:
March 14, 2000
For Further Information Contact:
Tom Breslin
609-984-7160
NJ Home Page DHSS Home Page

State Health Benefits Program Including HMO Report Card Data

New Jersey public employees will now have important consumer information available as they consider their health coverage choices during the annual open enrollment period.

The State Health Benefits Program (SHBP) is making available a summary of the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) annual HMO Report Card. The report card, which was released in December, 1999, is a comparative analysis of the eight largest HMO plans and seven point of service plans in 24 categories including, access to care, preventative care and overall member satisfaction.

"The State Health Benefits Program is providing New Jersey public employees essential information to help them make choices on their health care coverage. This report card is a valuable tool for consumers and businesses to use in making these important decisions," said Gov. Christie Whitman.

The information on HMOs will be included in the three SHBP publications (the "SHBP Plan Comparison Summary", the "Health Capsule", and "A Guide to Choosing a Health Plan") that will be available to state employees during the open enrollment period. In addition, copies of these publications have been sent to SHBP members outside the state workforce including local governments and school districts. During the open enrollment period (March/April), public employees can choose between several health plans offered by the SHBP.

The report provides a summary score of six sections in the report. The summary scores range from 4 and 12, with a higher number indicating a better record of providing services to enrollees.

"In addition to comparing health outcomes, the HMO Report Card shows how satisfied consumers are with their HMOs. This might also be a consideration when choosing a HMO," said Health and Senior Services Commissioner Christine Grant.

When the full report card was released in December, Governor Whitman announced the SHBP would use the HMO report card to rate the performance of HMOs that participate in the SHBP. If a HMO does not meet the required standards, it could lose 5 cents of each dollar the state pays in administrative fees.

The SHBP provides coverage to over 700,000 active employees, retirees and their dependents. It is the sixth largest public employee health plan in the nation.

The complete 1999 HMO Report Card is available on the DHSS web site at www.state.nj.us/health.

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