JD Power names State Farm best in customer satisfaction for fifth year

(Westlake Village, CA – Insurance News 360) – The JD Power 2018 U.S. Life Insurance Study showed that insurers, including those who offer multiple lines of insurance, have seen an increase in customer satisfaction, although the life insurance industry in total declined significantly.

Multi-line property and casualty-focused insurers, and retirement-focused institutions had an average higher rank for customer satisfaction than traditional life insurance companies.

“If life insurance companies want to see an increase in satisfaction, they must place the customer at the center of their growth strategy,” said Robert Lajdziak, Business Consultant for the North American Insurance Practice at J.D. Power. “Historically, life insurance companies focus most of their energy and planning around the point of sale and generally neglect following through on the customer experience post-sale.”

“Life insurance companies have started to focus on customer experience in the past three years,” said Lajdziak. “The P&C-focused and retirement-focused brands have the upper hand here because they have deeper customer relationships across multiple products and have made customer satisfaction a central component of their business strategy.”

Study Rankings

For the fifth year, State Farm ranked highest, followed by Northwestern Mutual and Nationwide.

The J.D. Power 2018 U.S. Life Insurance Study is a syndicated benchmarking study profiling the experiences of customers from the largest life insurance companies in the United States. The study is based on responses from 5,391 individual life insurance customers surveyed in June-July 2018.

To measure customer satisfaction, critical-to-customer experience factors are examined using an index model. The model identifies the dominant factors that impact customer satisfaction and behavior and provides a benchmark of excellence for each. The U.S. Life Insurance Studymeasures overall customer satisfaction based on performance in four factors (in alphabetical order): annual statement and billing; interaction; policy offerings; and price.

For more information about the U.S. Life Insurance study visit: https://www.jdpower.com/business/resource/us-individual-life-insurance-study.

Source: J.D. Power.

HIV/AIDS programs receive $2.34 billion in grants

(Washington, D.C. – Insurance News 360) – On October 11, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced $2.34 billion in grants to improve access to HIV/AIDS medications and care for patients.

The funding comes through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and is intended to provide support to a system of medical care, support services, and medication for more than half a million individuals living with HIV and AIDS. These funds will be distributed to cities, counties, states and community based organizations.

“New medical advances and broader access to treatment have helped transform HIV/AIDS from a likely death sentence into a manageable chronic disease,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program is an important way to ensure that these life-saving treatments reach the Americans who need them, and the Trump Administration is committed to continuing to improve the care by Americans living with HIV/AIDS receive.”

HRSA oversees the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, which is a patient-centered system that provides care and treatment services to low income people living with HIV to improve health outcomes and reduce HIV transmission among hard to reach populations. The program serves approximately 50 percent of people living with diagnosed HIV infection in the United States. In 2016, approximately 85 percent of Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program clients who received HIV medical care were virally suppressed, up from 69 percent in 2010.

“The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program is critical to improving clinical and public health outcomes by reducing HIV transmission and serves as an important source of ongoing access to HIV treatment and antiretroviral medication,” said Laura Cheever, M.D., Sc.M., Associate Administrator, HIV/AIDS Bureau. “Today people living with HIV who take HIV medication daily as prescribed and who achieve and maintain an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of sexually transmitting the virus to an HIV-negative partner.”

Fifty two metropolitan areas received about $624.3 million to provide medical care and support services to individuals living with HIV. The grantees include 24 metro areas and 28 transitional grant areas; they have the greatest number of individuals with HIV and AIDs, and are seeing those cases increase.  For a list of the FY 2018 Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part A award recipients, visit https://hab.hrsa.gov/awards/fy-2018-ryan-white-hivaids-program-part-a-final-awards.

Approximately 1.4 billion was awarded under Part B of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program, to 59 states and territories with the intent to improve quality, availability and organization of HIV health care, support services, and the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP). Sixteen states also received Emerging Community grants based on the number of AIDS cases over the past five years. Thirty-three states and territories were also awarded approximately $10.5 million in Part B Minority AIDS Initiative grants. For a list of the FY 2018 Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part B award recipients, visit https://hab.hrsa.gov/awards/fy-2018-ryan-white-hivaids-program-part-b-grant-awards.

HHS announced $181.9 million in grants awarded under Part C Early Intervention Services of the  Ryan White HIV/AIDS program. Three hundred fifty one local, community-based organizations will get funding for core medical and support services for HIV positive individuals. Fifty two organizations will share $6.9 million in Capacity Development grants. For a list of the FY 2018 Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part C EIS award recipients, visit https://hab.hrsa.gov/awards/fy-2018-ryan-white-hivaids-program-part-c-early-intervention-services-eis-awards. For a list of the FY 2018 Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part C Capacity Development award recipients, visit https://hab.hrsa.gov/awards/fy-2018-ryan-white-hivaids-program-part-c-capacity-development-awards.

Under Part D of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, approximately $70.3 million was awarded to 115 local community-based organizations across the country to provide family-centered comprehensive HIV care and treatment for women, infants, children, and youth. For a list of the FY 2018 Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part D award recipients, visit  https://hab.hrsa.gov/awards/fy-2018-ryan-white-hivaids-program-part-d-grant-awards.

Approximately $68.6 million will provide support for clinical training, oral health services, quality improvement and development of models of care thorugh a variety of programs. Another $8.9 million was awarded to 51 recipients through the HIV/AIDS Dental Reimbursement Program. The HIV/AIDS Community-Based Dental Partnership Program will administer another  $3.5 million awarded to 12 recipients. For a list of the FY 2018 Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part F HIV/AIDS Dental Reimbursement Program award recipients and HIV/AIDS Community-Based Dental Partnership Program award recipients, visit https://hab.hrsa.gov/awards/fy-2018-ryan-white-hivaids-program-part-f-grant-awards.

The AIDS Education and Training Centers Program (AETC) awarded approximately $31.2 million through 14 grants, cooperative agreements and contracts to support education and training of health care professionals, which includes a network of eight regional and two national centers. For a list of the FY 2018 Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program AETC award recipients, visit https://hab.hrsa.gov/awards/fy-2018-ryan-white-hivaids-program-aids-education-and-training-center-awards.

Source: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

Health and Human Services Director statement on increased transparency in pharmaceutical companies

(Washington, D.C. – Insurance News 360) – On Oct. 15, Health and Human Services (HHS) Director  Alex Azar issued  a statement regarding drug companies’ announcement that they would begin providing access to greater amounts of information about drug pricing.

This is Azar’s statement.

“Patient empowerment and transparency are at the core of the President’s drug-pricing blueprint that was released five months ago. Our vision for a new, more transparent drug-pricing system does not rely on voluntary action. The drug industry remains resistant to providing real transparency around their prices, including the sky-high list prices that many patients pay. So while the pharmaceutical industry’s action today is a small step in the right direction, we will go further and continue to implement the President’s blueprint to deliver new transparency and put American patients first. “

Source: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.