Saturday, February 18, 2006

MPA: Anthem Discourages Dirigo Enrollment

The Maine People’s Alliance is charging that Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maine discourages potential subscribers to the state’s DirigoChoice insurance plan.
MPA conducted a study of what was happening when potential enrollees called Anthem to inquire about the DirigoChoice plan. Between November 10, 2005 and January 28, 2006, thirty-seven volunteers made calls to Anthem producers across the state to request information about the DirigoChoice plan. Based on those calls, the following results were obtained:
-One in three producers (33%) were reported to be not enthusiastic at all. when asked about the DirigoChoice plan.
-Less than half of producers (45%) were reported to be very accommodating over the course of the inquiry.
-Forty-percent of the producers called attempted to dissuade callers from enrolling in the DirigoChoice plan.
-More than half of callers (52%) were not informed that they might qualify for discounts on the initial premium and deductible quote they were given.
-Twelve percent of the producers called actually made negative comments about the DirigoChoice plan or its likelihood of succeeding.
-Despite having inquired about the DirigoChoice plan, 1 in 5 callers (20%) were offered a competing plan without necessarily being offered an explanation of differences in coverage or cost.
MPA says that the results of this study raise concerns that Anthem has failed to represent the DirigoChoice product enthusiastically or accurately.
As of February 1, 2006, 9,270 Maine people have enrolled in the DirigoChoice plan.


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