Kaiser Permanente is the highest-rated insurance plan in Colorado, and is number 6 in the nation for quality and member satisfaction, according to new rankings by the National Committee for Quality Assurance.

Kaiser is the only plan in Colorado to break the top 20 ranking. It was also ranked as the number two Medicare plan in the United States , marking the fourth year in a row it was in the top three.

“These rankings demonstrate how a team-based approach to delivering care supported by an electronic medical record can result in superior patient outcomes,” said Dr. Michael Chase, associated medical director of quality for Kaiser Permanente in Colorado. “At the end of the day, being recognized as one of the nation’s top health plans is about providing outstanding care and service to our patients.”

The next highest-ranked health plan on the list is Cigna’s Healthcare of Colorado, a health maintenance organization plan that ranked 71 on the list of 474 health plans. Cigna’s PPO plan, or preferred provider plan ranked 135.

“Rankings such as NCQA’s are important because they identify where our plans are meeting or exceeding important performance measures, as well as areas for continued improvement,” said Kim Bimestefer, Cigna president and general manager for the Mountain States. “Our goal is to help our clients and customers improve health and control costs in a customer-centric way. We are pleased to be recognized by NCQA for our quality of care and service.”

United Healthcare Insurance and United Healthcare Services, two PPO plans from United, were ranked 167 and 168 respectively. HMO Colorado was ranked 192 and Aetna’s PPO plan made the list at 302.

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NCQA evaluated more than 538 private health plans and ranked 474 of those based on clinical performance, member satisfaction and NCQA Accreditation. To be eligible for rankings, health plans must authorize public release of their performance information and submit enough data for statistically valid analysis, according to the organization. The latest rankings used the group’s established methodology, created in 2005.

“All the health plans in these rankings are exemplary,” said NCQA President Margaret E. O’Kane. “First, they measure their quality in ways that help them improve and that make comparing plans possible. Then they take the extra step of revealing their results for the world to see—a true public service.”

Top 20:

1. Harvard Pilgrim Health Care

2. Tufts Associated Health Maintenance Organization

3. Capital Health Plan

4. Tufts Benefit Administrators

5. Harvard Pilgrim Health Care

6. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Colorado

7. Harvard Pilgrim Health Care of New England

8. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Northern California

9. Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin

10. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Southern California

11. Health New England

12. Geisinger Health Plan

13. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Northwest

14. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts

15. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States

16. UPMC Benefit Management Services

16. UPMC Health Plan

18. Grand Valley Health Plan

19. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan – Hawaii

20. Capital District Physicians’ Healthcare Network (Self-Funded)

20. CDPHP Universal Benefits