In Rhode Island, there are currently three insurers offering health insurance to state residents. These health insurance companies include Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island, United HealthCare of New England, and Tufts Associated Health Maintenance Organization.

The major insurance provider in the state is Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island, which insures about 70 percent of Rhode Island residents who have health insurance through their employers and offers a Point of Service (POS) plan. Blue Cross Blue Shield has earned high reviews in a 2008 U.S. New & World Report survey of its customers, scoring highly in access to care, quality of care received, and satisfaction with children’s and women’s health care. It earned somewhat lower scores for its customer service.

United Healthcare of New England holds the second largest market share in Rhode Island, with about 25 percent. It offers both HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) and POS health insurance plans. Customers in the U.S. New & World Report study ranked United Healthcare much lower than the other two insurers in the state, particularly for overall satisfaction with health plan and postpartum care for women. United Health Care did receive high marks for preventative care for children.

Tufts Associated Health Maintenance organization holds a far smaller share of the health insurance market in Rhode Island, but scored the highest marks out of the three companies, ranking second in the nation in terms of customer satisfaction. Customers especially rated highly the access to preventative screenings, customer service, and quality of care received. The lowest score was for its claims processing. Tufts Associated Health Maintenace Organization also offers both HMO and POS plans.

Rhode Island’s residents have access to the Lifespan network, which links together the five major hospitals in the state: Rhode Island Hospital, Bradley Hospital, Newport Hospital, Hasbro Children’s Hospital, and The Miriam Hospital. Rhode Island Hospital is a private, nonprofit teaching hospital located in Providence, Rhode Island. It is recognized as a leader in the fields of diabetes, orthopedics, cancer, and cardiology, and ranks 13th among the independent hospitals that receive funding from the National Institutes of Health.