Illinois consumers had fewer gripes about insurance companies and health maintenance organizations in 2004.[@@]

Figures released by the Illinois Division of Insurance show that total complaints involving individual life insurance policies fell 5% between 2003 and 2004. Complaints about individual annuities dropped 11%, while grievances related to individual accident and health insurance fell 14%.

Complaints about group accident and health policies increased, however, increasing 17% over the 2003 total, to 3,601. Many of these complaints came from health care providers, who lodged 1,179 complaints in 2004, up from 702 in 2003. The vast majority of provider complaints were related to claims, and many may have been driven by a prompt-pay law enacted in 2000, officials say.

Total complaints against health maintenance organizations in Illinois fell to 2,084 in 2004, down 25% from the total for 2001.

Illinois officials attribute much of the drop in HMO complaints to a 27% drop in HMO enrollment that took place between 2000 and 2004.