National health insurers in 2008 paid physician claims 5.3% faster than during the previous year, and denied 9% fewer claims, according to an annual survey of insurers.

Humana Inc. was the top-rated national payer as ranked on overall performance. Other national insurers in the top eight, in order, were Aetna, Cigna, UnitedHealth Group, Medicare B, WellPoint, CHAMPUS/TRICARE and Coventry Health Care.

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