All Earn 4.5 Star Rating for Quality and Service
BUFFALO, NY, October 26, 2017 – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released its Star Ratings for Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug plans. This annual Star Rating was created as a way for Medicare beneficiaries and CMS to assess the overall quality and service of Medicare Advantage plans throughout the country.
All of Independent Health’s Medicare Advantage plans again received a 4.5 out of 5 Star Rating from CMS. The Star Ratings are determined based on a combination of access to care and preventive services, as well as customer service and member satisfaction. Independent Health’s Medicare Advantage HMO plan has received a 4.5 Star Rating every year since 2011, and its Medicare Advantage PPO plan received a 4.5 Star Rating for the past 3 consecutive years.
“As the leading Medicare Advantage plan in this region with nearly 80,000 members, we take great pride in the fact that all of our Medicare Advantage plans are again 4.5 Star Rated, which further underscores the consistency of the quality and value of our plans,” said Nora McGuire, chief marketing officer, at Independent Health.
“Health coverage is a serious decision you make once a year. And unlike purchasing auto or homeowner insurance, which you hope not to have to use, health insurance is much more personal and used more frequently. As such, it’s important for Medicare beneficiaries to choose a plan based on its consistent performance for customer service, ease of use and coverage,” emphasized McGuire.
When shopping for a Medicare Advantage plan, keep in mind these key considerations:
Customer Service and Clinical Quality
No matter which plan you select, you will have questions and need help from customer service. Pick a plan that understands the local market and has a reputation for excellence in member service and satisfaction so when you have questions, getting answers is easy.
“We understand how important it is to choose the right plan because it’s such an individual, personal decision,” said McGuire. “That’s why Independent Health commits so much time and energy in making sure we have enough dedicated RedShirts who can provide the support and help through our exclusive RedShirt Benefit Review. Our nine Medicare Information Centers are located throughout Western New York as a convenient resource to help people get the answers they need when they need it.”
Certain plans work more closely with providers to improve the quality and efficiency of the care you receive. Choosing a plan that has a strong, collaborative relationship and reputation with providers may result in better, easier and more convenient access to care.
Look beyond low premiums and deeper into added benefits, copayments, coinsurance and deductibles of the plan options. Lower premium plans tend to have higher member out-of-pocket costs. Compare benefits to make sure you’re not giving up anything, including doctor choice, for lower premiums.
Along with maintaining stable premiums, Independent Health is enhancing coverage by removing the copayment for primary care office visits and Tier 1 generic prescriptions on most plans.
Independent Health’s Medicare Advantage plans will continue to offer members the popular Premier Wellness Package, which includes $0 copay for routine eye exams and an eyewear allowance, preventive dental, a gym membership, Enhanced Annual Wellness Visit and FitWorks® Medicare.
FitWorks Medicare is a unique wellness program offered on all plans. Members are able to earn points by doing easy things to stay and get healthy, which qualifies them to receive a $50 TOPS gift card.
“Our Medicare Advantage plans offer additional benefits and services that help our members get the most out of their plan. Today’s Medicare beneficiary wants features like fitness benefits and services, preventive vision and dental, and our plans are built to meet the needs of all types of Medicare beneficiaries, from the most active to those who have chronic medical needs,” added McGuire.
The Star Ratings from CMS are posted at www.medicare.gov where Medicare beneficiaries can compare plans. Medicare beneficiaries can also visit one of Independent Health’s convenient Medicare Information Centers located throughout Western New York or call (716) 635-4900 Monday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.