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November 13, 2023 

U.S. News  World Report Recognizes Independent Health’s Medicare Advantage Plans

Buffalo, N.Y. (November 13, 2023) – For the fifth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report has named Independent Health to its annual list of the best health insurance companies offering Medicare Advantage coverage in the nation. Independent Health is the only health plan in Western New York to receive this prestigious recognition from U.S. News & World Report for 2024.

U.S. News & World Report developed its “Best Medicare Advantage Plan Companies 2024” list by analyzing the 2024 Medicare Star Ratings* for every health plan. The Star Ratings were designed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to help people assess the quality, value and performance of every Medicare Advantage plan throughout the nation.

Over the past two years, Independent Health is the only health plan in the entire nation to have earned 5 stars from CMS for all of its Medicare HMO, Medicare PPO and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans.** The Williamsville-based company is also the only Western New York insurer to be recognized as a 5-Star Rated Medicare Advantage Plan for 2024 in the eight county service area.

“Independent Health’s Medicare 5-Star Rating as well as the national recognition we’ve once again received from U.S. News & World Report are a testament to our long-standing, consistent commitment of providing outstanding customer service and working with health care providers to ensure our members receive the coverage and care they need and deserve,” said Cathy Aquino, Vice President of Sales, Medicare, Consumer and Small Business Markets, Independent Health. “With the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period currently running until December 7, Western New Yorkers can be assured they will receive high-quality coverage, value and service by choosing an Independent Health Medicare Advantage plan for 2024.”

How Star Ratings are measured

By using a 5-Star Quality Rating System, with 5 stars being the highest rating, CMS measures Medicare beneficiaries' experience with their health plans and the health care system on an annual basis. Each plan is given an overall summary rating based on how it performs across five main categories:

  1. Staying healthy: How often members received various screenings, vaccines and checkups.
  2. Managing chronic conditions: How often members received certain tests and treatments for long-term conditions.
  3. Health plan responsiveness: Overall member satisfaction with the plan.
  4. Complaints and appeals: How often members filed complaints about the health plan.
  5. Telephone customer service: How well the plan handles member calls.

“As Western New York’s only 5-Star Rated plan, Independent Health will have the ability to enroll new members in our Medicare Advantage plans throughout the entire 2024 calendar year. No other local plan will be able to do that,” said Aquino.

For more information about U.S. News & World Report's “Best Medicare Advantage Plan Companies for 2024” list, visit

Independent Health is a Medicare Advantage organization with a Medicare contract offering HMO, HMO-POS, HMO-SNP and PPO plans. Enrollment in Independent Health depends on contract renewal. *Every year, Medicare evaluates plans based on a 5-star rating system. **Based on 2024 Medicare Star Ratings data as of 10/13/2023 at


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