On Friday (10/12/12) the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services released the 2013 quality ratings for Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug plans. These star ratings summarize how well the plans performed on well-established measures of quality such as access to care, responsiveness, and beneficiary satisfaction. Plans can earn up to 5 stars, from one star for poor performance to 5 stars for excellent performance. Star ratings are reviewed each year and the results are published by CMS in the fall.
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sibelius said, “People with Medicare have more high quality choices and the performance of Medicare Advantage plans is improving,” and there are “more four and five star plans than ever before.”
|Four & Five Star Plans|
To encourage people to enroll in higher quality plans, CMS is notifying people who have been enrolled in low performing plans (plans that received less than 3 stars for the past three years) that they can enroll in a new plan if they want to. Star ratings, in addition to cost and coverage, help consumers compare plans and choose the right one for their needs and budget.
5-star plans are allowed to market and enroll people throughout the year, and thousands of people “took advantage of this opportunity to join a top performing plan,” according to Sibelius. People can switch to a 5-star plan at any time during the year, but they can only do so once each year.
In addition to better quality, HHS announced that Medicare Advantage benefits are increasing and premiums are holding steady. According to HHS data, average premiums fell 10% and enrollment increased 28%. Premiums for Part D prescription drug plans are expected to remain steady with last year at about $30 on average for 2013.
Visit Extend Health to use the ExtendExchange™ platform – the nation’s largest private Medicare insurance exchange.
Coventry Health Care just recognized Extend Health for efficiency and customer satisfaction, including zero customer complaints in 2011. Here’s a brief snip from the press release.
“Extend Health Inc., a leading provider of health benefits management services, including the nation’s largest private Medicare exchange, received two first place awards from Bethesda, Maryland-based Coventry Health Care, Inc. (NYSE:CVH) for exceptional customer service performance by a partner in 2011.
- Zero customer complaints reported to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) by seniors signing up for Coventry private Medicare supplement plans through Extend Health;
- The lowest 90-day plan cancellation rate — called rapid disenrollment — which, at just 0.5 percent, was far less than the typical rate.”
Visit Extend Health to use the ExtendExchange™ platform – the nation’s largest private Medicare exchange.
We just published the results of our latest retiree survey. We asked 504 retirees how satisfied they are with their individual Medicare coverage – and how it compares to the group insurance they had with their former employers. 85% said they are “very” or “somewhat” satisfied with their Medicare coverage. And 67% said they are as satisfied, or more satisfied, with Medicare than their previous employer-sponsored group health plans. Top reasons for overall satisfaction were (a) fewer billing and payment problems (37%), (b) better benefits (30%) and (c) lower cost (28%). You can see all the results in this press release.