DES MOINES, IA – MedicareBlue Rx, offered by Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Iowa and South Dakota, has received five stars – the highest possible rating – from the 2011 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Star Rating system.
MedicareBlue Rx was one of just four prescription drug plans in the country to receive five out of five stars, representing “excellent performance.” Overall, approximately 350 Part D plans were rated by CMS, with an average score of 3.5 stars. MedicareBlue Rx is one of only two prescription drug plans offered in Iowa and South Dakota that received the five-star rating, and offers the lowest monthly premiums of the two five-star plans.
The CMS Star Rating score is designed to provide consumers with an overall measure of a drug plan’s performance based on a number of indicators, including customer service (timeliness of responses, accuracy of information), access (the size of a plan’s pharmacy network), drug pricing and patient safety (the number of members using certain drugs with high-risk side effects when there may be safer drug choices), and member experience. The score is compiled by monitoring plan activities and surveying actual members.
“We are very proud of this five-star rating, as it reflects the high level of quality and value that MedicareBlue Rx provides to members,” said Deborah Madson, executive director of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Northern Plains Alliance. “We are a strong advocate of consumer choice, and the CMS Star Rating System helps consumers with their selection process in a useful, easy-to-understand way.”
Scores for all plans are posted online at www.Medicare.gov and are released to coincide with Medicare’s annual open enrollment period, which runs from November 15 to December 31.
MedicareBlue Rx features low, fixed copayments on both generic and brand-name medications, as well as a nationwide network of participating pharmacies. Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield also offers Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage products, to offer seniors a variety of plan options so they can select coverage that will best meet their individual needs.
About MedicareBlue Rx
MedicareBlue Rx is a Part D prescription drug plan that reaches more than 300,000 members in seven Midwest states – Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Nebraska, Wyoming and Iowa. MedicareBlue Rx is made available through a consortium of six independent Blues plans: Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Dakota, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Dakota, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Wyoming.
Wellmark, Inc. (www.wellmark.com ) does business as Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa. Wellmark and its subsidiaries and affiliated companies, including Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Dakota and Wellmark Health Plan of Iowa, Inc., insure or pay health benefit claims for more than 2 million members in Iowa and South Dakota. Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Dakota, and Wellmark Health Plan of Iowa, Inc. are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.