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October 21, 2014

DES MOINES, IowaMedicareBlue Rx, offered by Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Iowa and South Dakota, has received five stars – the highest possible rating – from the 2015 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Star Rating system.

MedicareBlue Rx is the only prescription drug plan offered in Iowa and South Dakota – and was only one of three plans nationwide – that received the five-star rating representing “excellent performance.”

Rating gives consumers flexibility to change plans

All CMS five-star plans have a continuous Special Enrollment Period (SEP) throughout the year. That means individuals can enroll in MedicareBlue Rx at any time, not just during the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP). Medicare beneficiaries can:

 

  • Drop their current Medicare Advantage, Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug or Prescription Drug Plan and enroll in a five-star plan at any time.
  • Enroll in a five-star plan at any time if they have Original Medicare Parts A and B.
  • Enroll in a five-star prescription drug plan at any time if they have Original Medicare Part A or B.

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. Both Medicare Advantage and prescription drug plans are rated using the system.

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 has Medicare Supplement plans, to offer seniors a variety of plan options so they can select coverage that will best meet their individual needs.

Scores for all plans are posted online at www.Medicare.govExternal Site and are released to coincide with Medicare’s annual open enrollment period, which runs from October 15 to December 7.