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Press Release

Great News for Seniors: Medicare’s 5-Star Special Enrollment Period is Underway

Another opportunity to join a 5-star plan in all Kaiser Permanente regions for 2014

March 6, 2014



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OAKLAND, Calif. — Medicare beneficiaries have a second opportunity to join a top quality Medicare health plan, such as Kaiser Permanente Medicare, because of its 5 out of 5-star rating for 2014. The Special Enrollment Period, underway now through Nov. 30, provides Medicare members the option of enrolling in a 5-star plan if they missed open enrollment in the fall.

Eligible members can join any Kaiser Permanente Medicare health plan in California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. Seniors and individuals with disabilities must meet applicable enrollment criteria and live where a 5-star plan is offered.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services introduced the 5-star Special Enrollment Period to encourage enrollment in high quality 5-star plans. CMS rates plans on a scale of one to five stars, with five being the highest for performance excellence. Plans are rated on how well they help members stay healthy and manage chronic conditions. The scores also measure member satisfaction, customer service and pharmacy benefits.

Kaiser Permanente leads the nation this year with the most 5-star Medicare health plans. Only 11 Medicare plans with both medical and prescription drug benefit (Parts C and D) earned the 5-star rating out of 431 plans rated nationwide. Of those 11 highest-rated plans, six are Kaiser Permanente Medicare plans. Those plans serve beneficiaries in California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, the Northwest and the Mid-Atlantic States.

“We are very proud that all of our Medicare health plans achieved the coveted 5-star rating,” said Jed Weissberg, MD, medical director, Kaiser Permanente Medicare Health Plans. “Our dedicated physicians, nurses and pharmacists, supported by groundbreaking health information technology, work proactively to give our Medicare members the best quality care and personalized service available. It is our top priority.”

Currently 1.2 million Medicare members count on Kaiser Permanente for top quality health care. One of them, 66 year-old Medicare Advantage member, Maureen Nass, was unaware of her heart condition until a bout of dizziness landed her in a cardiac care unit of Kaiser Permanente in Northern California. “The doctors, the nurses there, I couldn’t have gotten better care. I can’t say enough good things about them,” Nass said. View Nass’ story and other member videos by visiting kp.org/carestories.

“This is a good time for Medicare beneficiaries to learn about the Medicare Star Quality Rating system and re-evaluate their health plan. If they’re not satisfied with their current plan, they have the opportunity to upgrade to a 5-star plan once during the Special Enrollment Period,” said Agnes Strandberg, senior vice president, Kaiser Permanente Medicare. “There’s no reason to wait until the Oct. 15 start of the next Annual Enrollment Period.”

Medicare evaluates plans based on a 5-star rating system. Star ratings are calculated each year and may change from one year to the next. Consumers can learn more about Medicare’s 5-star Special Enrollment Period by visiting kp.org/medicare, medicare.gov, or calling 1-877-425-7892.

About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve approximately 9.1 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to kp.org/share.