Press Releases: National
December 12, 2011
Medicare Special Enrollment Period Means Good News for Seniors
Eligible beneficiaries have another opportunity to enroll in a 5-star plan in Kaiser Permanente regions
OAKLAND, Calif. — The 2012 Annual Election Period to choose a Medicare health plan ended Dec. 7, but eligible seniors have another opportunity to join a high-quality Medicare Advantage plan. For the first time ever, the U.S. government’s Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will allow Medicare beneficiaries to enroll in a 5-star Medicare Advantage plan during a Special Enrollment Period from now through Nov. 30, 2012. Seniors must meet certain criteria and live where a 5-star plan is offered.
Earlier this year, CMS announced its 2012 Medicare Star Quality Ratings for the nation’s Medicare plans. Plans are rated on a scale of one to five stars, with five being the highest, based on more than 50 care and service quality measures. Of the 440 Medicare plans rated nationally, only nine plans received a 5-star rating reflecting excellent performance. Four of those plans are Kaiser Permanente Medicare Advantage plans, operating in Kaiser Permanente regions in Northern and Southern California, the Northwest, Colorado and Hawaii.
“We are very proud of our excellent 5-star ratings. While there are many factors for seniors to consider when choosing a Medicare plan, the quality rating of a plan should be weighed heavily,” said Jed Weissberg, MD, senior vice president Hospitals, Quality and Care Delivery Excellence, Kaiser Permanente. “It’s important that seniors become familiar with the Medicare Star Quality Ratings, so they can make informed choices and select a plan that provides the best care and service available.”
“This special enrollment period provides another opportunity for seniors to take the time to learn more about their options and join a 5-star plan if they are eligible,” said Herman Weil, senior vice president, Kaiser Permanente Medicare programs.
Seniors can learn more about the Special Enrollment Period and the Medicare Star Quality Ratings from Kaiser Permanente by visiting kp.org/medicare, kp.org/medicarestars or calling 1-855-817-5831. CMS also offers details on its website, medicare.gov, and at the toll-free number 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Plan performance summary star ratings are assessed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services each year and may change from one year to the next. Kaiser Permanente Northwest region includes Oregon and Washington.
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 serve approximately 8.9 million members in nine 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: www.kp.org/newscenter.