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New Medicare Measurements Help Hoosiers Make 2013 Coverage Decisions

An IU Health Plans Hospital Release An Medicare Release

INDIANAPOLIS – The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) have identified new measurements for rating Medicare health plans in 2013, ensuring Hoosiers and millions of other Americans are making the best decisions during the annual enrollment period, Oct. 15-Dec. 7.

The measurements are reflected in the annual Medicare Star Quality Ratings – released today – which allows Medicare beneficiaries to compare plans based on a consistent set of criteria and holds plans accountable to standards of care. Plans with a 4.5 or 5 star rating are considered among the top performers, based on quality and performance in five categories, including preventive services (screenings, tests and vaccines); managing long-term health conditions; responsiveness and care; member complaints and appeals; and telephone customer service.

Some of the new measurements being rated this year include how quickly the Medicare beneficiary received test results and whether the beneficiary received help managing care.

“We know it can be a daunting and challenging task when choosing a Medicare health plan,” said Jim Parker, president, Indiana University Health Plans, which received 4.5 stars for the third straight year in the latest ratings released by CMS. “But these expanded measurements hold health plans to a higher standard and assure Hoosiers they are making the best decision when it comes to their healthcare.”

Ask these questions when choosing Medicare coverage
In addition to quality ratings, IU Health Plans recommends considering seven other factors when selecting a Medicare health plan:
1. Scope of coverage - Are the services you need covered? Do you want coverage for supplemental benefits like vision and dental?
2. Other coverage - If you have other health coverage, how will it coordinate with Medicare?
3. Cost - How much are the plan's premiums, deductibles and other costs?
4. Doctor and hospital choice - Are the doctors and hospitals you prefer part of the plan?
5. Prescription drugs - Does the plan you are considering offer Medicare drug coverage for the medications you are taking?
6. Convenience - Does the plan have local customer service and convenient doctors and pharmacies?
7. Travel - Will the plan cover you if you have travel outside the state?

Medicare’s annual enrollment period runs from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7. For more information, visit medicare.gov or call IU Health Plans at 800.455.9776.

IU Health Plans, offering Medicare Advantage plans since 2008, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Indiana University Health, a statewide health system offering the assurance of nationally recognized providers. IU Health Plans is a Medicare Advantage organization with a Medicare contract serving 32 Indiana counties. 

About Indiana University Health

Named among the “Best Hospitals in America” by U.S. News & World Report for 15 consecutive years, Indiana University Health is dedicated to providing a unified standard of preeminent, patient-centered care. A unique partnership with Indiana University School of Medicine – one of the nation’s leading medical schools – gives our highly skilled physicians access to innovative treatments using the latest research and technology. Discover the strength at iuhealth.org.

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