Independence Blue Cross Star Ratings Increase for Its Medicare Advantage Plans

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 14, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Independence Blue Cross (IBC) announced that its Personal Choice 65 Medicare Advantage health plan received a 4.5 star rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) for 2013, an increase of one point. IBC's two HMO plans, (Keystone 65 Select and Keystone 65 Preferred), received 4 stars, a half point increase. These are IBC's highest ratings since CMS implemented the Star system in 2007. In addition, IBC had the highest rated PPO plan and one of the highest-rated HMO plans in the five-county region.

CMS assigns star ratings from one to five, with five being the highest, to Medicare Advantage plans based on more than 50 care and service quality measures, including staying healthy, managing chronic conditions, member satisfaction, customer service, and pharmacy services. The rating system provides a way for consumers to objectively compare Medicare health plans. Approximately 23 percent of Medicare Advantage plans with drug coverage being sold for 2013 earned four stars or higher. Star ratings are assessed annually and may change from year to year.

"Our improved star ratings are a result of our strong commitment to improving service and offering our customers the highest quality plans at the most affordable prices," said Daniel J. Hilferty, IBC president and CEO. "We stepped up our efforts to help our members get the care they need, when they need it, and in particular, we also encouraged our members to take advantage of all our available service to keep them well."

"We made a concerted effort to improve our service, screening more calls so we could identify any issues or trends we needed to immediately address to improve our members overall experience with IBC," Hilferty added. "We also continue to work closely with the physicians in our network to provide screening and preventive service reminders that help improve the quality of care they provide."

About Independence Blue Cross

Independence Blue Cross is a leading health insurer in southeastern Pennsylvania. With our affiliates, we have 3.1 million members nationwide. For nearly 75 years, we have been enhancing the health and wellness of the people and communities we serve by delivering innovative and competitively priced health care products and services; pioneering new ways to reward doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers for coordinated, quality care; and supporting programs and events that promote wellness. To learn more about how we're changing the game, visit Connect with us on Facebook at and on Twitter at @ibx. Independence Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

CONTACT: Ruth Stoolman 214-241-4807Source:Independence Blue Cross