WASHINGTON, Oct. 17, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- U.S. News & World Report today released the 2017 Best Medicare Plans. The new ratings are a resource for Medicare beneficiaries and their families searching for the best coverage options during the annual open-enrollment period, which began October 15 and runs through December 7, 2016.
The Best Medicare Plans include Honor Rolls of the Best Medicare Advantage Plans and Best Part D Plans, which highlight insurance companies that consistently offer highly rated health coverage to those 65-and-older. The plan ratings and Honor Rolls are offered through the U.S. News Health Insurance site, which helps health insurance buyers of all kinds navigate the options available to them.
"Medicare beneficiaries have a lot to consider, including cost and in- or out-of-network coverage," said Ben Harder, chief of health analysis at U.S. News. "Our tools allow consumers to easily search and identify plans that suit their specific needs."
The U.S. News ratings give up to 5 stars for each Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D plan available in each state. Insurance companies made the Honor Roll if either their Medicare Advantage or their Part D plans received an average rating of 4.5 stars or higher across all plans in a given state. Companies that consistently offer highly rated Medicare Advantage plans in multiple states include Kaiser Permanente, with top-rated plans in 9 states, and insurers in 8 states affiliated with the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. For Part D plans, which cover prescription drugs, 17 states have at least one insurer that made the U.S. News list. Blues plans dominate the Part D list in 15 states, and Avalon Insurance Company offers top Part D plans in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
U.S. News used plan-ratings data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to identify the Best Medicare Advantage Plans and Best Medicare Part D Plans. CMS rates individual plans on a scale of 1 to 5 stars, factoring in member satisfaction, customer service and other criteria. The U.S. News methodology analyzes all plans offered by an insurer in a given state.
The Best Medicare Plans ratings serve the broader U.S. News mission to provide trusted information and rankings that help Americans navigate complex health care issues, from finding health insurance and doctors to hospitals and nursing homes.
About U.S. News & World Report U.S. News & World Report is a digital news and information company that empowers people to make better, more informed decisions about important issues affecting their lives. Focusing on Education, Health, Personal Finance, Travel, Cars and News & Opinion, USNews.com provides consumer advice, rankings, news and analysis to serve people making complex decisions throughout all stages of life. More than 37 million people visit USNews.com each month for research and guidance. Founded in 1933, U.S. News is headquartered in Washington, D.C.