Rochester, NY

Federal government recognizes Excellus BCBS for high quality Medicare Advantage plans

The federal government’s latest quality ratings have awarded the Medicare Advantage programs from Excellus BlueCross BlueShield with some of the highest ratings in the state.

Medicare awarded Excellus BCBS with 4.5 stars out of a possible 5-star rating for its Medicare Blue Choice HMO plans and its Medicare PPO plans. 

For the fifth year in a row, the Medicare Part D prescription drug plan from Excellus BCBS received a 5-star rating, the highest rating possible.

“These quality scores show the health plan is committed to helping our Medicare members get healthy and stay healthy,” said Carrie Whitcher, vice-president for health care improvement at Excellus BCBS. 

The star ratings measure a variety of health benchmarks, such as how a Medicare member’s chronic conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure are being managed; whether Medicare members are receiving their preventive screenings; and whether the plan is teaching members about correctly taking their medications and taking them as prescribed.

“No health plan is going to reach this level of quality care without a real commitment to working with local health care providers and having providers who are committed to delivering high quality care to our Medicare members,” said Stephen Cohen, MD, senior vice-president and chief medical officer for Excellus BCBS. 

Member satisfaction is also an important measure in the overall quality ratings. Health plan employees from throughout the company are working to assure Medicare members’ needs are met. One example of this is with a mobile clinic that goes out to meet members in the neighborhoods where they live so they can get the preventive screenings they need.

“The benchmarks continue to go up annually and the competition with the national plans is fierce,” Whitcher said. “These scores are indicative of our commitment to quality local health care, so our Medicare members get the care they need when they need it.”


Jim Redmond, (585) 238-4579,

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, is a nonprofit health plan with 1.5 million upstate New York members. The company's mission is to help people live healthier and more secure lives through access to high-quality, affordable health care. Its products and services include cost-saving prescription drug discounts, wellness tracking tools and access to telemedicine. With more than 3,500 employees, the company is committed to attracting and retaining a diverse workforce to foster innovation and better serve its members. It also encourages employees to engage in their communities by providing paid volunteer time off as one of many benefits. To learn more, visit


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