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www.Medicare.gov rating places Health First Health Plans second in Florida

Rockledge, FL - In the 2011 5-Star Ratings recently released by The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Health First Health Plans (HFHP) earned 4.5 out of 5 stars for quality, placing the local organization among the best in the nation and second in Florida.

As of November 17, 577 Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug (MA-PD) plans were reviewed nation-wide-three plans earned 5 stars, and 33 plans earned 4.5 stars in the Overall MA-PD Summary. In Florida, one plan located in the panhandle earned 5 stars. HFHP was the only Florida plan to earn 4.5 stars, and all others earned 4 stars or less.

Star ratings are displayed on www.Medicare.gov along with other details about each plan, and are based on five categories for clinical quality and customer service: Staying Healthy: Screenings, Tests and Vaccines; Managing Chronic (Long Term) Conditions; Ratings of Health Plan Responsiveness and Care; Health Plan Members' Complaints and Appeals; and Health Plan Telephone Customer Service.

"To put this in perspective, this means we're the highest rated MA plan available anywhere in central and south Florida," said Margaret Haney, President/CEO of Health First Health Plans (HFHP). "Very few Medicare beneficiaries have access to plans rated at this elite level, so I'm extremely proud we can offer this unique opportunity to Space Coast residents," she added.

Lisa Slattery, Director of Quality Management for HFHP, explains, "CMS introduced the 5-Star Ratings as an easy way to compare each plan's performance, and released the results during the Annual Election Period, when beneficiaries are choosing their coverage for 2011. Since most people will no longer be able to change their plan after December 31, it's especially important this year for beneficiaries to study their options closely and make an informed decision."

HFHP was also recently ranked number #20 among Medicare Advantage Plans in the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Health Insurance Rankings - Medicare 2010-2011. NCQA is an independent, not-for-profit organization dedicated to assessing and reporting the quality of managed care plans to help consumers, employers and others make informed healthcare choices.