The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) once again has named Viva Medicare the only Alabama-based overall 5-out-of-5-Star Medicare Advantage (MA) plan. This is the third consecutive CMS top rating for the health plan, which is joined this year by only 30 of 545 total rated plans in the country and resulted in a U.S. News and World Report “Best Medicare Advantage Insurance Company” gold badge.
Each year, CMS grades plans on up to 40 unique measures, such as preventive screenings and tests, chronic condition management, provider responsiveness and care, member complaints/disenrollments and customer service. Despite this year’s heightened standards, the Alabama-based plan once again earned a place among the most elite in the country.
A member of the renowned University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Health System, Viva Health has seen consistent growth since its 1995 launch. Now offering MA plans in 39 Alabama counties, the company boasts a network of 80 hospitals, nearly 15,000 participating providers and worldwide emergency coverage.
Still, the organization is best known for its commitment to individualized care and health maintenance. Trust, reliability and availability are key values at Viva Health, and any current or potential member may walk into the company’s community-based retail locations to have questions answered, attend events or simply chat with staff.
“Viva Medicare strives always to provide person-centered, easily-accessible service so our members can get the care they need,” said Nancy Beasley, VIVA HEALTH’s Associate Vice President of Pharmacy and Performance Improvement. “We live and work alongside our members, so we treat them like neighbors, not numbers, by offering personalized support at every stage of their health care journey. We have the honor of serving more than 50,000 Medicare recipients in communities across Alabama, yet individual well-being remains paramount in our decision-making and service delivery.
“Meeting CMS benchmarks and standards is rigorous, so receiving this prestigious 5-Star distinction for the third year in a row is a true testament to the dedication of our team. We are honored to once again earn a place among the nation’s best!”
Annual Enrollment Period
Medicare’s annual enrollment period began Oct. 15, and recipients have until Dec. 7 to make their health plan choices for 2024. However, Viva Medicare’s 5-Star rating means that Alabamians have access
to the 5-Star special enrollment period that allows individuals to switch from their current Medicare plan to a Medicare plan with a 5-Star rating throughout the year. This special enrollment period can be used once between Dec. 8, 2023, and Nov. 30, 2024, which means more flexibility and extended enrollment timeframes for eligible individuals.
Viva Medicare offers plans with or without prescription drug coverage and plan premiums starting at $0/month. All Viva Medicare plans include perks, such as:
- $0 primary care visits
- Dental, vision and hearing aid benefits
- Money to spend on over-the-counter health items
- Access to local gyms and at-home fitness programs
- 24/7 nurse help line, and
- An annual cap on out-of-pocket medical costs
Some VIVA MEDICARE plans even include additional benefits, such as a flex card that can be used to purchase groceries and health items; a Medicare Part B premium discount; or transportation services.
Meaningful benefits such as these combined with easy access to knowledgeable, friendly staff is what sets the plan apart from others, according to longtime members like Ken Bunn.
“Viva Medicare does make Medicare very easy,” said Bunn, who often visits the company’s Hoover storefront. “It’s convenient, and they’re always nice and always there to answer my questions. Truthfully, they do just a great job, and their people are so good to you. I get the best service that I have ever had at an insurance company.”
Viva Medicare is taking calls at 888-830-8482 (toll-free) seven days a week, 8 a.m.–8 p.m. (Jan. 1–Sept. 30: Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–8 p.m.). TTY users call 711. Individuals may enroll over the phone, online at VivaHealth.com/Medicare/Enroll or at a Viva Health Café, or they may request a face-to-face appointment with an agent.
For more information about the Medicare Star Rating Program and the 5-Star special enrollment period, visit medicare.gov/sign-up-change-plans/when-can-i-join-a-health-or-drug-plan/5-star-special-enrollment-period.
Source: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, U.S. News