BERLIN – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont (BCBSVT), in a joint venture with three other New England Blue plans, contracts with the federal government to offer prescription drug coverage, called Blue MedicareRxSM (PDP). Earlier this fall, the company reported that Blue MedicareRx (PDP) is the only individual prescription drug plan (PDP) in Vermont, and greater New England, to achieve a five-star rating[i] for 2018 from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The five-star rating means the highest possible ranking for quality, access and member satisfaction. (See disclaimer 1.) BCBSVT is excited to share that its Blue MedicareRx Part D program received further recognition as one of the Best Medicare Plans for 2018 by U.S. News & World Report. “We’re honored to have been named one of the best Medicare plans for 2018. In addition to our achievement of being the only five-star individual prescription drug plan in Vermont, we believe this acknowledgement from the U.S. News & World Report further highlights the excellent coverage, access and overall experience that our plans offer,” says Catherine Hamilton, BCBSVT’s vice president of consumer services and planning. The U.S. News & World Report uses the government's five-star plan ratings and applies a methodology averaging each company's plans within a state and using a five-star rating system. Companies averaging 4.5 stars or higher are featured on their list. BCBSVT received a five-star ranking. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont, in a joint venture with three other New England Blue plans, contracts with the Federal Government to provide Part D benefits. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc., Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Inc., Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont are the legal entities which have contracted as a joint enterprise with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and are the risk-bearing entities for Blue MedicareRx plans. The joint enterprise is a Medicare-approved Part D Sponsor. Enrollment in Blue MedicareRx (PDP) depends on contract renewal. About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is the state’s oldest and largest health insurer, providing coverage for about 250,000 Vermonters. It employs about 400 Vermonters at its headquarters in Berlin and its Information and Wellness Center in South Burlington’s Blue Mall, and offers group and individual health plans to Vermonters. More information about Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is available on the Internet at www.bcbsvt.com Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is an independent corporation operating under a license with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans.  Medicare evaluates plans based on a 5-star rating system. Star Ratings are calculated each year and may change from one year to the next.