New tool available to help employees choose medical plan during Open Enrollment

Open Enrollment is King County employee’s annual opportunity to evaluate employee benefit options and make changes for the upcoming year. The 2020 Open Enrollment period is currently open until November 15.

Employees who are considering choosing a new medical plan may be interested in the Washington Health Alliance’s 2020 Quality Composite Scores for Medical Groups and Clinics.  This tool measures health care quality across the state of Washington using four domains (measures):

  • Prevention and Screening includes well-child and adolescent well-care visits, and chlamydia, breast, cervical and colon cancer screenings;
  • Care for Chronic Diseases reports on managing asthma, diabetes, hypertension, and mental health issues;
  • Coordinated, Cost-Effective Care measures potentially unnecessary emergency room visits and hospital readmissions; and
  • Appropriate, Cost-Effective Care examines whether care is provided contrary to evidence-based best practices, such as avoiding the inappropriate use of antibiotics, prescribing generic medications, and not using x-rays, CT scans and MRIs in certain cases of low-back pain.

King County offers three benefits plans for employees. The first plan, SmartCare Connect, includes services from the Kaiser Permanente network. The second plan, KingCare Select is a product of Regence Blueshield that allows participants to choose services from either the University of Washington, MultiCare, or Eastside Health Network. While the third plan, KingCare, is a product of Regence Blueshield that allows participants to choose from a broader network of providers. Each plan offers different types of coverage.

A snippet of the Quality Composite Score tool can be seen below.  Among medical groups in Washington, The Polyclinic and Virginia Mason Medical Center, which rank first and second respectively, are available to employees via the KingCare plan. Kaiser Permanente of Washington, which ranks third, is available to employees via the SmartCare plan. And the  University of Washington Medical Center, which ranks fourth, is available to employees via the KingCare Select plan. 

If you would like additional guidance in understanding which King County plan provides coverage for the medical group of your choice, please contact  

For more information, go to 2020 Quality Composite Score for Medical Groups and Clinic and select “Show Domain Scores” to see a breakdown in scores across the four domains. Choose “Medical Group” or “Clinic” to see how these are ranked across the region.

For more information about your employee benefit options and how to make changes, go to Open Enrollment. Questions? Contact

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