HHS Announces Star Quality Ratings for 2013: Better performance and more choice

October 17, 2012

On Friday (10/12/12) the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services released the 2013 quality ratings for Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug plans. These star ratings summarize how well the plans performed on well-established measures of quality such as access to care, responsiveness, and beneficiary satisfaction. Plans can earn up to 5 stars, from one star for poor performance to 5 stars for excellent performance. Star ratings are reviewed each year and the results are published by CMS in the fall.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sibelius said, “People with Medicare have more high quality choices and the performance of Medicare Advantage plans is improving,” and there are “more four and five star plans than ever before.”

Four & Five Star Plans
Plans 2012 2013
Medicare Advantage 106 127
Part D 13 26

To encourage people to enroll in higher quality plans, CMS is notifying people who have been enrolled in low performing plans (plans that received less than 3 stars for the past three years) that they can enroll in a new plan if they want to. Star ratings, in addition to cost and coverage, help consumers compare plans and choose the right one for their needs and budget.

5-star plans are allowed to market and enroll people throughout the year, and thousands of people “took advantage of this opportunity to join a top performing plan,”  according to Sibelius. People can switch to a 5-star plan at any time during the year, but they can only do so once each year.

In addition to better quality, HHS announced that Medicare Advantage benefits are increasing and premiums are holding steady. According to HHS data, average premiums fell 10% and enrollment increased 28%. Premiums for Part D prescription drug plans are expected to remain steady with last year at about $30 on average for 2013.

Related Stores:

Health plans “score” with Medicare’s 5-star rating system

New MA star ratings released by CMS

Preliminary CMS 2013 Medicare Advantage payment and policy guidelines

Visit Extend Health to use the ExtendExchange™ platform – the nation’s largest private Medicare insurance exchange.

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