Medicare Star Ratings Q&A
Nov 01, 2016
What are the Star Ratings? This is a system Medicare uses to measure the quality of Part D prescription drug plans and Medicare Advantage plans. It posts each plan’s ratings on the Medicare plan finder at www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan/questions/home.aspx.
What does the Star Rating System measure? It looks at how plans perform in several categories, including customer service, quality, members’ rating and experience, ease of getting appointments or medications, complaints, and more.
How many stars are in the system? Star ratings range from 1 star (the lowest or worst) to 5 stars (the higher or best). Plans get a star rating for overall performance and for many individual categories.
Who should pay attention to the stars? Anyone getting into Medicare, be it at age 65 or when retiring and losing coverage, should check out the quality ratings. Then, every year during the Open Enrollment Period, beneficiaries should check out the quality of their plans and compare that to others available to them.
What are these icons? Medicare uses two icons to depict the opposite ends of the scale.
- The 5-star icon (above) identifies the plans that have received the highest rating for the current year. Medicare offers a special enrollment period (December 8-November 30) for beneficiaries to enroll in a 5-star plan. (Learn more about this at www.medicare.gov/sign-up-change-plans/when-can-i-join-a-health-or-drug-plan/five-star-enrollment/5-star-enrollment-period.html.)
- The low-performing icon identifies plans that have received less than three stars (only one or two stars) for three years in a row. A beneficiary must call the plan to enroll; Medicare does not permit online enrollment.
Learn about star ratings at www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan/staticpages/rating/planrating-help.aspx.