The Medicare Advantage Star Rating is a rating Medicare gives to all Medicare Advantage plans to show how well they perform on quality measures. The rating goes from one to five stars, with five being the best.
Why is the star rating important?
Star Ratings help you know the kind of care and service to expect from a Medicare Advantage plan. Plans with a Star Rating of three are considered average; plans with a Star Rating of four or five have better quality and service.
Also, plans with a Star Rating of four or five receive bonus money from Medicare, keeping your costs down by lowering premiums, deductibles, and co-payments. Some plans use the bonuses to add more services and benefits.
Can you help your plan get a good Star Rating?
Many quality measures are related to clinical care and services. Here is what you can do:
- get your preventive care such as mammograms and colonoscopies
- keep your blood pressure under control (i.e., less than 140/90)
- for members with diabetes, keep your A1c values under control (i.e., less than 8) and get your annual eye exam
- make appointments with your primary care provider (PCP) for annual wellness visits and medication reviews
- take your medication as prescribed, especially medications for diabetes, high blood pressure, and cholesterol
- be sure to fill out any Medicare surveys you receive
When do plans receive their Star Rating?
Star Ratings come out each year based on information from the previous year. In October, Medicare will post the plan ratings in the Medicare Plan Finder, in time for the Annual Election Period for the new plan year.
What is the Medicare Plan Finder?
The Medicare Plan Finder is a tool on the Medicare website that allows you to compare plans, benefits and Star Ratings.
To use the Plan Finder, go to medicare.gov and search for Medicare Plan Finder, or go to medicare.gov/find-a-plan/questions/home.
This information is provided by Virginia Premier, an HMO with a Medicare contract. Enrollment depends on contract renewal. Virginia Premier is a fully-owned subsidiary of VCU Health.