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Medicare Star Ratings

A Guide to the 2024 Medicare Advantage & Part D Star Ratings

Medicare star ratings play a significant role in evaluating the current standards of the medical industry. It focuses on the quality of medical services and cost-efficiency for patients and clinicians. Healthcare organizations can take noticeable steps towards improving their medical services and look for better ways to treat the patient by understanding the impact of their quality standards on the Medicare star ratings. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is behind a grading system that underlies the regulations and guidelines for all Medical Advantage programs.

Let’s delve into a detailed guide on Medicare Advantage star ratings 2024 & Part D plans. Understand the rating system and make better healthcare decisions.

What Do We Understand By Medicare Star Ratings?

Medicare Star Ratings range from 1 to 5, with one being the lowest. They are deployed to rate the Medical Advantage Plans so that the onlookers can compare different plans at the time of enrollment. Medicare generally verifies and audits the plans once annually. Their review includes the following –

  • Waiting time involved in making an appointment
  • Total annual screenings in a year
  • The quality of treatment offered
  • The compliance of framework, etc.

The CMS focuses on issuing star ratings to help onlookers make smart enrollment decisions for medical insurance plans. They rate the services included in Medical Advantage (MA) programs and Medicare Part D plans. MA plans with higher star ratings are meant to offer better and standardized clinical services.

The Functionality Of Medicare Advantage And Part D Star Ratings

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services releases new Medical Star Ratings annually. It’s either between October 15 to December 7 or January 1 to March 31. The Medicare Advantage plans that cover Part D, 40 distinct qualities, and different performance standards underlie the star ratings. Listing below a few measures that cover the base the star ratings –

  • The Customer Experience – It includes the experience of the enrollee in terms of waiting time involved in getting an appointment, consistent preventive screenings, getting good care, and other such factors.
  • The Service Of Health Plans – Customer service involves vision and hearing services, foreign language service, prompt and transparent decisions, TTY availability, and more.
  • Feedback and Changes In The Plans – This underlies the customer feedback and complaints. Also, it involves a record of members who choose to leave the plans.
  • Managing The Critical Ailments – This includes a vigilant medical aid for patients suffering from diabetes, unstable blood sugar levels, osteomalacia, and other diseases.
  • Maintain Good Health – Staying healthy includes regular and timely screenings of chronic diseases, including cancer, cardiac-related diseases, etc. Consistent preventive measures must be taken toward the maintenance of good health.

The authoritative body conducts a review of star ratings annually based on the data’s authenticity, fresh medical recommendations, implementation of best medical practices, customer feedback, and other related factors. Hence, the methodology is flexible and can change with every new assessment.

Let’s Delve Into The Type Of Medicare Star Ratings

As discussed above, the Medicare star ratings range from 1 to 5. Half-stars are also awarded in terms of rating, for example – 3 ½  stars. The star ratings define the quality standards in the following manner –

  • 1 Star – Poor quality medical aid and overall services
  • 2 Star – Below average services
  • 3 Star – Average quality
  • 4 Star – Above an average rating
  • 5 Star – Excellent and top-quality services

These ratings play a significant role in deciding the future of Medical Advantage plans. The programs with average (3) or below average (1,2) ratings for more than three consecutive years are declared to be consistent low performers. In such a scenario, you can switch your plan at the annual open enrollment. Few states allow customers to drop poor-performing plans at any point in time. In the case of the Medical Advantage programs with a consistent 5-star rating, they qualify for a particular enrollment period, which enables the users to switch to one during the period between December 8 and November 30.

How To Look For Star Ratings For Your Medical Advantage Plans?

To find the latest star ratings for your medical plans, simply enter your ZIP code. Next, you select Part D or Medical Advantage and add the medications you wish to be involved in. This will lead you to a list of plans from which you can filter out the results under the Star Ratings option. Choose the number of stars for the plans, and you will get the desired options. You can even contact the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) to gain information on  5-star rating plans.

It’s crucial to look for the star ratings before you choose a new plan. The ratings give a fair idea about the quality of medical aid and overall services provided by the healthcare clinics. If you do not find your plan up to the mark and it has been receiving the tag for a consistent low performer, you can always switch to a better Medical Advantage program within a period of 14 months.


Choosing the right plan is critical as you don’t want to spend your money on a plan that doesn’t cover your medical needs that fits under your budget. Needless to say, the consideration of star ratings is of utmost importance when choosing a Medical Advantage plan. Besides these, do not forget to compare the prices and coverage of your medications. Look into the plan and check if it includes the hospitals and medical experts you prefer to be included in the plan.

Azura Everhart

Hey, I am Azura Everhart a digital marketer with more than 5+ years of experience. I specialize in leveraging online platforms and strategies to drive business growth and engagement.

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