Skip to main content

Each year, Medicare shoppers see their mailboxes, email accounts and TV screens fill with messages about choosing the “best” Medicare Advantage plan for their needs. If it all seems a bit overwhelming, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) Star Ratings may be a useful tool to help you compare your plan choices.

What are Medicare Star Ratings?

Star Ratings are based on several factors, including member satisfaction, and show how well Medicare Advantage (Part C) and stand-alone prescription drug plans (Part D) have performed for their members.

Ratings are updated each year and published on the CMS website.

How Medicare Star Ratings may help shoppers choose better plans

Shoppers can use Star Ratings to see which plans ranked highest in the areas most important to them.

Plans are given a rating between 1 and 5 stars, with 1 star being the lowest and 5 stars being the highest.

How Medicare Advantage and Medicare prescription drug plans are rated

Medicare uses information from member satisfaction surveys, health plans and healthcare providers to determine Star Ratings. The rating system uses more than 40 different quality measures across multiple categories, including:1

  • Customer service
  • Member experience
  • Staying healthy (screenings, tests and vaccines)
  • Managing chronic conditions
  • Drug safety and accuracy of drug pricing
  • Getting appointments and care quickly
  • Member complaints
  • Members choosing to leave their plan

Shoppers have a number of resources that can help them compare plan details, like premiums, copays, deductibles and coverage. However, Medicare Star Ratings help shoppers compare plan performance. They consider actual responses from members about how satisfied they are with their plan, how easy the plan provider makes it to use their plan and how well their plan meets their overall needs. That kind of feedback adds another layer of confidence when a shopper considers their options.

How Medicare Star Ratings may help improve plan choice

While shoppers can use Star Ratings to compare their plan choices, Medicare Advantage plan providers, like Humana, use Star Ratings, too. They help us learn more about what Medicare shoppers want and need from their plans so we can create better ones. Medicare Advantage Star Ratings have been improving steadily since the Stars Rating system was introduced. Approximately 68 percent of Medicare Advantage plans that offer prescription drug coverage will have an overall rating of four stars or higher in 2022, up from 49 percent in 2021.2

In September of 2021, CMS announced the Medicare Star Ratings for the 2022 plan year. At Humana, we’re proud to say that 97% of our Medicare Advantage and Medicare prescription drug plan (PDP) members are enrolled in plans rated 4 out of 5 stars or higher for 2022.3

You may be able to switch to a 5-star plan

If you want to enroll in a 5-star Medicare Advantage or Part D plan, you can switch to one during a Special Enrollment Period, which exists for just this purpose, from Dec. 8 to Nov. 30 of the following year. You may do this only once during this time, and it’s possible only if a 5-star plan is available in your area.

Let’s find your plan

See all plans in your area

View plans with their premiums and copays. You can also see if the medicines you take now are covered and what they’ll cost based on your plan choice.

Call or request a call

Call 888-371-9538 (TTY: 711), daily, 5 a.m. to 8 p.m., or

Sources

  1. “Medicare 2022 Part C & D Star Ratings Technical Notes,” Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, last accessed October 1, 2021, https://www.cms.gov/files/document/2022-star-ratings-technical-notes-oct-4-2022.pdf
  2. “CMS Releases 2022 Medicare Advantage and Part D Star Ratings to Help Medicare Beneficiaries Compare Plans,” Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, last accessed October 1, 2021, https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/press-releases/cms-releases-2022-medicare-advantage-and-part-d-star-ratings-help-medicare-beneficiaries-compare
  3. “97% of Humana’s Medicare Advantage Members Are in Contracts Rated 4-Star or Higher for 2022, Reflecting Strong Commitment to Quality of Care, Patient-Centered Clinical Outcomes and Customer Service,” Humana Inc., last accessed November 2, 2021, https://press.humana.com/news/news-details/2021/97-of-Humanas-Medicare-Advantage-Members-Are-in-Contracts-Rated-4-Star-or-Higher-for-2022-Reflecting-Strong-Commitment-to-Quality-of-Care-Patient-Centered-Clinical-Outcomes-and-Customer-Service/default.aspx#gsc.tab=0