MA stargazing reveals a different story

MHE Publication, MHE December 2020, Volume 30, Issue 12

All the Medicare Advantage trend lines seem like they are northward bound. Enrollment, the number of plans, the number of companies selling those plans — they’re all up. So Avalere Health’s report last month on the percentage of beneficiaries in highly rated plans stood out — and not in a good way.

All the Medicare Advantage trend lines seem like they are northward bound. Enrollment, the number of plans, the number of companies selling those plans — they’re all up. So Avalere Health’s report last month on the percentage of beneficiaries in highly rated plans stood out — and not in a good way.

Related: Medicare Advantage Enrollment Keeps Growing

CMS’ Star Rating program grades the quality of Medicare Advantage plans on a scale of 1 to 5 stars, with 5 being the highest quality.

Using data that the CMS made available in October, Avalere Health calculated that approximately 11.9% of the enrollees in Medicare Advantage plans that include drug coverage are in 5-star plans, which isn’t a big difference from the 11% of enrollees in 5-star plans last year.

But the consulting firm’s numbers show that the proportion of enrollees in 4.5-star plans dropped sharply, from 31.4% last year to 19.6% this year, and the proportion in 4-star plans dipped from 38.8% last year to 30.9% this year.

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