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Each year, CMS reviews all available Medicare Advantage plans and assigns them a star rating based on quality, availability, and functionality.
The best possible rating that a Medicare Advantage plan can receive is five stars. This rating is reserved for the best of the best Medicare Advantage plans.
There is a Special Enrollment Period that will allow you to switch to a 5-Star Medicare Advantage plan should one become available in your area. It is typically available once per enrollment year.
At MedicareInsurance.com, our friendly and experienced insurance experts can help you discover whether a 5-Star Medicare Advantage plan is available in your area, and help you learn how to enroll in that plan if you qualify.
Each year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) conduct a thorough review of all available Medicare Advantage plans that are available to the qualifying population. As a way of categorizing these plans based on quality, accessibility, and comprehensive benefits, each plan is assigned a star rating, which can range from one to five, with five being reserved for the absolute best possible Medicare Advantage plans available.
It is important to note that CMS’s star ratings apply only to Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) and Medicare prescription Drug Coverage (Medicare Part D) plans. The CMS star rating scale as defined by CMS is as follows:
Medicare star ratings are based on feedback from both customers and providers and are an important aspect of health insurance review. Not only do these ratings give patients a way to measure the quality of their healthcare and insurance plans, but they also provide comparison shoppers with a way to judge the effectiveness of Medicare Advantage plans beyond simply the cost.
“The Medicare Advantage and Part D Star Ratings are important tools in the toolbox for beneficiaries to use as they consider Medicare coverage options,” says CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. “CMS’s annual ratings deliver meaningful information about the quality of each plan to help people with Medicare make informed health care decisions.”
As stated, the highest-rated Medicare Advantage plans are given the distinct title of 5-Star Medicare Advantage plan. Typically, these plans offer much more coverage than not only Original Medicare Parts A and B, but also most other Medicare Advantage plans that are currently available in a given area.
Often, the highest-rated Medicare Advantage plans offer a wide range of highly respected providers, treatments, and services in the fields of hospital and medical care, as well as dental care, hearing care, and vision care. Many also include the best possible coverage for both name-brand and generic prescription medications.
Naturally, 5-star Medicare Advantage plans are quite rare to come across. In fact, in 2021, only 28 Medicare Advantage plans were awarded this distinction. This year, the number has increased significantly to 73, seemingly signaling that the overall availability of quality Medicare coverage is on the rise under the current administration.
Now that CMS has officially released its list of 5-Star Medicare Advantage plans for 2022, it is possible that a newly-minted 5-star plan has become available in your local area. If a plan in your area has recently been awarded 5-stars, you may be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) that will allow you to switch to this plan outside of the usual enrollment periods for this coming calendar year.
For 2022, the 5-Star Medicare Advantage plan SEP will run from December 8, 2021 to November 30, 2022. Remember that you are only eligible for this SEP once per year. If you decide to leave the plan after enrolling, you will need to wait for the 2022 regularly-scheduled Annual Enrollment Period (AEP).
As long as you currently have Original Medicare Parts A and B and currently reside in a service area that offers a 5-star Medicare Advantage plan, you are eligible to enroll. In order to be eligible for a Medicare Part D: Prescription Drug Coverage plan, however, you only need either Part A or Part B, not necessarily both.
At MedicareInsurance.com, our licensed insurance agents have years of experience in enrolling those who need it into a 5-Star Medicare Advantage plan. If you are curious whether one of these rare, high-quality plans has recently become available in your local area or wish to know your eligibility status, we want to help you. Give us a call today at (800) 950-0608 to get started!