Fewer Medicare Advantage plans snag 5-star ratings for 2024

CMS' overall average star ratings declined slightly for Medicare Advantage plans for plan year 2024. 

CMS published its star ratings for Medicare Advantage and part D standalone plans Oct. 13. The average Medicare Advantage star rating for 2024 is 4.04, down from 4.14 in 2023. Around 74 percent of Medicare Advantage enrollees will be in a plan rated four stars or higher in 2024, up from 72 percent in 2023. 

CMS determines star ratings using 40 quality and performance measures for Medicare Advantage plans, scoring plans on their clinical quality outcomes and member satisfaction. The agency made some changes to its methodology for 2024, including changes to cut points for star ratings designed to keep ratings more predictable year to year. 

Plans must earn at least a four-star rating to receive quality bonus payments from CMS. The agency rated 42% of Medicare Advantage contracts at four stars or above. Some insurers, including CVS Health, expect declines in revenue from ratings downgrades last year. 

The number of contracts receiving five-star designation declined to 31 for 2024, down from 57 in 2023. Around 7% of MA beneficiaries will be enrolled in five-star contracts in 2024, down from around 22% in 2023. 

The highest-ever average MA plan star rating was 4.37 in 2022, when CMS allowed plans to use the better of historic and current performance data to calculate ratings to account for the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The average star rating for part D plans, which cover prescription drugs only, was 3.11, down from 3.25 in 2023. 

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