Fifty-two percent of Medicare Advantage plans with prescription drug coverage (MA-PD) offered in 2020 will boast 4 stars or higher, according to new data released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Most people with Medicare will have access to MA and Part D plans with four or more stars in 2020, CMS reported, and approximately 81 percent of MA enrollees with prescription drug coverage will be in plans with four and five stars in 2020, an increase from 69 percent in 2017.

The CMS announcement was made in advance of the 2020 Medicare Open Enrollment period, which begins October 15 and ends on December 7. CMS said beneficiaries will have more plan choices with about 1,200 more MA plans operating in 2020 than in 2018.

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Other highlights from the CMS announcement and 2020 Star Rating Fact Sheet:

  • The average star rating for all MA plans PD coverage has improved to 4.16 out of 5 stars, an increase from 4.02 stars in 2017
  • An estimated 28 percent of enrollees will be in stand-alone PD plans with 4 stars or higher, an increase from approximately 3 percent in 2018
  • The average star rating for a stand-alone PD plan has improved from 3.34 in 2019 to 3.50 in 2020
  • MA premiums are expected to decline by 23 percent from 2018 and will be the lowest in the last 13 years
  • Twenty-three contracts earned 5 stars (20 are MA-PD contracts, one is an MA-only contract, and two are PDPs
  • Seven of the top-rated plans were operated by Kaiser Foundation Health Plan in California, Washington state, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia
  • Five contracts received a low-performance warning for Part C and/or Part D summary rating of 2.5 or fewer stars from at least 2018 through 2020

Learn more about the latest CMS policies related to MA and the Medicare Stars program at RISE’s 10th annual Star Ratings Master Class, Dec. 12-13 at the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa, Carlsbad, Calif. Click here for the full agenda.