Did you check the Medicare star rating?

If you are already enrolled in a Medicare plan you can sit back and relax! Or should you?

Your insurer will already have advised you that your plan needed renewing by December 15th and, in many cases, will have re-enrolled you on the same or similar plan.  Your first reaction was probably a relief. One less thing to worry about! But did you check the Medicare Star Rating?

You may be missing an opportunity

Between January 1st and March 31st, you have the opportunity to change your Medicare-approved plan, whatever the star rating, to an alternative Medicare 5-Star plan. You may not be able to reduce your service level (e.g. from silver to bronze) but you will be free to consider the opportunity to switch to another insurer, and/or to a 5-star rated Medicare Advantage plan or to a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.

Medicare Star Rating

What does the Medicare Star Rating tell us?

Like most five-star Quality Rating Systems (QRS) the overall rating (5 star is best) reflects the performance in key areas of the service being delivered.

In this case

  1. Medical care
  2. Member experience
  3. Plan Administration

If the plan includes prescription drug benefits

  • Accuracy of pricing information and patient safety

The Quality Rating System (QRS) will provide you with easily understood information to compare the quality and overall performance of comparable health care plans available on exchange websites. The ratings give you a common platform on which to judge competing plans.

For further information on QRS, the 5-Star ratings, read the TrueCoverage article:-

“NEW FOR 2020, ACA Compliant Health Plans WITH *STAR QUALITY*”

The most frequently asked FAQ is: what happens if my needs change during the plan period?

Generally speaking, you will have to wait for Open Enrollment, (October 15th – December 7th every year) before you can change your plan or insurer unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.

Usually, there will be a delay between your need to change and when you can alter your plan or take out supplements. This can be life affectingly expensive – unexpected medical treatment, hospitalization, extended prescription drug needs.

Five Star Plans provide the opportunity to change your plan at almost any time (December 8th – November 30th).  Of course, there are some limitations.  You may only switch plans once during the plan’s life (annual) and between 5 star plans at the same or higher level.

That said, the QRS enables you to select a 5 star plan which meets your needs at an equivalent or lower premium than other less highly rated plans.  The security of being able to switch as necessary is a bonus.

Don’t miss the opportunity to switch to a 5 star plan.  If you do nothing else, log in to the TrueCoverage web site to check your options.  There will plans on your screen for you to compare, within moments! If you need to need to talk to one of our specialists, just enter your contact number.  During the working day we will ring back within 30 seconds.  Out of hours? We will call you during the first hour of the next working day.

Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán from Pexels

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