Saint Augustine, Florida (PRWEB) October 18, 2013
Analysis by Q1Group of the Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage plan quality data recently released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services shows that there will be fewer Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage plans with an overall 5-star quality rating in 2014.
The Medicare quality star rating system evaluates Medicare Part D prescription drug plans and Medicare Advantage plans on a number of plan aspects and assigns a rating of anywhere between 1 to 5 stars, with 3 stars being “average” and 5 stars as “excellent”.
The two 2013 stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plans that currently have an overall 5-star quality rating slipped out of their 5-star rating status for 2014 and one stand-alone Medicare Part D plan improved its rating status to qualify as the only 5-star rated stand-alone prescription drug plan for 2014.
The EmblemHealth Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (PDP), available only to residents of New York, improved its 4.5 star rating in 2013 and earned 5-star quality status for 2014.
Fewer 2014 Medicare Advantage plans will have a 5-star quality rating. Medicare Advantage plans offer Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B health benefits and can include Medicare prescription drug coverage.
In 2013, 14 Medicare Advantage plans received an overall 5-star quality rating, whereas only 10 Medicare Advantage plans will have the 5-star status for 2014. Six of the 2013 Medicare Advantage plans will continue with a 5-star quality rating into 2014 and four 2013 Medicare Advantage plans improved their performance, achieving 5-star status for 2014.
The 2014 5-star rated Medicare Advantage plans are available in 133 counties spread across 13 states. Some of the 133 counties include areas with large Medicare beneficiary populations. In Florida, Miami-Dade County residents will have access to the 5-star Leon Medical Centers Plan – Leon Cares (HMO). On the west coast, residents of Los Angeles County will have access to two 5-star rated Medicare Advantage plans in 2014. Residents of Washington, D.C. will have access to five 5-star 2014 Medicare Advantage plans, all offered by Kaiser Permanente.
Aside from having gained the recognition of the highest quality rating, Medicare plans with a 5-star rating also benefit from a Special Enrollment Period allowing members of other Medicare plans a one-time opportunity to switch to a 5-star Medicare plan at any time during the plan year.
In 2014, the percentage of low-performing Medicare Part D plans will remain stable as compared to the previous year. Just as in 2013, 16% of the stand-alone 2014 Medicare Part D plans have an overall quality rating under three stars.
Whereas, the percentage of low-performing Medicare Advantage plans will decrease in 2014. Only 4% of the 2014 Medicare Advantage plans were rated under three stars or below-average, an improvement from 2013 when 13% of Medicare Advantage plans received a below-average rating.
The Q1Medicare.com 2014 PDP-Finder and MA-Finder online tools both show a special icon indicating any Medicare plan achieving a 5-star quality rating. Both the PDP-Finder and MA-Finder are available to all site visitors at no cost and designed for computer, smartphone, and tablet platforms.
Q1Group reminds seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries that they can enroll in a 2014 Medicare Part D prescription drug plan or Medicare Advantage plan during the annual Open Enrollment Period that will continue through December 7th.
About the Q1Medicare.com Website
Q1Medicare.com is one of the largest independent online resources for Medicare Part D prescription drug plan and Medicare Advantage plan information. Q1Medicare offers a large selection of Frequently Asked Questions, online tools, and a free Medicare Part D Newsletter all designed to help Medicare beneficiaries, healthcare professionals, advocates, advisers, caregivers, and insurance agents better understand both the Medicare Part D prescription drug and Medicare Advantage programs. Q1Medicare.com is operated by Q1Group LLC (Saint Augustine, Florida).