The Importance of Medicare’s Star Ratings

4.5 out of 5 Stars, Louisiana's highest-rated Medicare Advantage Health Plan for 2019 image

Medicare gave Peoples Health the highest Star Rating in Louisiana: 4.5 out of 5 Stars for 2019. But what does that really mean? What are the Stars about?

Medicare developed its Star Rating system to give people with Medicare an objective measure of a plan’s performance. The rating system gives people a way to consider quality as well as cost as they make their enrollment decisions. Medicare evaluates plans every year and scores them on a scale of 1 to 5 Stars, with 5 Stars indicating the highest performance.

Peoples Health’s 4.5-Star rating is an overall rating – a combination of the two broad categories of health plan and drug plan quality. Peoples Health received 4.5 Stars for both health and drug plan quality.

Under those two broad categories are measures that consider a range of issues such as:

  • Customer service
  • Helping members stay healthy and improving their health
  • Managing chronic conditions
  • Drug safety and appropriate use
  • Disenrollments
  • Member experience with the plan

Much of the information is based on data such as member records and claims information, but understanding member experience can’t be found in data alone. For that score, Medicare goes straight to the source: they survey actual plan members. 

Medicare started rating Medicare Advantage plans in 2008, and Peoples Health has always scored high. For the last five years, we earned a rating of 4 Stars or higher out of 5. This year only 1 in 5 plans nationwide earned 4.5 Stars or higher. In Louisiana, only Peoples Health reached 4.5 Stars — the highest quality rating in the state.

If you’re considering your Medicare options, why settle for anything less than the highest quality rating you can get. If someone tells you Medicare’s Star Rating doesn’t matter, ask them how Medicare rated their plan.