Quality Ratings of Medicare Advantage Plans: Key Changes in the Health Reform Law and 2010 Enrollment Data

NEW: Foundation brief looks at implications of 2011 quality ratings for Medicare Advantage plans.

This Kaiser Family Foundation issue brief examines the key changes in this year’s health reform law that will reward bonuses to private Medicare Advantage plans based on quality rating. Medicare currently rates plans on a five-star scale, with five stars representing the highest quality. The brief analyzes plans based on their quality rating for the current year and also examines enrollment in each of those plans.

The results indicate that private Medicare Advantage plans with high quality ratings are concentrated in certain states, leaving beneficiaries in some states with few if any options for choosing a highly-rated plan. States with more highly-rated plans, and higher enrollment in those plans, are likely to receive more bonuses and quality-based payments under health reform.

The Foundation previously examined quality ratings in relation to the characteristics of Medicare Advantage plans, including type of plan, length of time serving Medicare beneficiaries, and ownership status. That analysis is available online.

Issue Brief (.pdf)

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