Biden-Harris Administration Prepares to Kick Off Medicare Open Enrollment and Releases 2024 Medicare Advantage and Part D Star Ratings
Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the 2024 Star Ratings for Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) and Medicare Part D to help people with Medicare compare health and prescription drug plans ahead of Medicare Open Enrollment, which kicks off on October 15.
Thanks to the President’s lower cost prescription drug law, people with Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage will continue to have improved and more affordable benefits in 2024, including a $35 cost-sharing limit on a month’s supply of each covered insulin product, recommended adult vaccines at no cost, and additional savings on their Medicare Part D drug coverage costs. These savings include the expansion of the Low-Income Subsidy (LIS) program, also called Extra Help, which helps eligible enrollees afford their premiums and cost-sharing, and no cost sharing in the catastrophic phase of the Part D benefit for millions of people with very high drug expenses who reach the catastrophic phase. People who use an insulin pump that’s covered under Medicare Part B’s durable medical equipment benefit, or who get their covered insulin through a Medicare Advantage Plan, will also continue to have their insulin costs capped at $35 for a one-month supply of insulin.
The Star Ratings for Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans are released annually and reflect the experiences of people enrolled in Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug plans. Plans are rated on a one-to-five scale, with one star representing poor performance and five stars representing the highest level of performance. The Star Ratings system supports CMS’ efforts to empower people to make health care decisions that are best for them.
“The Medicare Advantage and Part D Star Ratings are important tools to help people find the right option for their needs and circumstances, and make informed health care decisions,” said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. “CMS encourages people with Medicare to review their coverage options. As Medicare Open Enrollment approaches, many people with Medicare can expect to see improved benefits and lower prescription drug costs because of the historic Inflation Reduction Act.”
People with Medicare can compare quality through the Star Ratings, along with other information, such as cost and coverage, on the online Medicare Plan Finder tool available on Medicare.gov. Approximately 74% of people currently in Medicare Advantage plans that offer prescription drug coverage are enrolled in a plan that earned four or more stars in 2024. Approximately 42% of Medicare Advantage plans that offer prescription drug coverage will have an overall rating of four stars or higher in 2024.
For more information on the 2024 Medicare Advantage and Part D Star Ratings, including a fact sheet, please visit: http://go.cms.gov/partcanddstarratings.
Medicare is Here to Help with Open Enrollment
Medicare Open Enrollment begins October 15, 2023, and ends December 7, 2023, with coverage changes taking effect January 1, 2024. During this time, people with Medicare can compare coverage options, like Traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage, and choose health and drug plans for 2024. Medicare Advantage and Part D plan costs and covered benefits can change from year to year, so people with Medicare should look at their coverage choices and decide on the options that best meet their health needs.
Since 2021, CMS has introduced a number of enhancements to Medicare.gov to optimize customer experience and create a more welcoming and user-friendly experience. Improvements include a redesigned Medicare.gov home page, the addition of pricing details to the Medigap policy comparison, streamlined information on the Medicare Plan Finder, and a redesigned “Talk to Someone” section to find additional help and contacts.
Here are four ways people with Medicare can compare plans and look at savings options:
- Go to gov to learn the difference between Traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage, and do side-by-side comparisons of costs and coverage for Medicare Advantage and prescription drug plans.
- Call 1-800-MEDICARE. Help is available 24 hours a day, including weekends.
- Access personalized health insurance counseling at no cost, available from State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIP). Visit org or call 1-800-MEDICARE for each SHIP’s phone number. Many SHIPs also offer virtual counseling.
- Check eligibility for the Medicare Savings Programs and the Part D Low-Income Subsidy Program. If you have limited income and resources, you could qualify for Medicare Savings Programs, run by your state Medicaid program, or for the Part D Low-Income Subsidy Program. These programs could help save you money on health and prescription drug costs and could reduce your Part B premium and/or Part D premium to $0. For more information, contact your state Medicaid program or call 1-800-MEDICARE and ask about Medicare Savings Programs. To learn more about the Part D Low-Income Subsidy Program, visit: gov/extrahelp or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).