HealthCare.gov and the state Obamacare exchange websites will start publishing quality star ratings for insurance plans, the agency announced Thursday.
The Trump administration said the move is part of its drive toward more transparency and better quality in the healthcare system, and will help people choose a valuable insurance plan.
Under the now-nationwide policy, set to start for the 2020 plan year, exchange insurers will be rated on the sites using a five-star quality rating system similar to what exists for Medicare Advantage. Their number of stars awarded depends on how their enrollees rate their in-network doctors, the care received, customer service, and overall experience with the insurer. HealthCare.gov and all the state exchange sites will post the ratings.
The idea isn't new: Beginning in 2017, the CMS started to experiment with limited pilots in Virginia and Wisconsin. During the 2019 open enrollment period, the pilots rolled out in three more states.
The CMS noted that star ratings may not be universally available yet, in cases where plans are new or have low enrollment. In addition , the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission recently recommended some changes to the star-ratings system for Medicare Advantage.
"This addresses our strongly held commitment to equip consumers with the tools they need to find the best choice possible," CMS Administrator Seema Verma said in a statement. "Increasing transparency and competition drive better quality and cost, with consumers benefiting the most."