Just half of Medicare Advantage plans with prescription drug coverage received ratings that will earn them bonuses for the 2023 plan year, down from nearly 70% in the current year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services revealed Thursday.
Two hundred and sixty Medicare Advantage plans with pharmacy benefits received at least four stars on CMS' five-point scale, down 19.2% from the prior year. That’s despite a 7.6% increase in the number of policies reviewed, which reached 507 for the coming plan year.
CMS awards 5% quality bonuses to Medicare Advantage insurers that earn at least four stars, which grants them the maximum amount the government will pay. Health insurance companies depend on these bonuses to offer generous supplemental benefits and zero-premium plans, which help differentiate their offerings in a competitive marketplace.
More than 60% of UnitedHealthcare's 74 plans received at least four stars, down from 85.1%, according to a Modern Healthcare analysis of CMS data. UnitedHealth does not believe this analysis is accurate based on its initial assessment, a spokesperson wrote in an email. UnitedHealth, which issued the most plans that received a star rating for 2023, is the nation’s largest Medicare Advantage carrier with 6.9 million members.
Just 1.8% of Centene's plans received a rating of at least four stars this year, down from 32.6%, according to the Modern Healthcare analysis. Centene lost the most stars among large insurers. The insurer offered 55 policies, which is the second-most that received a rating in the program this year. The company did not immediately respond to an interview request.