Medicare Quality Ratings for 2013 Health, Drug Plans
Added to Plan Finder
More four, five star plans than ever before for open
enrollment Oct. 15 Dec. 7
Medicare 2013 Open Enrollment
Oct. 15 thru Dec. 7
find Medicare tools and information, and compare the cost or
benefits of 2013 Medicare health plans in your area,
Call 1-800 MEDICARE
Oct. 12, 2012 With the Medicare Open Enrollment
set to open on Monday, October 15, the quality ratings for 2013 Medicare
health and drug plans were released today on the web-based Medicare Plan
Finder. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius made the
announcement today and also declared that people with Medicare have more
high quality choices and the performance of Medicare Advantage plans is
During Medicare Open Enrollment, which lasts from
October 15 through December 7, people with Medicare can use the star
ratings to compare the quality of health and drug plan options and
select the plans that are the best value for their needs for 2013.
Editor's Note: New research indicates
most senior citizens are not making the best choice available to them in
drug plans - see link in box for Related Archive Stories.
Seniors Citizens Overspend On Medicare Part D Drug
Program: Health Affairs Study
Only 5.2 percent of Medicare recipients chose the
most economic Part D plan available - Oct. 11, 2012
Seniors Must Shop to Avoid Big Hikes in Top Medicare
Drug Plans: Avalere
Average increase may be moderate in 2013, but varies
widely; 7 of top 10 plans have double digit premium jumps
Sept. 26, 2012
Medicare Enrollment to Open with Premiums Flat for
Drug, Advantage Plans in 2013
Medicare Advantage Plans expected to continue growth
up 28% since Obamacare, cost down 10%; Enrollment opens Oct. 15 for
Sept. 20, 2012
HHS Touts Growth in Medicare Advantage Plans, Drop
in Premiums Ahead of Hearing
GOP working on case that Obamacare cut MA plans,
causing seniors to leave program; House Ways and Means Health
Subcommittee hearing Friday
Sept. 20, 2012
Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Premiums to Remain Steady for Third Year
Annual enrollment period begins Oct. 15 and ends Dec. 7, 2012.
Aug. 7, 2012
Couple of Things Seniors May Not Know About Social
There are things women in particular should know about Social Security
Aug. 3, 2012
Read the latest news
Medicare Drug Program
prior to 2009
In 2013, people with Medicare will have access to
a wide range of plan choices, including more four and five star plans
than ever before, said Secretary Sebelius.
In 2013 seniors with Medicare will have available -
● Access to 127 four or five-star Medicare
Advantage plans. These plans currently serve 37 percent of Medicare
Advantage enrollees, and may attract more with their improved quality
ratings. In 2012, people with Medicare had access to 106 four or five
star plans, which served only 28 percent of enrollees.
● Access to 26 four or five star prescription
drug plans, which currently serve 18 percent of enrollees. This is an
improvement from 2012, in which 13 four or five star plans are serving
only 9 percent of enrollees.
In the rating system Medicare plans are given an
overall rating on a 1 to 5 star scale, with 1 star representing poor
performance and 5 stars representing excellent performance. Users of the
Plan Finder will also see a gold star icon designating the top rated
5-star plans, and a different icon for those plans who are consistently
As a result of provisions in the Affordable Care
Act (Obamacare), Medicare is doing more to promote enrollment in high
quality plans and alert beneficiaries who are enrolled in lower quality
Now, persons with Medicare enrolled in consistently
low performing plans (those receiving less than 3 stars for at least the
past 3 years) will receive notifications to let them know how they can
change to a higher quality plan if they choose to do so.
Five-Star Plans Have Enrollment All Year
In addition, 5-star plans are rewarded by being
allowed to continuously market and enroll beneficiaries throughout the
year. In 2012, thousands of people with Medicare took advantage of this
opportunity to join a top performing plan.
Obamacare Offers More Coverage in Donut Hole
Obamacare phases out the Medicare prescription drug
coverage gap also known as the donut hole. In 2013, people with
Medicare who reach the donut hole will receive approximately 53
percent off the cost of brand name drugs and 21 percent off the cost of
generic drugs. Medicare beneficiaries will also continue to benefit from
Medicare-covered preventive services at zero cost-sharing, including a
yearly Wellness visit.
At the same time that quality is improving and
benefits are increasing, premiums in the Medicare Advantage program are
remaining steady, according to HHS. Since the Affordable Care Act was
passed in 2010 through 2013, Medicare Advantage premiums have fallen by
10 percent and enrollment is increasing by 28 percent. The average
estimated basic Medicare prescription drug plan (PDP) premium is
projected to hold steady from last year, at $30 for 2013.
Medicare Plan Finder users can search for MA and
Prescription Drug Plans being offered in their areas by inserting their
home zip code. The Medicare Formulary Finder is also available online to
help people with Medicare find local plans that cover their specific
medications. Both Finders and other helpful Medicare tools are available
For details about the 2013 Part C and D Plan
Quality Ratings released today,
For more information about Open Enrollment,
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