A “five-star rating” is usually correlated with something that is highly rated or rated well by a specific group based on certain criteria. That “five star = the best theory” definitely applies when discussing Medicare Advantage and Part D Prescription plans with a five star rating from CMS on Medicare.gov. It is very hard to achieve a five star rating and a moment of applause should be given to any plan that achieves that status. As an independent agent, I am proud to be contracted with many companies that have five star plans in both the Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plan areas.
Remember, the five star rating does not guarantee it’s the right plan for you, but I take it into consideration when I make my recommendations to clients and also when I make my own personal choices (not just with insurance plans). Sometimes a three star plan has the best prices at the local pharmacy you want to continue to support and it works beautifully for you. The right plan is always unique to your personal medical needs and circumstances, so the ratings should only be a factor in your decision making.
With that being said, a five star rating creates a unique special election period for some people in some areas one time from December 8 to November 30. If there is a Medicare Advantage Plan, a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plan or a Prescription Drug Plan with a five star rating in your area (zip code), you may be able to leave your current Medicare Advantage or Prescription Drug plan and enroll into the five star plan.
Like all other Special Election Periods (SEPs) and rules surrounding Medicare enrollment, you should not make any sudden moves without reviewing your entire current situation and ensuring you are not losing any current benefits you have. It is a serious decision to make a change with any type of insurance plan, but with the volume of information and rapid nature of change in the Medicare market recently, it is imperative to review all aspects of a change, including how that change may affect your current benefits. For the full run down and for the most current information, you can always register for a Medicare.gov account or just go to Medicare.gov.
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