UnitedHealthcare Expects 84% of Medicare Advantage Members to be in Plans with
2017 Star Ratings of Four Stars or Higher!
UnitedHealthcare is proud to announce that for 2017 Star Ratings, we expect 84 percent of our Medicare Advantage members will be enrolled in plans with four stars or higher! For 2016 Star Ratings (2017 payment year), approximately 80 percent of UnitedHealthcare MA members are expected to be enrolled in plans rated four stars or higher, achieving this milestone one year earlier than our long-stated goal.
The 2017 Star Ratings were published by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on October 12. Access the new ratings on the Medicare.gov website. Use the How to look up Star Ratings resource to learn more.
What does this mean for agents?
- You are required to communicate the 2017 Star Rating for the plan(s) you present during formal and informal marketing/sales events, one-on-one marketing appointments or telephonically.
- You must use updated ratings information within 21 calendar days of the release, meaning that beginning November 2, 2016, agents are required to distribute the 2017 Star Ratings information from Medicare.gov with the Enrollment Guide as well as refer to the new information at the point of sale.
Navigating consumer conversations
Star Ratings may come up in conversations with consumers this Annual Enrollment Period (AEP). Here is a guide to help you navigate those!
What should I tell consumers who ask about when Star Ratings might change again?
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) uses Star Ratings to rate the quality for Medicare Advantage Plans. Star Ratings measure plans across a number of performance categories – including clinical quality, health plan operations and member satisfaction – on a scale of one to five, with five stars being the highest rating.
Star Ratings are published by CMS only one time per year (typically in October with no updates in between).
Be careful when discussing Star Ratings to avoid using superlatives. When discussing Star Ratings with consumers, the Star Rating should always be given as a number. For example, if a plan is 3.5 stars, the verbiage to the consumer would be, “This plan is rated 3 and a half out of 5 stars.” Agents should never use descriptive terms such as good, pretty good, high, etc., when describing Star Ratings.
Can I give the consumer a printout of the new rating from www.Medicare.gov?
Yes, this is public information and is posted on www.Medicare.gov. Consumers are able to access this information. It is appropriate to offer a printout to the consumer from this website. However, agents cannot use Star Ratings to disparage competitors, Medicare or the federal government.
Can I use existing inventory of Enrollment Guides?
Yes, agents are not required to destroy their inventory, although they are required to communicate the most current Star Ratings. Consumers can access those ratings on the Medicare.gov website. Enrollment Guides with updated Star Rating information will be available on the UnitedHealthcare Distribution Portal soon. Agents will receive communication when the updated guides are available.
What can I do to provide consumers with updated Star Ratings between now and when UnitedHealthcare issues a new Enrollment Guide?
As of October 12, 2016, you can view the 2017 Star Ratings on Medicare.gov. Remember, you are required to provide updated Star Ratings to all consumers as a part of the sales presentation, so be prepared to provide 2017 Star Rating information from Medicare.gov until you have updated Enrollment Guides.
Find more information in the Stars FAQs.