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What Lower Medicare Advantage Star Ratings in 2023 Mean for You

Medicare Advantage Star Ratings in 2023 have taken a hit, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have viable healthcare options. There are still plenty of policy choices available to you during the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP), beginning October 15.

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Medicare Advantage Star Ratings in 2023 and the Annual Enrollment Period

If you’re looking to compare Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans to prepare for the Annual Enrollment Period, reviewing the CMS Star Ratings for Medicare Advantage is a great start.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) provides each Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D prescription drug plan with a Medicare Star Rating. This review method helps determine each plan’s quality.

The CMS five-star ratings represent the highest-rated Medicare Advantage plans for a service area, whereas one-star ratings represent lower-end plans.

In 2022, 68% of Medicare Advantage plans held a Star Rating of four stars or higher. Fast forward to 2023, and that percentage drops noticeably to only around 51% of Medicare Advantage plans.

This can be a jarring statistic for many shopping Medicare Advantage plans during the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period, but there are important factors surrounding this decline, most notably the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the CMS Star Ratings in 2022.

Why Medicare Advantage Star Ratings in 2023 Are Going Down

The methodology CMS uses to rate plans is subject to routine change. Each year, you can expect to see changes implemented based on data from two years ago.

For example, the latest changes to the methodology include the use of information in the healthcare sector from 2021 as a part of its calculations. This data is in stark contrast to the method used in 2022, which was based on data from 2020.

While many different factors can affect the plans in an area, the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic in 2020 meant different policies that aimed at mitigating penalties for plans due to healthcare conditions that were outside of anyone’s control.

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Such measures have been used on a smaller scale to help affect ratings in areas hit by issues such as widespread natural disasters like hurricanes.

But COVID-19 was much larger than anyone could have anticipated. Thus, the pandemic altered the rating system. Plans with star ratings that decreased between 2021 and 2022 were able to keep their higher ratings.

The Star Rating System for Medicare Advantage plans continues to be an excellent guideline, but it doesn’t guarantee adverse effects for your Medicare Advantage Plan.

2023 CMS Star Ratings Are Going Down, but That Doesn’t Mean Worse Coverage

Medicare Advantage plan offerings vary by service area. Thus, the change in average star rating may not affect you or your plan.

The average Medicare Advantage Star Rating in 2023 is 4.15 stars. This rating reflects that most Medicare Part C plans have above-average ratings. However, in 2022, the average star rating was 4.37, showing a 0.22 star decrease.

Your best bet is to compare how your Medicare Advantage plan rates against this average to determine its performance.

You’ll also want to investigate the specifics of your plan, as determining its performance regarding a specific health need may provide more insight than a general average.

There are many different options available. While ratings may fluctuate yearly, it’s important to research your specific plan to determine whether it is underperforming.

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It’s also worth noting that the average rating for 2023 is higher than the 4.06 average set in 2021 by CMS for Medicare Advantage plans.

You can explore your Medicare coverage options online to compare the Star Ratings of your plan and others for 2023, or contact us today to shop and compare!

Combat Lower Medicare Advantage Star Ratings in 2023 With a Medicare Supplement Plan

While 51% of the Medicare Advantage plans will still achieve higher ratings in 2023, that still leaves a hair under half of the plans available with lower Star Ratings.

Those needing a new Medicare Advantage plan can make changes during the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period, from October 15 until December 7. The final change you make will go into effect beginning the following year.

Additionally, this is an excellent opportunity to explore Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans as an alternative coverage option.

Similar to a Medicare Advantage plan, you receive Medigap coverage through a private insurance company. These plans can help you cover some of the costs that Original Medicare leaves behind.

There are plenty of considerations, as everyone has different needs, but here at MedicareFAQ, we are here to help.

Our team of licensed insurance agents can help you find the right coverage for your medical needs with healthcare that will be there when you need it most.

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If you’ve been negatively affected by decreased Medicare Advantage Star Ratings for 2023 and wish to learn more about switching your coverage, contact us at the above number or fill out our online rate form.


MedicareFAQ is dedicated to providing you with authentic and trustworthy Medicare information. We have strict sourcing guidelines and work diligently to serve our readers with accurate and up-to-date content.

  1. 2023 Medicare Advantage and Part D Star Ratings Fact Sheet, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Accessed October 2022.
Kayla Hopkins

Kayla Hopkins

Content Editor
Kayla Hopkins is an accomplished writer and Medicare educator serving as the Editor of MedicareFAQ.com. Upon completing her Communications degree from Ohio University, Kayla dedicated her time to understanding the ever-evolving landscape of healthcare. With her extensive background as a Licensed Insurance Agent, she brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her writing.
Ashlee Zareczny

Ashlee Zareczny

Compliance Manager
Ashlee Zareczny is the Compliance Manager for MedicareFAQ. As a licensed Medicare agent in all 50 states, she is dedicated to educating those eligible for Medicare by providing the necessary resources and tools. Additionally, Ashlee trains new and tenured Medicare agents on CMS compliance guidelines. Ashlee is a Medicare expert who specializes in Medicare Supplement, Medicare Advantage, and Medicare Part D education.


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