Study: Most Seniors Unfamiliar with Medicare Star Quality Ratings

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Yesterday, Kaiser Permanente released findings from a study it commissioned that showed surprisingly low awareness and understanding among seniors of the Medicare Star Quality Ratings System.  Medicare Stars, which annually rates plans on 50 care-quality measures, was created by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to help seniors select health plans based on measurable data of quality standards.  Key findings of the Harris Interactive study:

  • Only 2 percent of seniors surveyed know the Medicare Stars ratings of their own, current plan
  • 67 percent don’t know where to find information on the Medicare Star Quality Ratings
  • 60 percent haven’t even heard of the Medicare Star Quality Ratings System

Medicare open enrollment is about to kick off, and as the saying goes, knowledge is power.  Seniors who would like to learn more about the ratings can visit the CMS website (www.medicare.gov) or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Kaiser Permanente has also launched a website to answer frequently asked questions about the ratings:  www.kp.org/medicarestars.  If you’re interested in reading about the study in more detail, you can check out the report here.

Meanwhile, let us know what you know in the poll below.