Medicare Advantage star rating linked to enrollment

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When Medicare Advantage insurers have a higher star quality rating, they see greater enrollment numbers, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The authors studied almost 1.3 million Medicare beneficiaries and found that when insurers improved their rating by one star, they also boosted their enrollment by 9.5 percent, reported Kaiser Health News. And the highest rating available--five stars--was associated with a 1.9 percentage-point increase in likelihood to enroll.

"This is a reassuring story that helps to confirm that by providing beneficiaries with better information, by empowering them, they're making better decisions," said study coauthor William Shrank. "These findings may provide firms with additional incentive to cultivate higher quality, CMS with justification to continue to advance public reporting, and policy makers with a rationale to pursue quality reporting in other health insurance markets," the authors concluded. Article