2012 Medicare Advantage Ratings are out

CMS released Medicare Advantage rates on October 12th prior to the 2012 open enrollment period.  The results show a modest increase in the number of 4.5 and 5 star Medicare Advantage plans for 2012.

Downloading the plan ratings data and analyzing the results resulted in the summary table below.




2012 Medicare Advantage Star ratings

Summary of 2012 Medicare Ratings




Less than 3% of all MA plans received the highest possible rating while another 10% of plans received 4.5 stars out of 5.  Over 6% of PDPs received 5 stars, but less than 2% received 4.5 stars.  More than 15% of MA plans and almost one-third of PDPs received less than the minimum acceptable rating of 3 stars.

The top health plans based on 2012 Medicare Star ratings are:


  • Group Health Cooperative (WA)
  • Gundersen Lutheran Health Plan, Inc. (WI)
  • Health New England / Baystate Health, Inc. (MA)
  • Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. (CA)
  • Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. (CO)
  • Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. (HI)
  • Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. (WA)
  • Martin’s Point Health Care, Inc. (ME)
  • Security Health Plan of Wisconsin / Marshfield Clinic (WI)

MA Only

  • Dean Health Plan, Inc. (WI)
  • Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. (CA)
  • Medical Associates Health Plan, Inc. (IA & IL)


  • BCBS MN, MT, NE, ND, WY, Wellmark IA and SD / MedicareBlue Rx
  • Excellus Health Plan, Inc / Lifetime Healthcare, Inc. (NY)
  • Hawaii Medical Service Association (HI)
  • ODS Health Plan, Inc. (OR)

Interestingly, size is not necessarily a help or hindrance to success.  Kaiser has the largest MA-PD plan in the nation, as well as, one of the smaller MA plans, yet both achieved 5-star status.  The multi-state MedicareBlue Rx plan is one of the 20 largest PDPs in the country.

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