On average, contracts receiving their first star rating receive 3.20 stars, compared to existing or established contracts receiving 3.90 stars on average.  This 0.70 disparity in quality ratings creates significant hardship on new contracts when this lower star rating decreases their payments in the following calendar year. This article explores the disparity in Medicare Advantage Star Ratings between contracts receiving their first star ratings (“New” contracts) and existing contracts, including:

  1. Understanding what happens to Medicare Advantage Payments when contracts receive lower star ratings? – What is the Star Rating cliff and why does it matter to new contracts?
  2. Explaining when a contract receives their first star rating and how much enrollment this requires – When does the Star Rating cliff occur?
  3. Noting which specific star measures “New” contracts struggle with, including those contracts under large parent organizations, contracts with rapid growth, and all other new contracts. – How can my contract avoid the Star Rating cliff?
New Contract Medicare Star Ratings: Why The Sudden Cliff?