CMS to require ACA plans to display star ratings for plans starting in 2020

digitized stars
CMS will now require Affordable Care Act exchange plans to post their quality star rating for consumers to see starting next year. (Pixabay)

The Trump administration will require Affordable Care Act exchange plans to display their star ratings received for quality, in a move aimed at boosting transparency.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said on Thursday that the new requirement will apply to plans sold on the ACA’s exchanges in the 2020 coverage year. Consumers would be able to check a plan’s five-star rating on exchange websites such as Healthcare.gov.

“This addresses our strongly held commitment to equip consumers with the tools they need to find the best choice possible,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma in a statement.

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The star ratings, which rate plans on a scale of one to five, look at a series of quality factors such as network strength and customer service. CMS also has star ratings for hospitals, Medicare Advantage plans and nursing homes.

RELATED: Healthcare groups renew calls for CMS to remove Hospital Compare ratings until methodology assessment

The decision to implement the program nationwide comes after CMS held a pilot program during the 2017 and 2018 ACA open enrollment periods. The agency displayed star ratings for plans in two states: Virginia and Wisconsin during both of those years.

In 2019, CMS expanded the pilot program to also Michigan, Montana and New Hampshire. This coverage year, 84% of consumers on healthcare.gov enrolled in a three, four or five-star plan, according to CMS data.

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