August 22, 2019

CMS Announces Nationwide Expansion of Use of Star Ratings for Marketplace Health Plans

On August 15, 2019, CMS announced that the agency will “require the display of the five-star Quality Rating System (QRS star ratings) available nationwide for health plans offered on the Health Insurance Exchanges beginning with the 2020 Open Enrollment Period.” For the last two Open Enrollment Periods, CMS conducted small pilots of posting QRS star ratings in two states and then five states. CMS also posted “star ratings and quality measure level data from the 2019 Plan Year in a Public Use File (PUF). The agency is making this data from last year available to the public, researchers, agents, brokers, states, health issuers, and consumer groups to allow them to use and analyze the data. The star ratings data for the 2020 Plan Year will be released closer to Open Enrollment.” CMS described this announcement as part of the Trump Administration’s effort to improve healthcare quality transparency.