Five-Star Medicare Advantage Plans

In this article...
  • Every year, Medicare rates Medicare Advantage plans using a 5-star rating scale, with 5-star plans earning the top possible score. Learn how you may be able to enroll in a five-star plan near you.

One of the most important things to consider when shopping for a Medicare Advantage plan (also known as Medicare Part C) is plan quality. 

Fortunately, there’s an easy way to determine just how good a plan is. Every year, Medicare evaluates plans based on a 5-Star Rating System.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) evaluates all Medicare Advantage plans (and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans) and assigns each plan a star rating based on how the plan performs on metrics such as customer service, management of chronic conditions and more.

Plans that earn a five-star rating are the highest rated plans and are typically among the most coveted by beneficiaries. In this review, we look at five-star Medicare Advantage plans, including how they earn that distinction, where to find them, how to enroll in one and more. 

What Is a Five-Star Medicare Plan?

A five-star plan is one that has been given a perfect five-star rating by the CMS.

  • 5 Stars ★★★★★ = Excellent
  • 4 Stars ★★★★ = Above average
  • 3 stars ★★★ = Average
  • 2 stars ★★ = Below average
  • 1 star ★ = Poor

There are 28 unique performance measures used to determine a star rating for Medicare Advantage plans and 38 performance measures to rate a Medicare Advantage plan that includes prescription drug coverage (MA-PD plans).

Those performance measures are grouped into the following categories:

  • Preventive health coverage, including screenings and vaccines
  • Management of chronic conditions
  • Member experience with the plan
  • Member complaints and changes in the plan’s performance
  • Customer service

For Medicare Advantage plans that include prescription drug coverage, an additional four categories are also used. 

  • Customer service for drug benefits
  • Member complaints about drug coverage and changes in the plan’s drug coverage performance
  • Member experience with the drug coverage
  • Drug safety and accuracy of drug pricing

The information used to score each category is collected from plan member surveys, information that health care providers submit to the CMS and regular monitoring.  

Which Medicare Advantage Plans Have the Highest Rating for 2022?

There are 3,834 Medicare Advantage plans available nationwide in 2022. More than 3,400 Medicare Advantage plans (89%) include prescription drug coverage.1

The CMS does not report the total number of plans with a five-star rating, but there are 74 MA-PD contracts that earned a five-star rating for 2022. Each contract may include several different plans, and more than one plan in each contract may have earned a five-star score. 

The table below shows the 74 contracts with at least one five-star plan for 2022. 

Contract Name Parent Organization
VIVA HEALTH, INC.  VIVA Medicare 
UNITEDHEALTHCARE OF THE MIDWEST, INC.  UnitedHealthcare 
HUMANA HEALTH PLAN OF OHIO, INC.  Humana 
CARE IMPROVEMENT PLUS WISCONSIN INSURANCE COMPANY  UnitedHealthcare 
KS PLAN ADMINISTRATORS, LLC  KelseyCare Advantage 
KAISER FOUNDATION HP, INC.  Kaiser Permanente 
KAISER FOUNDATION HP OF CO  Kaiser Permanente 
SIERRA HEALTH AND LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY, INC.  UnitedHealthcare 
CAREPLUS HEALTH PLANS, INC.  CarePlus Health Plans, Inc. 
KAISER FOUNDATION HP OF GA, INC.  Kaiser Permanente 
KAISER FOUNDATION HP, INC.  Kaiser Permanente 
MARTIN'S POINT GENERATIONS ADVANTAGE, INC.  Martin's Point Generations Advantage 
CARE IMPROVEMENT PLUS SOUTH CENTRAL INSURANCE CO.  UnitedHealthcare 
HUMANA HEALTH BENEFIT PLAN OF LOUISIANA, INC.  Humana 
PEOPLES HEALTH, INC.  Peoples Health 
SELECTHEALTH, INC.  SelectHealth 
SIERRA HEALTH AND LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY, INC.  UnitedHealthcare 
KAISER FDTN HLTH PLAN OF THE MID-ATLANTIC STATES  Kaiser Permanente 
COMMONWEALTH CARE ALLIANCE, INC.  Commonwealth Care Alliance, Inc. 
UNITEDHEALTHCARE INSURANCE COMPANY  UnitedHealthcare 
BAYCARE SELECT HEALTH PLANS, INC.  BayCare Health Plans 
TUFTS ASSOCIATED HEALTH MAINTENANCE ORGANIZATION  Tufts Health Plan 
OXFORD HEALTH INSURANCE, INC.  UnitedHealthcare 
PRIMEWEST RURAL MN HEALTH CARE ACCESS INITIATIVE  PrimeWest Health 
SOUTH COUNTRY HEALTH ALLIANCE  South Country Health Alliance 
HEALTHPARTNERS, INC.  HealthPartners 
BLUE PLUS  Blue Plus 
UCARE MINNESOTA  UCare 
GROUP HEALTH PLAN, INC. (MN)  HealthPartners 
ESSENCE HEALTHCARE, INC.  Essence Healthcare 
INDEPENDENT HEALTH BENEFITS CORPORATION  Independent Health 
EXCELLUS HEALTH PLAN, INC.  Excellus Health Plan, Inc 
INDEPENDENT HEALTH ASSOCIATION, INC.  Independent Health 
CAPITAL DISTRICT PHYSICIANS' HEALTH PLAN, INC.  CDPHP Medicare Advantage 
HEALTHPARTNERS UNITYPOINT HEALTH, INC.  HealthPartners UnityPoint Health 
BLUE CROSS & BLUE SHIELD OF RHODE ISLAND  Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island 
AETNA HEALTH INC. (ME)  Aetna Medicare 
AULTCARE HEALTH INSURING CORPORATION  PrimeTime Health Plan 
CARE IMPROVEMENT PLUS WISCONSIN INSURANCE COMPANY  UnitedHealthcare 
UPMC HEALTH PLAN, INC.  UPMC for Life 
HIGHMARK SENIOR HEALTH COMPANY  Highmark Inc. 
KEYSTONE HEALTH PLAN EAST, INC.  Independence Blue Cross 
HIGHMARK CHOICE COMPANY  Highmark Inc. 
BLUE CROSS & BLUE SHIELD OF RHODE ISLAND  Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island 
NHC ADVANTAGE, LLC  NHC Advantage 
CARITEN HEALTH PLAN INC.  Humana 
MEDICAL MUTUAL OF OHIO  Medical Mutual of Ohio 
UNITEDHEALTHCARE BENEFITS OF TEXAS, INC.  UnitedHealthcare 
HEALTHPARTNERS, INC.  HealthPartners 
ASURIS NORTHWEST HEALTH  Asuris Northwest Health 
CDPHP UNIVERSAL BENEFITS, INC.  CDPHP Medicare Advantage 
KAISER FOUNDATION HEALTH PLAN OF WASHINGTON  Kaiser Permanente 
WELLCARE OF CALIFORNIA, INC.  Wellcare 
My Choice Wisconsin Health Plan, Inc.  My Choice Wisconsin Health Plan 
NETWORK HEALTH INSURANCE CORPORATION  Network Health Medicare Advantage Plans 
UNITEDHEALTHCARE OF WISCONSIN, INC.  UnitedHealthcare 
QUARTZ HEALTH PLAN CORPORATION  Quartz Medicare Advantage 
SHARP HEALTH PLAN  Sharp Health Plan 
HEALTHSPRING OF FLORIDA, INC.  Cigna 
MEDICA HEALTHCARE PLANS, INC.  UnitedHealthcare 
HEALTHSUN HEALTH PLANS, INC.  HealthSun Health Plans, Inc. 
HEALTHASSURANCE PENNSYLVANIA, INC.  Aetna Medicare 
Highmark Western and Northeastern New York Inc.  Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New Yor 
UPMC HEALTH NETWORK, INC.  UPMC for Life 
MARTIN'S POINT GENERATIONS ADVANTAGE, INC.  Martin's Point Generations Advantage 
OPTIMUM HEALTHCARE, INC.  Optimum HealthCare, Inc. 
SIERRA HEALTH AND LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY, INC.  UnitedHealthcare 
BLUE CARE NETWORK OF MICHIGAN  Blue Care Network 
CAPITAL HEALTH PLAN  Capital Health Plan 
KAISER FOUNDATION HP OF THE N W  Kaiser Permanente 
PROVIDENCE HEALTH ASSURANCE  Providence Medicare Advantage Plans 
DEAN HEALTH PLAN, INC.  Dean Advantage, Prevea360 Medicare Advantage 
CARE N' CARE INSURANCE COMPANY OF NORTH CAROLINA  CARE N' CARE INSURANCE COMPANY OF NORTH CAROLINA 
QUARTZ HEALTH PLAN MN CORPORATION  Quartz Medicare Advantage 


When weighted by enrollment, more than 26% of MA-PD enrollees belong to a five-star plan in 2022. Nearly 60% of beneficiaries are enrolled in a plan rated at least 4.5 stars, and 90% belong to plans rated at least four stars.2

Which States Have Five-Star Medicare Advantage Plans?

Five-star Medicare Advantage plans can be found nearly everywhere in the U.S. Plan selection varies by state, so contact a licensed insurance agent to ask about any five-star plans available where you live. 

Five-Star Medicare Advantage Plans in Florida

To get an idea of how five-star Medicare Advantage plans may be broken down within a given state, let’s take a look at Florida, which has the second-most Medicare beneficiaries in the country and is among the best states for Medicare

There are 583 Medicare Advantage plans available in Florida in 2022, and 28 of them are rated five stars by the CMS (approximately 5%). Those plans are provided by 28 companies, seven of which offer at least one five-star plan.3

The following Florida Medicare Advantage plans are rated five stars in 2022.

  • BayCare Health
    BayCarePlus Complete, BayCare Plus Premier, BayCarePlus Rewards

  • Capital Health Plan
    Capital Health Plan Advantage Plus, Capital Health Plan Preferred Advantage, Capital Health Plan Silver Advantage

  • CarePlus Health Plans
    CareExtra, CareFree, CareFree PLUS, CareOne, CareOne PLATINUM, CareOne PLUS, CareSalute

  • Cigna
    Cigna Fundamental Medicare, Cigna Preferred Medicare, Cigna Preferred Savings Medicare, Cigna Primary Medicare, Leon Medicare

  • HealthSun Health Plans
    HealthSun HealthAdvantage Plan, HealthSun MediMax

  • Optimum HealthCare
    Optimum Gold Plus Plan, Optimum Gold Rewards Plan, Optimum Platinum Plan

  • UnitedHealthcare
    Erickson Advantage Freedom, Erickson Advantage Liberty with Drugs, Erickson Advantage Liberty without Drugs, Erickson Advantage Signature with Drugs, MedicareMax

What Are the Eligibility Requirements for Five-Star Medicare Plans?

Five-star Medicare Advantage plans have the same eligibility requirements as any other Medicare Advantage plan. This means that you qualify for a five-star plan if you qualify for any other Medicare Advantage plan, as long as a five-star plan is available where you live.

You also have to be enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Part B to be eligible.

When Can You Enroll in a Five-Star Medicare Plan?

There are several different enrollment periods when you may be able to enroll in a five-star Medicare Advantage plan. 

Five-Star Special Enrollment Period

If you are enrolled in a Medicare plan rated less than five stars, you may be able to switch to a five-star plan anytime between December 8 and November 30 of the following year, during what's called the Medicare Five-Star Special Enrollment Period.

Initial Enrollment Period

When you first become eligible for Medicare, you get an Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) that begins three months before the month you turn 65 years old and lasts seven consecutive total months. During this time, you may enroll in a Medicare Part A, Part B and a Part C Medicare Advantage plan, including a five-star plan.

Annual Enrollment Period

The Annual Enrollment Period, also called AEP or the fall Medicare Open Enrollment Period, lasts from October 15 to December 7 each year. During this time, you may enroll in, drop or switch Medicare Advantage plans, including five-star plans. 

Special Enrollment Periods

Additional Special Enrollment Periods may be granted throughout the year for a variety of reasons, such as moving to a new area, losing coverage through no fault of your own and more. If you are granted a Special Enrollment Period because of a qualifying circumstance, you may enroll in a five-star plan if one is available in your area. 

How Do You Enroll in a Five-Star Medicare Advantage Plan?

Contact a licensed insurance agent and ask about any five-star Medicare Advantage plans available where you live. An agent can help you compare any five-star plans sold in your area as you review the costs, coverage and provider networks of each plan to find the coverage you need with the doctors you like at a rate you can afford. 

  1. Freed M, et al. (Nov. 2, 2021). Medicare Advantage 2022 Spotlight: First Look. Kaiser Family Foundation. https://www.kff.org/medicare/issue-brief/medicare-advantage-2022-spotlight-first-look/.

  2. CMS. 2022 Star Ratings Fact Sheet. (Oct. 8, 2021). https://www.cms.gov/files/document/2022-star-ratings-fact-sheet1082021.pdf. 

  3. Ashford, K. (Jan. 19, 2022). Medicare Advantage Plans in Florida. https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/insurance/medicare/medicare-advantage-florida.

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