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Over Twenty-eight million people can take advantage of a 2024 "5-Star" Medicare plan and can use the 5-Star Special Enrollment period in 2024.

Category: Star Ratings & Plan Quality
Published: Oct, 17 2023 10:10:39

Over 28 million people have access to a 2024 Medicare Advantage plan with a 5-Star quality rating - and this means these people will have the option of using the 5-Star Special Enrollment Period (SEP) to change to a 5-Star Medicare plan once during 2024.

A little background: What is the 5-Star Special Enrollment Period?

Special Enrollment Periods (SEPs) allow you to change Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage plans outside of the annual Open Enrollment Period (AEP) that runs from October 15th through December 7th.  But, SEPs are usually granted only for exceptional reasons or circumstances (such as when you move to a new area of the country).  However, one of the most accessible Special Enrollment Periods (available in specific areas of the country) is the 5-star Special Enrollment Period. The 5-star SEP allows anyone in the 5-Star plan's service area (ZIP code area) the opportunity to leave their current Medicare plan and join a 5-star rated Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage plan - at any time during the year - but you can only use this SEP once during the plan year.  You can even leave your 5-star rated Medicare plan to join another 5-star plan that may be available in your area.

You can click here to read more about the 5-star Special Enrollment Period - with a few cautions about choosing your 5-star plan.  You can click here to read more about other Special Enrollment Periods.

How is it possible that 28 million Medicare beneficiaries can use the 2024 5-star SEP?

In 2024, 5-Star rated Medicare Advantage plans are available in 1,399 counties across 43 states.  Unfortunately, the only 5-star rated Medicare Part D prescription drug plans (PDPs) are employer/union plans.

Currently*, there are approximately 28,099,942 Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in a Medicare plan that has a star rating of less than 5 stars - and these people are living in counties where a 5-Star rated Medicare Advantage plan is available (MA, MAPD, or SNPs).

(*Using September 2023 CMS Enrollment Data)

More about the 5-star Medicare plans that are available in 2024

The chart below lists the carriers whose Medicare Advantage plans have a 5-Star CMS quality rating for the plan year 2024. Since there are many 5-Star Medicare Advantage plans, we are not able to list each plan individually.

Carriers Offering 5-Star Rated
Medicare Advantage Plans (MA, MAPD)

Contract ID
Nbr of Counties
Dean Health Plan, Inc.H526416
Devoted HealthH1290119
Devoted HealthH2697320
Essence HealthcareH2610108
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield or Highmark Blue SH3957180
Independent HealthH334424
Independent HealthH336249
KelseyCare AdvantageH033246
Leon Health PlansH42863
MCS ClassicareH55771,111
Medical Associates Clinic Health Plan of WisconsinH525617
Medical Associates Health Plan, Inc.H165167
Network Health Medicare Advantage PlansH5215154
NHC AdvantageH417254
Optimum HealthCare, Inc.H5594119
Peoples HealthH1961174
PrimeTime Health PlanH366447
Quartz Medicare AdvantageH983420
Select HealthH1994151
Simply Healthcare Plans, Inc.H5471100
UPMC for LifeH3907306
UPMC for LifeH5533221
VIVA MedicareH0154192
West Virginia Senior AdvantageH915347

The chart below lists the states where 5-Star rated Medicare Advantage plans are available in 2024. Unfortunately, California, Hawaii, and Vermont will no longer have a 5-Star Medicare Advantage plan available, however Nebraska and Puerto Rico will now have at least 5-Star plans available for 2024.

Once on the state page, you can click on your county to see a list of plans available along with plan highlights and links to plan details, formulary, and star rating details.  Any plan marked with the 5-star rating icon qualifies for the 2024 5-Star Special Enrollment Period (SEP).

Medicare beneficiaries currently enrolled any MA, MAPD, or PDP plan (including people already enrolled in another Medicare plan with 5-star rating) can take advantage of the 5-star Special Enrollment Period. The 5-star rating SEP can only be used one time during the plan year. 

Remember:  If you are currently enrolled in a stand-alone Medicare Part D plan (PDP) and wish to join a 5-star Medicare Advantage plan (MAPD or SNP), you must also be enrolled in Original Medicare Part A and Part B - and meet the eligibility requirements if the plan is a Special Needs Plan (SNP).  Click here to read more about 5-star SEP cautions.

States, County Count, and
Number of Medicare Beneficiaries Who Can Take Advantage of a
5-Star Medicare Advantage Plans (MA, MAPD)

Nbr of Counties
Nbr of People

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  • When enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan, you must continue to pay your Medicare Part B premium.
  • Medicare beneficiaries with higher incomes may be required to pay both a Medicare Part B and Medicare Part D Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA). Read more on IRMAA.
  • Medicare Advantage plans that include prescription drug coverage (MAPDs) are considered Medicare Part D plans and members with higher incomes may be subject to the Medicare Part D Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA), just as members in stand-alone Part D plans. In certain situations, you can appeal IRMAA.
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  • If you are enrolled in a Medicare plan with Part D prescription drug coverage, you may be eligible for financial Extra Help to assist with the payment of your prescription drug premiums and drug purchases. To see if you qualify for Extra Help, call: 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048, 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week or consult www.medicare.gov; the Social Security Office at 1-800-772-1213 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. TTY users should call, 1-800-325-0778; or your state Medicaid Office.
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  • Disclaimer for Dual Eligible (Medicare/Medicaid) Special Needs Plan (SNP): This plan is available to anyone who has both Medical Assistance from the State and Medicare. Premiums, co-pays, co-insurance, and deductibles may vary based on the level of Extra Help you receive. Please contact the plan for further details.
  • Disclaimer for Chronic Condition Special Needs Plan (SNP): This plan is available to anyone with Medicare who has been diagnosed with the plan specific Chronic Condition.
  • Medicare MSA Plans combine a high deductible Medicare Advantage Plan and a trust or custodial savings account (as defined and/or approved by the IRS). The plan deposits money from Medicare into the account. You can use this money to pay for your health care costs, but only Medicare-covered expenses count toward your deductible. The amount deposited is usually less than your deductible amount, so you generally have to pay out-of-pocket before your coverage begins.
  • Medicare MSA Plans do not cover prescription drugs. If you join a Medicare MSA Plan, you can also join any separate (stand-alone) Medicare Part D prescription drug plan
  • There are additional restrictions to join an MSA plan, and enrollment is generally for a full calendar year unless you meet certain exceptions. Those who disenroll during the calendar year will owe a portion of the account deposit back to the plan. Contact the plan provider for additional information.
  • Medicare beneficiaries may enroll through the CMS Medicare Online Enrollment Center located at www.medicare.gov.
  • Medicare beneficiaries can file a complaint with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services by calling 1-800-MEDICARE 24 hours a day/7 days or using the medicare.gov site. Beneficiaries can appoint a representative by submitting CMS Form-1696.