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CMS to Release Star Ratings for ACA Exchanges Nov 1

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As reported in August, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will require the display of the five-star Quality Rating System (or star ratings) available nationwide for health plans offered on the Health Insurance Exchanges beginning with the 2020 Open Enrollment Period. Healthcare Dive writes that federal regulators will unveil the ratings Nov. 1, allowing those shopping during ACA open enrollment to see the ranking for a plan they’re considering, with one star being the lowest and five stars the highest.

However, consumers were left with only one insurance carrier selling plans in many counties throughout Missouri, Nebraska, Wyoming, Arizona, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. And very few places had the option of three carriers. Choices have continued to dwindle since the launch of the exchanges. In 2014, many more choices were available, including large swaths of the country with access to three or more carriers.

Consumers with few choices who see their only options garnering a less-than-stellar star rating may be prompted to make bad choices, such as going without health insurance or to purchase non-compliant coverage that lacks the same consumer protections, warns Cynthia cox, vice president of the Kaiser Family Foundation.

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