Medicare Advantage Ratings And Voluntary Disenrollment Among Patients With End-Stage Renal Disease
Author: Qijuan Li, Amal N. Trivedi, Omar Galarraga, Michael E. Chernew, Daniel E. Weiner, Vincent Mor
Populations with intensive health care needs and high care costs may be attracted to insurance plans that have high quality ratings, but patients may be likely to disenroll from a plan if their care needs are not met. We assessed the association between publicly reported Medicare Advantage plan star ratings and voluntary disenrollment of incident dialysis patients in the following year over the period 2007–13. We found that Medicare Advantage (MA) plans with lower star ratings had significantly higher rates of disenrollment by incident dialysis patients in the following year. Compared to MA plans with 4.0 or more stars, adjusted disenrollment rates were 3.9 percentage points higher for plans with 3.5 stars, 5.0 percentage points higher for those with 3.0 stars, and 12.1 percentage points higher for those with 2.5 or fewer stars. These findings suggest that low plan quality may lead to increased expenditures, as this high-cost population generally must shift from Medicare Advantage to traditional Medicare upon disenrollment.