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En español | Medicare rates each Part D drug plan and Medicare Advantage plan for quality, using a scale of one to five stars — ranging from “poor” (one star) to “excellent” (five stars). Medicare bases these ratings on a number of different measures, including feedback from people enrolled in the plans, complaints filed against plans, spot-checks by Medicare investigators, reliability of pricing information posted online and so on.

If a plan earns the relatively rare top five-star quality rating, Medicare places a large gold star icon next to its name on the Medicare online plan-finder program, at If there is such a plan in your area, you would have the option to switch to it at any time of the year, without waiting for the annual open enrollment period.

Similarly, Medicare alerts you to any plan with consistently poor ratings — those that have low ratings for three years in a row — by posting a red warning icon next to its name on the plan-finder program.

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