Changes to Medicare’s “Plan Finder”

For the first time in 10 years, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) updated its Medicare Plan Finder Tool (MPF). The updated Medicare Plan Finder is designed to be more intuitive and mobile/tablet friendly.

The first time a user accesses the MPF, the user is required to create a MyMedicare.gov account. The account which has a list of your prescription drugs, a personalized Part D and C plan analysis, and can be completed in a timely fashion annually.

The previous MPF has been discontinued, along with drug lists saved under the random ID and date password. Although it will take time for people to adjust, Sourcewise Health Insurance Counseling & Advocacy Program (HICAP) can help Medicare beneficiaries with the transition.

Start by creating a “MyMedicare.gov” account at www.medicare.gov and try it out. Once you are logged in, and after answering some questions, you will see a list of your recent prescriptions. You may select which drugs to include in your analysis to compare drug plans or Medicare Advantage plans for 2020. Later on, you can go back and edit your selection by logging in to your MyMedicare.gov account.

Medicare recipients who decide to not create an account may continue to use the MPF, but the analysis will not be saved or retrievable. This may be fine for those who only have a few prescriptions, but if you have multiple prescriptions you should consider creating an account. Either way, the updated MPF could show you the yearly premium and drug cost combined for Part C and D plans, making it easier to compare plans.

Tech- savvy Medicare beneficiaries will adapt, but Medicare advocates express concern for Medicare beneficiaries who may not be computer literate or those who lack access. HICAP can provide assistance to all Medicare beneficiaries.

Contact HICAP for a free, unbiased, one-on-one counseling session: (408) 350-3200, option 2.

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