Medicare Plan Finder Gets an Upgrade
For the first time in a decade, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today launched a modernized and redesigned Medicare Plan Finder. The Medicare Plan Finder, the most used tool on Medicare.gov, allows users to shop and compare Medicare Advantage and Part D plans. There are more than 60 million people with Medicare coverage. The updated Medicare Plan Finder also provides them and their caregivers with a personalized experience through a mobile friendly and easy-to-read design that will help them learn about different options and select coverage that best meets their health needs. The new Plan Finder walks users through the Medicare Advantage and Part D enrollment process from start to finish and allows people to view and compare many of the supplemental benefits that Medicare Advantage plans offer.
These changes are part of the Trump Administration’s eMedicare initiative – which expands and improves on current Medicare consumer service options. CMS is improving our online Medicare tools to meet the needs of a growing number of tech savvy beneficiaries. The online tools do not replace Medicare’s traditional customer service options. People with Medicare will continue to have access to paper copies of the Medicare & You handbook and be able get help over the phone using 1-800-MEDICARE.
“President Trump has made it clear that he wants to protect and strengthen Medicare.” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “The redesigned Medicare Plan Finder is another example of how CMS is empowering beneficiaries with price and quality information to take advantage of lower rates and new benefits in Medicare Advantage and Part D.”
In 2019, CMS added nearly 600 Medicare Advantage plans with average premiums declining to their lowest levels in 6 years. Over the past three years, average Part D basic premiums have decreased by 13.5 percent, from $34.70 in 2017 to a projected $30 in 2020, saving beneficiaries about $1.9 billion in premium costs over that time.
The redesigned Medicare Plan Finder will make it easier for beneficiaries to see these changes and to:
CMS has been offering in-person and online training on the new Plan Finder throughout the summer and we plan to offer an additional webinar session in September. We are also producing several other tools to aid with learning the new Plan Finder, including videos and tip sheets.
“We want consumers to have the best tool possible when open enrollment begins on October 15. Try it out and let us know what you think,” said Administrator Verma.
CMS annually provides Medicare health and drug plan data for private sector developers and researchers to use to create innovative new products. CMS intends to release the real-time Medicare plan data in an API format by the end of this year to make it easier for the private sector to create additional tools to help beneficiaries make informed health coverage decisions.
In addition to upgrading Medicare Plan Finder, CMS has redesigned the Medicare.gov homepage and refreshed the personalized MyMedicare.gov portal to create a more seamless, easy to navigate, personalized online experience for people with Medicare.
Approximately 10,000 people join Medicare each day. Today’s announcement builds on the eMedicare initiative that first launched in 2018 to deliver simple tools and information to current and future Medicare beneficiaries. Other new tools launched under the initiative that seeks to deliver personalized and customized information that Medicare beneficiaries prefer include:
Medicare Open Enrollment is the time for people with Medicare to review their health coverage. It begins on October 15, 2019, and ends December 7, 2019. Medicare health and drug plan costs and covered benefits can change from year to year, so people with Medicare should look at their coverage choices and decide on the options that best fit their health needs. They can visit Medicare.gov (https://www.medicare.gov), call 1-800-MEDICARE, or contact their State Health Insurance Assistance Program. Those people with Medicare who do not wish to change their current coverage do not need to re-enroll in order to keep their current coverage.