If you want to do your own research into Medicare Advantage plans or Part D drug plans, you can use the Medicare.gov website – but you’d better have some patience. The Medicare Plan Finder on Medicare.gov has been re-designed and it’s supposed to be more user-friendly, but it has some problems.
As an insurance agent I have often used the Medicare Plan Finder to look up and compare Part D drug plans and Medicare Advantage plans, so I am familiar with the seven steps required to get me to the list of drug plans and Medicare Advantage plans offered in my county.
My opinion of the revised Medicare Plan Finder is that it is clumsy and confusing – and it is broken because it currently does not bring up all the Medicare Advantage plans in Pima County. When I put in my zip code today, I found that at least three plans were missing from the Medicare Plan Finder list.
Missing from Medicare Plan Finder list: Health Net Ruby 1; AARP Medicare Complete Plan 1; Humana Local and Regional PPOs with Part D
As an insurance agent I have used the Medicare Plan Finder to compare Advantage plans side-by-side for clients. The new plan comparison does not provide all of the information on the side-by-side page to allow for a comparison of every plan benefit and co-pay. For example, in order to get the hospital co-pay figures, you must click on a link that will take you to a summary of benefits – but you must then scroll far down that page in order to get to the “hospital co-pay” information.
The Medicare Plan Finder can be of help if a person takes several prescription drugs and needs to find the stand-alone Part D plan that works best for them. The Plan Finder let’s you put in your prescriptions and dosage and it will identify the Part D plan that will cover your prescriptions at the lowest cost to you. I spoke to a man last year who was able to find a Part D plan that covered his expensive generic pain medication through the donut hole. This saved him thousands of dollars.
Having used the Medicare Plan Finder hundreds of times, I found myself getting impatient with the the new version. But at least I knew what I was looking for. I can imagine a person using the site for the first time would get very frustrated and confused by all the clicks and tabs that must be used to find the details of plans. In conclusion, I think the old version was better.
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