October 15 to December 7, 2019, marks Medicare’s annual open enrollment period, which gives millions of enrollees the chance to optimize their plans. Whether you’re looking to improve your drug or health insurance plan, the Plan Finder tool can help you do so without having to leave the comfort of your couch.
Unfortunately, some recent changes to the tool have sparked complaints, especially since there’s not a ton of time to research options before the December 7th deadline. To get you up to speed, we’ll take a look at some of the changes and offer tips on how to make the most out of the Plan Finder’s features.
Changes to the Medicare Plan Finder
The modernized Plan Finder was released to online users a couple of months ago. It was the first time it had seen a significant redesign in nearly 10 years. Here are some of the features you can enjoy via the revamped site:
- Compare coverage on tablets and smartphones.
- View plan benefits and costs, plus which Medicare Advantage plans come with extra benefits.
- View up to three Medicare Advantage or drug plans side-by-side for quick and easy comparison shopping.
- Find optimal Medicare Part D coverage by building a personal drug list.
- Compare prices among Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage, Part D, and Medigap plans.
These options can surely make it easier to find the coverage you need. Some groups in charge of Medical counseling, however, fear that the changes could cause issues for some users.
To avoid those issues, don’t wait until it’s close to the December 7th deadline to try the Plan Finder. Start using it now to get acquainted with the system and secure the coverage you need.
One of the most significant drawbacks to the Plan Finder’s redesign focuses on prescriptions. The old version allowed users to save their prescription lists via password protection, but that data has not carried over to the newest edition. In other words, you may have to enter your medication information once again.
If you have a MyMedicare online account, you can use it to sync your prescription drug information to the Plan Finder. If not, creating a My Medicare account for this feature may be worth your time. Once all of the details have synced, be sure to double-check them in the Plan Finder for accuracy.
Tips for Using the Plan Finder
The Plan Finder may take some getting used to, but once you visit the site, most of it should be self-explanatory.
You can log into your old account, create a new one, or shop for options without logging in. If it’s your first time, you’ll be asked to enter information on various topics, such as:
- What type of 2020 coverage you seek
- Your ZIP code
- Current programs you’re enrolled in, such as Medicaid
- Your search preferences
- And more…
Once your data is entered, the system will reveal which plans fit your criteria. From there, you can see monthly premiums, star ratings that describe the quality of each plan, deductibles, and other details. You can also sort your results according to the lowest monthly premium, the lowest yearly drug deductible, and more.