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Honored Social Butterfly

As Medicare Open Enrollment Nears, Popular Price Comparison Tool Is Missing

Hey, somarco or any other expert in these Medicare plans - what can people do if they don't get this fixed pronto?  Look up the plans they are interested in on the insurers website??

 

GOOD GRIEF, GOVERNMENT - Medicare beneficiaries might have to change their strategy this year for picking their best option for a Medicare Advantage Plan and/or a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan during open enrollment.

 

Kaiser Health News 10/08/2019 - As Medicare Enrollment Nears, Popular Price Comparison Tool Is Missi...

 

Millions of older adults can start signing up next week for private policies offering Medicare drug and medical coverage for 2020. But many risk wasting money and even jeopardizing their health care due to changes in Medicare’s plan finder, its most popular website.

 

For more than a decade, beneficiaries used the plan finder to compare dozens of Medicare policies offered by competing insurance companies and get a list of their options. Yet after a website redesign six weeks ago, the search results are missing crucial details: How much will you pay out-of-pocket? And which plan offers the best value?

 

That’s because the plan finder can no longer add up and sort through the prescription costs plus monthly premiums and any deductibles for all those plans. A mere human can try, but it is a cumbersome process fraught with pitfalls. One plan might have the lowest premium but not the lowest drug prices. Another could exclude a plan’s preferred pharmacy that offers lower prescription prices.

 

. . . .Medicare officials say the total cost calculator will be fixed in time for the annual enrollment season, which starts nationwide Oct. 15 and runs through Dec. 7. But they have yet to address multiple other issues raised by the Medicare Rights Center and industry groups.

 

“The new tool will provide more enhanced price and quality information” to assure informed health care decisions, Seema Verma, administrator at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, said when she unveiled the redesign in August.

 

During open enrollment, beneficiaries can sign up for Medicare Advantage plans, the alternative to traditional Medicare that offer drug coverage and often more benefits than the government program does. About a third of the 64 million people in Medicare choose this option. Next year, the average Medicare Advantage monthly premium is expected to drop 14% compared with 2019 to an estimated $23, according to CMS.

 

This is also the only time most people in traditional Medicare can sign up for a drug plan, also known as Part D, to help cover their prescription costs. It’s a good idea to review plans every year since costs and covered drugs can change from year to year. Estimated average monthly premiums for these policies will be $30 next year, about 8% less than in 2019, CMS has reported.

 

Well, let's hope they get this fixed before next week - but if you have problems . . . . . . ???????

At least there is an almost two-month window of opportunity to make your choice -10/15/2019 - 12/07/2019.

 

It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
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Bronze Conversationalist

Ridiculous !  How can the average person figure out a good plan for themselves if the government doesn't know what they're doing either ?

Of course, that's typical of government.

I'm glad I don't have major health issues to further confuse me, but..good luck to any of us who are looking for a new ,'better' health plan next year.

I'll check back here for opinions, suggestions, whatever.

I'm in it for the long run !  Smiley Frustrated

Sandee2
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Honored Social Butterfly

Thanks somarco -

I am just posting this news bit so that any people interested can kind of keep up -

PBS 10/10/2019 - These tips can help you navigate Medicare’s updated online tool

 

Open enrollment should be challenging to say the least -

Good Luck -

It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
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