With open enrollment approaching, you may want to take a look at the plans available to you on Medicare’s Plan Finder.
Here’s a primer on what you need to know when navigating the Medicare Plan Finder to find a new Medicare or Part D plan.
Tips for using the Medicare Plan Finder
- Visit the Medicare Plan Finder at www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan.
- You can either search anonymously by zip code, or enter your Medicare number and personal information to get a personalized search.
- In the Plan Finder Tool, Medicare Advantage plans are called “Medicare Health Plans.” You’ll need to know this when selecting which type of plan you have.
- Select which drugs you take and how often you take them. There will also be an option for choosing the generic version of a drug if you take that.
- Select your local pharmacy. This step will be important when it comes to plan costs, as plans have preferred pharmacies with lower copays.
- Use the drop-down menu at the top to see more pharmacies that are farther away. You can choose up to 2 pharmacies.
- A summary will appear of the plans available to you. Be on the lookout for total overall costs, not just premiums.
- When you click on prescription drug plans, four columns will be listed for each plan: estimated annual costs, monthly premiums, deductibles and copays, and drug restrictions.
- You can select up to 3 drug plans to compare at a time.
- Be patient, and call you local State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) for help.
For more information
For more help navigating Plan Finder and choosing the best plan for you, contact your local SHIP or a licensed insurance broker that specializes in Medicare. To find your local State Health Insurance Assistance Program, call 1-800-MEDICARE or visit shiptacenter.org.
When you find a Medicare or Part D plan that suits your needs, call the plan directly to get more information. Make sure to keep records of whom you spoke to and what was said to avoid any confusion later on.
With proper research and preparation, you’ll be on your way to a better Medicare plan for the coming year.