Among the dozens of things that family caregivers do for their aging relatives is helping them with insurance issues. Some caregivers assist older adults in choosing the right Medicare plan for them. Because there are many options available, that can be difficult. Fortunately, the federal government offers a way to make choosing a Medicare plan easier for both seniors and their family caregivers. There is a tool called the Medicare Plan Finder available on the medicare.gov page helps users determine the best plan for them. Now, for the first time in a decade, the finder tool has been updated to be even easier to use.
What is the Medicare Plan Finder?
The Medicare Plan Finder is the most highly used tool available on the Medicare website. It lets users compare plans available to them. As users shop the plans, they are presented with information about the cost of the plan and some of the basics of how qualifying medical costs are covered. Caregivers and their aging relatives can use the information to determine which plan will provide the best coverage for the senior’s existing conditions and available funds.
What Has Changed?
The redesign of the tool is just in time for the open enrollment period that begins on October 15 and runs through December 7. During this time, seniors can enroll in Medicare or change the plan they are currently on. In the past, feedback from Medicare beneficiaries, caregivers, and agencies that help seniors navigate Medicare has indicated that people found the old tool hard to use and understand.
The first change the government has made toward making the Plan Finder tool more accessible is a redesign of the home page of the medicare.gov website. The link to the tool is easier to find and requires fewer clicks to get to the information needed to make a choice.
Caregivers and seniors can also compare as many as three Part D drug plans at one time, letting them make a better decision about which plan is right for the older adult. In addition, the tool lets users enter the names of drugs the senior is taking to create a personal drug list and see which Part D plan best meets their needs. As the user types in drug names, the Plan Finder also tells them if a generic that may cost less is available.
It is the hope of the government that the enhancements made to the Plan Finder tool will let older adults find the best plan for them with less frustration and more clarity about their options. Caregivers and older adults can use the tool now to look at plans and start thinking about what they want to do. During the open enrollment period, the tool will allow users to go through the entire decision process including enrollment.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering a Caregiver in Durham NC, NC please contact the caring staff at Affordable Family Care. Serving Raleigh, Greensboro, and the surrounding areas in North Carolina. Call today 919-676-1070.
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