Significant Medicare Change Will Impact Brokers in 2020
SACRAMENTO, September 4, 2019 – For the first time in a decade, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) redesigned and relaunched the Medicare Plan Finder, Medicare.govs most used tool.
“The new Plan Finder walks users through the Medicare Advantage and Part D enrollment process from start to finish and allows people to view and compare many of the supplemental benefits that Medicare Advantage plans offer,” CMS said in a statement Tuesday morning.
These changes are part of the Trump Administration’s eMedicare initiative to meet the needs of a growing number of tech savvy beneficiaries, but failed to recognize the insurance brokers vital role in supporting Medicare beneficiaries during this process. The changes being made will make it more difficult to run drug plan comparisons for beneficiaries in the future.
For agents who have used the old plan finder to perform drug lookups for beneficiaries, please be aware that when Medicare.gov closes the old version of the Plan Finder, saved drug lists will no longer be accessible to agents. We recommend exporting them manually and storing them securely now.
On the new Medicare Plan Finder, agents are presented with two options when they want to find a plan that will cover their client’s prescriptions most effectively.
- Manually enter the client’s prescriptions into the anonymous view each time you would like to analyze plans.
- Help your client create a MyMedicare.gov account (requires MBI), permanently save prescription drug info, and run the tool with the client present.
This Thursday, September 5, CMS is offering a webinar overviewing the new Medicare Plan Finder. We recommend taking advantage of this opportunity.
In the coming weeks, we’ll share as much information as we can about how to best navigate these new options. In the meantime, we want to remind you that all agents who use our website services have access to their own consumer-facing quoting tool (at no cost!).
This tool has the ability to find and compare plans similar to Medicare.gov. With the new restrictions on the CMS site, your personal quoting tool will become an even more valuable resource to you in 2020.
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