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Monthly Archives: December 2019

Medicare Rights NY: Issue 17

Medicare Rights Advocacy Medicare Rights works with the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to continue to improve Medicare Plan Finder Medicare Rights remains concerned that the Medicare Plan Finder redesign may further complicate the plan comparison process for some beneficiaries. Specifically, issues with the new tool’s roll-out, content, […]

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There’s a Special Enrollment Period Available if you Experienced Plan Finder Problems

If you are dissatisfied with your plan selection because of misinformation you saw on Plan Finder, you can use a special circumstances Special Enrollment Period (SEP) to choose a new plan. This SEP exists to address enrollment problems that do not fit into any other SEP category or that are related to misinformation received from plans or Medicare.

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Lawmakers Raise Medicare Plan Finder Concerns

This week, a bipartisan group of leaders from the U.S. House of Representatives Committees on Energy & Commerce and Ways & Means sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) expressing concerns with the redesigned Medicare Plan Finder (MPF). The letter points to errors that advocates and Medicare counselors experienced when using the new tool to help beneficiaries compare and select Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug plans during Fall Open Enrollment. In the letter, the leaders urge CMS to ensure that people with Medicare who relied on MPF information to choose a plan this year are held harmless and have the opportunity to make changes to their coverage in 2020.

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Now’s the Time to Tell Congress to Vote Yes on H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act

This week, the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to consider the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act (H.R. 3). This landmark bill takes significant steps to rein in high and rising prescription drug prices and lower costs for people with Medicare, including authorizing Medicare to negotiate prices for certain drugs and capping beneficiary out-of-pocket drug spending at $2,000 per year.

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New Data Show Very Few People with Medicare Choose to Switch Plans Each Year

A new data note from the non-profit Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), however, reveals that very few people with Medicare end up switching plans during the fall. Among MA and PDP plan enrollees who did not receive low-income subsidies, fewer than 8% of people enrolled in MA plans chose to switch to another MA plan in 2016. The pattern is similar for standalone drug plans–just over 8% switched from one PDP to another. This could mean that beneficiaries have reviewed and are happy with their coverage, but it might highlight a more troubling reality– people may not know they can switch plans or may find the process of comparing plan options too burdensome.

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