Medicare's New Online Drug Plan Finder Might Lead to Higher Costs

FRIDAY, Nov. 22, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Medicare's newly-overhauled prescription plan finder can direct unsuspecting users to coverage that's much more expensive than necessary, experts say.

The plan finder -- which recently got its first major update in a decade -- serves about 60 million Medicare recipients and is the most commonly used tool on Medicare.gov, the AP reported.

Government officials say the revamp will help beneficiaries take advantage of their insurance options, but program experts and people who help with sign-ups say the tool can obscure out-of-pocket costs that seniors should factor into their choices.

"I want to make sure people are given the most accurate information and they're making the best decision -- because they are the ones stuck with it," Ann Kayrish, senior program manager for Medicare at the nonpartisan National Council on Aging, told the AP.

"If they pick the plan based solely on the premium they are likely getting a plan that could cost them thousands more in a calendar year," Christina Reeg, heads of an Ohio Department of Insurance program that helps Medicare enrollees find the right plan, told the AP.

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