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October 27, 2021
How to Compare Medicare Advantage Plans on Medicare.gov

How to Compare Medicare Advantage Plans on Medicare.gov

With the Annual Enrollment Period in full swing, we thought we’d take a closer look at Medicare’s Plan Finder tool.

This tool allows you to compare Medicare Advantage plans based on location and personal medical needs. Since its revamp in 2019, it has become an incredibly user-friendly resource that is supported on desktop and mobile to let you view plan options anywhere you go.  

Reminder! The Medicare Annual Open Enrollment Period ends December 7 – call us at 833-801-7999 make changes to your health and drug plans before it's over!

Where can I compare Medicare Advantage plans?

You can easily find the Plan Finder by visiting Medicare.gov/plan-compare. From there, follow the instructions on the screen to access plan options in your area.  

What is the best way to compare Medicare Advantage plans?

The best way to compare Medicare Advantage plans is to make sure your personal information is part of the plan comparison. That means making sure you’re adding doctor information, preferred pharmacy and prescription information.

Important reminder: Double check that not only your doctor, but any specialists, your pharmacy and your hospital are in-network when reviewing plan options. With PPOs, out-of-network providers will cost more, and with HMOs, out-of-network providers may not be covered at all, outside of emergencies.

How to compare Medicare Advantage plans using the Plan Finder tool

Step 1: Go to Medicare.gov and enter the Plan Finder.

You can navigate to the Plan Finder by clicking on one of the two places on the home screen that will get you there, as seen in the screenshot below. You can also go directly to the Plan Finder by visiting Medicare.gov/plan-compare.

Step 2: Log in or create a Medicare.gov account.  

We recommend creating a Medicare account if you haven't already. This will automatically pull in your filled prescription information, making it a lot easier to compare plans. Plus, you'll be able to see your plan information in the portal at any time.

Step 3: Once you are logged in, answer the questions on the screen.

You will want to make sure you are looking for a Medicare Advantage plan.

Step 4: Add your ZIP code, click on your city and answer any additional questions.

Medicare Advantage plan options vary by county, so ensure you enter your zip code correctly.

Step 5: Decide if you would like to look at drug cost information during this search.

Most Medicare Advantage plans come with prescription drug coverage bundled into the plan. You will want to indicate if this is something you are interested in before comparing plans.  

If you are not interested, skip to Step 7.

If you need drug coverage and click “Yes,” it will ask you to add your prescription information by either typing in the name of the prescription or looking it up by browsing their drug list.

If you take any maintenance medications and don't enter them, you won't get an accurate plan comparison. Drug costs are an important part of comparing plans!

It will ask you to enter additional information on frequency of use and how often you need it refilled. Once you have entered all your prescription information, click the green “Done Adding Drugs” button at the bottom of the page.

Step 6: Add pharmacy information.

Based on your ZIP code, you will be able to search for pharmacies by typing them in or looking for them on the map feature. You can add up to five pharmacies to compare costs in this section.

We recommend choosing at least three different pharmacies. Different plans have different preferred pharmacies, and this will allow you to find the lowest cost plan.

When you have selected your pharmacies, click the “Done” button at the bottom right-hand side of the page.

Step 7: Compare plans.

Once all the necessary information is entered, you will be able to view and compare plan options available in your area. Plans are automatically sorted by lowest drug + premium cost, which means the most competitive plans should filter towards the top.

Make sure you are carefully reading through the plan information to make sure you are choosing the correct plan for you at the best price point. In our example here, we looked at three plans. Each had different drug costs, but one is clearly different than the others.

Please be aware that just because the prices might be good on prescriptions or another section, it does not mean that will be the best plan overall. It is essential to read all the plan information carefully to make sure you are choosing the best option for you.

Step 8: Enroll in your Medicare Advantage plan.

Once you have reviewed your options and found the right plan for you, all that’s left is to enroll in the plan.

If you want advice on which plan is best for you, help selecting the best choice, or have any questions at all, call us at 888-801-7999. We would love to help you secure your Medicare health coverage for 2022.

Conclusion

The Medicare Plan Finder is a great tool for finding and comparing your plan options. It’s free and easy to use.

However, if you are still wanting an expert opinion, we are here to help. Call us to confirm your plan choice or to receive a no-cost Medicare Advantage plan comparison. We are here to do the heavy lifting for you so you can be confident in your 2022 Medicare plan.

Luke Hockaday
By
Luke Hockaday
Luke Hockaday is a Customer Success Rep here at Medicare Allies. Luke has been helping Medicare-eligible clients with their insurance and retirement-planning needs since 2011. Luke is passionate about 3 things, and 3 things only: senior insurance, football, and food!

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