Compare Medicare plans using the Plan Finder tool at the Medicare.gov website, advises Kiplinger. For a general search, enter your ZIP code and click on Find Plans, instructs Medicare.gov. To conduct a personalized search, enter your name, Medicare number, date of birth, ZIP code and the effective date of your Medicare coverage.
After you enter your primary search criteria, the Plan Finder requests information on your current Medicare plan, medications you take and local pharmacies you frequent, although you can waive the question about pharmacies, explains Kiplinger. Click on Medicare Health Plans to see a summary of the health plans in your area with and without drug coverage as well as the Medicare Part D prescription drug plans. Narrow your search by entering other options such as your health status and the maximum premiums you are willing to pay. The Plan Finder allows you to compare the costs of premiums, deductibles, co-payments and other out-of-pocket expenses for each plan.
For more information about out-of-network doctor visits, specialty visits, emergency care and other services, click on Health Plan Benefits, notes Kiplinger. Be sure to check that your preferred health care providers and hospitals are part of the plans you are interested in. Medicare.gov assesses the customer service quality of each plan with a star rating.