The Medicare Project   
a consumer's guide to Medicare Information resources

topics in this section: Comparing Medicare Plans, Prescription plans, Medicare Insurance, Coverage, Comparisons

Comparing Medicare Plans The Medicare Project Home

Comparing Medicare Prescription Plans, Insurance & Coverage
Multiple resources that provide information and tools to compare the Medicare Prescription (Part D) Plans: Health Care Insurance, and Medicare Basic

This is one section of The Medicare Project, a series of consumer directories that help seniors through the maze of Medicare information in the hundreds of pages at government and private websites. Our editors have chosen these recommendations to help you find answers to questions about Medicare insurance and coverage. This section focuses on comparing Medicare Plans, Insurance, and Coverage.

An introduction to Comparing Your Different Medicare Plan Choices

We expected there would be a large selection of choices when our editors began their review of the sites and brochures that could help you learn how to compare Medicare plans. We were surprised when we found only a rather short list of selections.

Of course, there are commercial websites --mostly insurance companies and brokerages-- that offer some comparison help between different Medicare plans, but the choices are usually limited, often to only plans from one company. We recommend that you start your learning process about comparing Medicare plans by exploring the government, education, and other resources we have offered below.

(For other Medicare topics, see our home page The Medicare Project - home)

Web pages and brochures from government, education, and non-commercial sites about comparing Medicare plans:

How to Compare Medicare Prescription Drug Plans

source:Medicare Rights Center
file size: 2 pgs; languages: English
from the brochure: "Before you start looking at plans use chart on the back of this page to: · Make a list of the medicines you take and how much you currently pay for them. You may want to ask your doctor for help. · Make note of pharmacies you use regularly...."

web page:
Comparison Chart: Key Differences Among the Medicare Plans

languages: English
from the web page: "...1. Prescription Drugs; 2. Out-of-Pocket Costs; 3. Doctor and Hospital Choice; 4. Specialists; 5. Travel Coverage; 6. Financial Incentives..."
also from AARP:
web page:
Choosing the Right Medicare Plan for You
languages: English
from the web page: "...You may be able to get Medicare coverage through: The Original Medicare Plan ; Medicare Advantage Plans; Medicare Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) ; Medicare Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs), and Medicare Private-Fee-For-Service (PFFS) Plans ; Medicare Medical Savings Account (MSA) Plans; Medicare Prescription Drug Plan..."

how to use this data

web page:
Find & Compare Medicare Health Plans - The Official U.S. Government Site for People with Medicare
languages: English, Spanish
description: Information on costs, benefits, doctor choice and quality of the Medicare plans in your area.
more from - The Official U.S. Government Site for People with Medicare:
web page:
Find & Compare Plans that Cover Drugs
languages: English
from the web page: "There are two types of Medicare plans that provide prescription drug coverage: Medicare Prescription Drug Plans... These plans add prescription drug coverage to the Original Medicare Plan, and certain types of Medicare Health Plans... Medicare Health Plans... Some of these plans cover both health care and prescription drugs..."

web page:
Medicare Worksheet for Comparing Medicare Health Plans

source:Federal Citizen Information Center of the U.S. General Services Administration
languages: English
from the web page:"...Medicare health plans may have differences among them, such as cost, choice of providers, extra benefits, quality, paperwork,complaints, and convenience. Use this worksheet to ask the questions that are important to you and compare the answers. The information you gather will help you compare plans ..."

Things to Think about when You Compare Medicare Drug Coverage

source:Cornell University Resource Education for Medicare Part D
file size: 8 pgs; languages: English
from the brochure: "To get Medicare coverage for your prescription drugs, you have two options. If you have the Original Medicare Plan, you must choose and join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan. Or, you may be able to choose and join a Medicare Advantage Plan (like an HMO or PPO) that includes Medicare drug coverage. Whichever you choose, you should know that prescription drug coverage can vary by cost, coverage, and convenience...."

web page:
Standardized Medigap Plans and Benefits

source:Medicare Rights Center
languages: English
from the web page: "There are 12 Medigaps plans designed to help fill the gaps in Medicare coverage. The plans are standardized to offer the same benefits regardless of what company offers them. The only difference between companies is cost. The most popular Medigap plans are C and F. Note: The numbers listed below are for 2008..."

web page:
Medicare Prescription Drug Rating System Useless for Most Seniors Shopping for a Plan

source:Consumers Union
languages: English
from the web page: "...In a letter sent to CMS Acting Administrator Kerry Weems, CU suggests the existing system be replaced with consumer-friendly ratings, including which plans raised drug prices the most, how many drugs a plan stopped covering during the year, how accurately and quickly they answer the phone, and the number of times a plan turned down consumers’ requests to get their drugs covered..."

web page:
Drug-Plan Shopping

source:WSJ Online
November 4, 2007; languages: English
from the web page: "Seniors: Even if you are satisfied with your Medicare prescription-drug plan for 2007, you need to do some research before re-enrolling..."


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