For many years Minnesota’s Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) have assisted Medicare beneficiaries to learn about, compare and enroll in Medigap, Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D plans.

AAA personnel are deeply concerned about pricing inaccuracies and other issues resulting from use of the Medicare Plan Finder tool for the open enrollment period that began in October.

Medicare beneficiaries are making important choices about their health care coverage based on incorrect information displayed by the Plan Finder tool on the Medicare.gov website.

The issues began on the first day of the open enrollment period, underway since Oct. 15, and scheduled to end on Dec. 7.  Despite promises by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to fix the tool, it continues to produce flawed results.

Consumers need to be aware of the following and possibly other issues:

1. Pricing information may be wrong.

2. There are errors in the drug formularies.

3. The “preferred pharmacy” indicated by the tool may be incorrect and pharmacy network information is incomplete.

4. Information about eligibility for the Medicare Savings Programs may be incorrect.

5. Beneficiaries are not attributed to their current plan.

Minnesota’s AAAs encourage Medicare beneficiaries to reach out to their federal elected officials to ask CMS to immediately remedy this situation and to extend the open enrollment period for at least three months once the Plan Finder tool is fixed.

For beneficiaries who have already enrolled in a plan, AAAs encourage them to contact the plan and verify pricing and other details.

For assistance, call the Senior LinkAge Line at (800) 333-2433. The Senior LinkAge Line is a service of the MN Board on Aging and the regional Area Agencies on Aging.

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