This week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced plans to improve and update the Medicare Plan Finder (MPF) and the Health Plan Management System (HPMS). HPMS is the system that Medicare Advantage and Part D plans use to provide data about their plan offerings to Medicare, and the MPF is the online tool that allows beneficiaries to evaluate, compare, and enroll in those plans. The changes will be in place for the start of the Medicare Open Enrollment Period starting on October 15 for 2022 plans.
Many of the forthcoming MPF changes reflect suggestions that Medicare Rights and other advocates have made over the years to increase the tool’s functionality and the beneficiary’s experience. For example, we are pleased to see that users will soon be able to find in-network and preferred pharmacies from the “plan results” page, that print options will be updated to allow printing of the “plan results” and “plan compare” pages, and that Medicare will discontinue the out-of-pocket preview for Medicare Advantage (not Part D) annual costs. This last change will eliminate the existing, confusing metric, which does not use any personalized information or claims data to predict utilization of services and does not take Medigap into account in the assessment of the Original Medicare preview, creating a potentially misleading comparison.
We applaud CMS’s continued efforts to examine and improve the MPF and other tools that people with Medicare rely upon to make the best enrollment decisions for themselves and their families.
Medicare Plan Finder is available on Medicare.gov.