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Medicare's Online Tools Will Help Beneficiaries With Prescription Drug and Health Plan Choices for 2009
Date:11/10/2008

WASHINGTON, Nov. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today announced that beneficiaries, their caregivers, and family members can begin to review 2009 Medicare prescription drug plan and health plan information online through the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Finder and Medicare Options Compare at http://www.medicare.gov.

"This year it is especially important, now and throughout the upcoming open enrollment period, for beneficiaries to use our online tools to compare their current drug and health plan coverage to the options available for 2009 and take action to choose a plan that best meets their needs," said CMS Acting Administrator Kerry Weems. "Some beneficiaries may see significant premium increases or changes, such as reduced coverage in the gap, if they stay in the same prescription drug plan in 2009. Yet, almost 97 percent of beneficiaries enrolled in a stand-alone prescription drug plan (PDP) will have access to Medicare drug and health plans in 2009 whose premiums would be the same or less than their coverage in 2008."

The 2009 Plan Finder allows beneficiaries to compare prescription drug coverage from both stand-alone Prescription Drug Plans (PDPs) and Medicare Advantage (MA) plans that provide prescription drug coverage (MA-PD plans) and to view premiums, formularies, and availability of coverage in the gap. Additionally, the 2009 Medicare Options Compare tool allows beneficiaries to compare Medicare health plan options, such as HMOs and PPOs.

Additional information Plan Finder offers to help beneficiaries search drug plans for the best price and coverage include, estimated out-of-pocket costs, pharmacy networks, and Medicare news and updates. CMS has added a feature to allow beneficiaries to view estimated monthly mail order drug costs in a bar-chart which can be compared to retail drug costs. The Web site also includes an e
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SOURCE Centro de Servicios de Medicare y Medicaid
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