After making some enhancements to the Medicare shopping and enrollment experience over the last several years, CMS is conducting a major redesign of the Medicare Plan Finder (MPF) that will be ready for use by the fall Annual Election Period (AEP). CMS’s goals in updating the tool are to improve usability and address “pain points” that have been flagged by users and stakeholders about complexity, jargon and other issues, Jon Booth, director of the web and new media group within the CMS Office of Communications, told attendees at the CMS Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plan Spring Conference and Webcast on May 1.The last big change that CMS made to the MPF was in 2010 when it combined the MA and Original Medicare shopping tools, which had been separate up until that point, said Booth. The agency in 2018 launched an out-of-pocket cost estimator and an updated Coverage Wizard to help beneficiaries better understand their options and piloted a chat function. And CMS in 2016 made several changes to include more transparency around enforcement actions, such as the addition of a “Sanctioned Plan” button allowing users to click and see more information about the specific sanction.
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