Q1Medicare.com Updates Online Tutorial with Tips to Help Beneficiaries Navigate the Medicare.gov Plan Finder

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Q1Medicare.com has updated their 2012 Medicare.gov Plan Finder tutorial highlighting some of the recent changes to the Medicare tool. The Q1Medicare online tutorial is designed to guide users step-by-step through the Medicare.gov Plan Finder and illustrates key Medicare site features with tips for finding the most affordable health and prescription drug coverage. The tutorial is available to all Q1Medicare.com site users and presented in a simple web-based format designed to accommodate smartphone, tablet, and PC platforms.

We recommend that Plan Finder users select and review two local pharmacies so that they can see how drug coverage prices can vary pharmacy to pharmacy.

Q1Medicare.com now offers their updated 2012 Medicare.gov Plan Finder tutorial highlighting some of the most recent Plan Finder changes. The Q1Medicare online tutorial is presented in a simple format and designed to guide even novice internet users step-by-step through the Medicare.gov Plan Finder. Q1Medicare also provides screen-shots and helpful tips throughout the tutorial to help assist new and returning Plan Finder users navigate their way to the most affordable stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan or Medicare Advantage plan coverage.

The tutorial begins by taking users through the steps of answering basic Medicare coverage questions and entering their medications. The tutorial also reminds returning Plan Finder users that they can retrieve their saved drug list from their past Plan Finder sessions and make any necessary adjustments to their prescription drug lists.

As a change from past versions of the Plan Finder, the tutorial emphasizes that the Medicare tool now requires that users choose one or two pharmacies in their geographic area before they can proceed to the Medicare plan summary or overview page. With this additional step, user will see how different pharmacies price their medications and how drug cost-sharing can vary between pharmacies even for the same Medicare prescription drug plan.

“More Medicare prescription drug plans are now working with preferred network pharmacies that offer slightly lower drug cost-sharing as compared to the same plan’s regular network pharmacies,” notes Dr. Susan Johnson, co-founder and technical director of the Q1Medicare.com site. “Accordingly, we recommend that Plan Finder users select and review two local pharmacies so that they can see how drug coverage prices can vary pharmacy to pharmacy.”

The Plan Finder tutorial also illustrates the two options for people who do not want to enter any medications into the Plan Finder, but still want to see an overview of the available Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage plans. Medicare beneficiaries who do not use any prescription medications can skip the Plan Finder drug-entry step and the pharmacy selection step, going directly into an overview of all Medicare Part D plans or Medicare Advantage plans in their area sorted only by total annual premium costs. On the other hand, people who are unsure of their prescription needs can also skip the drug-entry step by choosing to enter their drugs later and the Medicare.gov Plan Finder will assign each Medicare plan with an estimated annual prescription drug cost based on the users default value of “good” health. If desired, users can then change their general health status to get a better estimate of annual drug costs under each Medicare plan.

As in the past, the tutorial then shows how users can select to search different Medicare plan types and compare up to three Medicare plans side-by-side. The Plan Finder then provides users with links within the comparison charts so the user can learn more about each individual plan’s coverage details.

The Medicare.gov Plan Finder tutorial can be found directly at Q1Medicare.com/tutorial.php and is available to the public at no cost. Like other Q1Medicare tools, the Medicare.gov tutorial is designed to work on PC, smartphone, and tablet platforms.

As a complement to the Medicare.gov Plan Finder, Q1Medicare.com has also updated their own online Medicare plan finder tools, the 2012 PDP-Finder.com and 2012 MA-Finder.com, both designed to provide the Medicare community with a quick overview of their 2012 Medicare plan options.

Q1Medicare.com reminds seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries that they can enroll in a 2013 Medicare Part D prescription drug plan or Medicare Advantage plan during the annual Open Enrollment Period starting Monday, October 15 through Friday, December 7, 2012.

About the Q1Medicare.com Website
Q1Medicare.com is one of the largest independent online resources for Medicare Part D prescription drug plan and Medicare Advantage plan information. Q1Medicare offers a large selection of Frequently Asked Questions, online tools, and a free Medicare Part D Newsletter all designed to help Medicare beneficiaries, healthcare professionals, advocates, advisers, caregivers, and insurance agents better understand both the Medicare Part D prescription drug and Medicare Advantage programs. Q1Medicare.com is operated by Q1Group LLC (Saint Augustine, Florida).

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Lynnea Christner

Susan Johnson MS-MIS, MBA, PhD
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