The Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Finder: The Most Under-Used Resource for Seniors and Caregivers

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Eldercare expert Esther Koch says the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Finder can slash costs, save time, and reduce stress. Unfortunately, few seniors or caregivers know about it.

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Using the Drug Plan Finder to select a stand-alone Medicare Prescription Drug Plan will save days of time and worry, not to mention potentially hundreds to thousands of dollars.

The Annual Election Period for the Medicare Prescription Drug Program began on November 15 and runs through December 31. Eldercare expert Esther Koch says, "The biggest mistake I see every year is that seniors and their caregivers don't use, or more often don't know about, the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Finder." She emphasizes, "Using the Drug Plan Finder to select a stand-alone Medicare Prescription Drug Plan will save days of time and worry, not to mention potentially hundreds to thousands of dollars."

The Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Finder is found at http://www.Medicare.gov. It allows seniors and their caregivers to easily compare the ~50 stand-alone drug plans available in most communities. It brings the comparison of plans to an apples-to-apples basis by providing total estimated annual cost by plan and sorting plans from least to most expensive. "I usually a see a spread of $1,000-$3,000 between plans, but I have seen ranges close to $10,000," says Koch. "Since these are cost ranges for the same set of drugs, that's how much money people are leaving on the table."

By entering ZIP code, drug names, dosage, and 30-day supply, the 5 least expensive plans will show up initially. You can display all plans, do side-by-side comparisons of 3 plans and drill down to obtain specific information including how to lower drug costs and drug plan quality rankings. The drug list can even be saved for later reference.

Koch believes that the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Finder is so under-utilized that she's created a webinar to teach caregivers how to use it. The webinar is available on-demand along with an accompanying condensed electronic guide at https://EncoreLife.webex.com.

Esther Koch is available for interview. For more info contact: Lorna Garano lornagarano at gmail dot com, 510-922-9765.

ABOUT ESTHER KOCH & ENCORE MANAGEMENT:
Esther Koch is a gerontologist and eldercare advisor based in San Mateo, California. She is the founder and CEO of Encore Management which provides advisory services and educational products to assist Boomers with the range of issues associated with caring for an aging parent and their own aging. Koch is a Medicare Aging Network Partner with the Administration on Aging and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid for the Medicare Prescription Drug Program. She was a delegate to the last White House Conference on Aging.

Koch received her graduate degree in gerontology from USC and is a member of the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers, the Business Forum on Aging of the American Society on Aging and AARP. In addition to being a Stanford MBA, she is also a CPA and former Chief Financial Officer and PricewaterhouseCoopers tax professional. She left corporate America to pursue her passion for eldercare advocacy. Since then she has helped clients navigate the physical, financial, and emotional challenges of aging. Her media interviews have appeared on television, radio, and in print. Visit her at http://www.ENCOREmgmt.com.

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