To the Editor:
Recently I went to medicare.gov to compare next year’s Part D plans for myself and my husband. After registering, listing my prescriptions and the drugstore I use, the website showed a list of available plans with their total costs (drugs plus premiums).
Clicking for detailed information about one of the less expensive plans, I found a confusing discrepancy: this plan stated it would have $0.00 cost from July-December 2020, but a chart just above showed that my costs would be hundreds of dollars a month.
Obviously both couldn’t be correct. I tried three other plans and the same discrepancy occurred. Confused, I called two of those plans directly (Cigna and AARP) and provided my list of drugs and other information.
The result? I definitely would have monthly costs throughout the year, and all the information on the medicare.gov site was wrong. For example, a plan listed on medicare.gov said my total cost would be $2,974, but the insurance company said it would be $4,181. Both Cigna and AARP said they would be in touch with medicare.gov about the problem. But I think it affects everyone who tries to use the website.
Today I tried the same routine for my husband’s 2020 drug plan. This time the medicare.gov site showed that if he stayed with his current Anthem Part D plan, the total cost for drugs plus premiums would be over $10,000. When I called Anthem directly to check if this was correct, I learned his total cost would be only $1,681.
It appears that no one can depend upon the medicare.gov website to provide correct information. I worry that people may sign up for what appears to be a less expensive Part D option only to be slapped with unexpected, high costs later in 2020. Conversely, some people may not choose a Part D plan at all if the total costs are erroneously inflated beyond what they can afford. My advice?
Use the medicare.gov website only to find the names of available plans; then contact them directly for accurate information on cost.