Medicare.gov - Enter the Requested Information About Your Current Medicare Plan Status
Medicare would like some information about you to help with your search for a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan or Medicare Advantage plan. Try to answer the questions accurately. The choices you make may affect your Medicare plan search results. Medicare may use this information to help guide you to better Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage plan coverage. Also, it may provide Medicare with some feedback on who is using their site and how they can improve their Medicare site.
But, when in doubt, choose "I don’t know". You can come back and enter the correct information later.
Questions that did not make the Medicare site update.
In the previous version of the Medicare Plan Finder, the user was asked about their health status. When helping people, we never did really know how to best answer the "Your Health Status" question —. We struggled with understanding the difference between "Excellent" and "Very Good" and how it changes the estimated annual costs calculated in the plan finder. We found, of course, that the answers we received from Seniors were very much subjective -- and did not consistently project accurate health costs.
You will notice that the first information field allows the user to check boxes. The second information box uses the round radio buttons. Check boxes usually mean that there can be multiple correct answers - for instance, you can choose Medicare Health plan and Medicare Prescription Drug Plan and Medicaid - but you cannot choose Medigap and Medicare Health Plan (because these two types of Medicare plans cannot work together - pretty clever on the part of Medicare). Whereas radio buttons usually mean that answers are mutually exclusive - that is, there is only one choice. Make sure that if you change your mind or make a mistake in the first information field, to double-check and see if you selected an item that un-selected or cleared the check box of another choice.
If you are receiving any financial "extra help", be sure to answer the questions in the last section completely and accurately. If you are eligible for the full low income subsidy (for instance, you receive both Medicare and Medicaid), you will notice that some Medicare Part D plans have a premium of $0. These are the Medicare Part D plans in your state whose monthly premium is fully covered by the state low-income subsidy premium benchmark. If you wish to choose a Medicare Part D plan that does not qualify for the $0 premium, you will be responsible for the monthly premium cost above what your state provides. (We have list of State Monthly Premium Allowances (or Low-Income Subsidy Premium Benchmarks) here
What do I do about my premium penalty?
If you did not enroll into a Medicare Part D plan when you were initially eligible - or you have been without "creditable" prescription drug coverage for more than 63 days, you may pay a higher monthly premium based on the number of months you were without prescription drug coverage. This premium penalty will be calculated by CMS (or Medicare) and reported to your selected Medicare Part D plan and they will, in turn, contact you in writing about your additional monthly premium costs. Back in 2008, a person paid $0.28 (or 1% of the 2008 base premium of $27.93) for each month they were without creditable prescription coverage (so 10 months without creditable coverage meant an additional $2.80 each month in premium penalty). In 2010, the penalty increased to $0.32 or $3.20 for a 10 month penalty. The value of the penalty changes every year based on the national base monthly Medicare Part D premium.
(See: What you pay for a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan - Part D
and Calculating the Late Enrollment Penalty
If your ZIP Code falls over more than one county, then please select the county where you have your permanent residence. This really does not affect Medicare Part D plan selection, but if you decide later to look at a Medicare Advantage plan with a prescription benefit (MA-PD), the MA-PD plans are available on a county-by-county basis. More importantly, you will need to start at the beginning to change or correctly choose your county.