Pre-2010 Medicare.gov Home or Start Page
***Archive: Below is the Pre-2010 Medicare.gov Tutorial***
Where to start?
Select "Medicare Prescription Drug Plans – 2008 Plan Data" to begin your plan comparison. Alternatively, you can click on "Compare" in the blue Prescription Drug Plans box located in the right margin of the page or "Compare Medicare Prescription Drug Plans" under Search Tools and it will take you to the same screen.
Notice on the bottom of each page
that Medicare (CMS) automatically "dates" the pages as they update their website (by the way, so do we). This graphic shows that the this page of the Medicare.gov site was updated on November 5, 2007. When you come back to visit the Medicare.gov site, you can glance down and see if this page has changed since your last visit -- maybe there is a new tool or menu item. Please take time to explore for the changes.
Question: Sometimes late at night or early in the morning, the Medicare.gov site seems not to work -- why is this?
Most computer departments perform routine maintenance and upgrades when there are the fewest people online who would be disturbed by any potential system changes or outages. Usually changes to a website are tested over a series of "staging" computers before the changes are made to the "live" system (the one that internet users see). Even with all these precautions, sometimes a surprise is found and it will temporarily disable some features of the website. If you find the Medicare.gov site is not working properly, the CMS System Engineers are probably hard at work and you should check back in a few minutes or a few hours.
The Big Picture: A View of the entire Medicare Plan Finder Process
The Medicare Part D Plan Finder Process Overview:
Here is a complete view of how to move through the Medicare Plan Finder tool. Some of the process areas are not shown in detail, just to minimize the complexity of the diagram. For instance, you can see that the Medicare system allows you to enter your personal Medicare information - however, we did not detail the process at this point. When we had a choice to add more detail, we stayed with the General Search process - assuming that this was more helpful to the majority of Medicare site users. Did we miss any steps? Please feel free to contact us and give us your feedback or input.