Go to www.medicare.gov and click on "Compare Medicare Prescription Drug Plans" to access it.
AARP (Association for the Advancement of Retired Persons) has a brief article in its December Bulletin that assesses the Plan Finder: Savings Are in the Details.
The Plan Finder is designed to display the exact cost to you of drugs you regularly take - under plans which fit the parameters you enter. So before you begin, make a list of these parameters. AARP recommends they include:
- Your Medicare claim number, birth date, and zip code.
- A list of the prescription drugs you take now and their dosages.
- Your choice between plans that offer only drug coverage (e.g. "stand alone" Medicare Prescription Drug Plans) or both medical care and drug coverage (e.g. Medicare Advantage Plans)
- The maximum you're willing to pay for monthly premiums and/or annual deductibles. (If you have limited income, you may not have to pay a premium or deductible.)
You have until December 31 to enroll in a plan to start coverage on January 1.
You have until May 15 to get coverage in 2006.
You can even change your mind. From AARP:
"If you've already signed up for a plan and find another you prefer, you can switch before May 15. Enrolling in a second plan will automatically cancel your enrollment in the first."