Approximately 10,000 Americans turn 65 every day, and a vast majority of them will be enrolling in Medicare as their primary healthcare insurance. Many healthcare plans can be exhaustively complex in their coverage options, exclusions, deductibles, provider preferences, etc. and Medicare is no exception. Unfortunately, the CMS (Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services) website has earned a below-average and in some areas, a failing grade when it comes to providing comprehensive and helpful information in a user-friendly fashion. Navigation complexity combined with information complexity combined with the age of its enrollees spells disaster for many seeking guidance.
Starting in October of this year, however, the CMS has pledged to change. For example, many persons don’t understand the differences between “traditional” Medicare and Medicare Advantage (or part C) plans, and the current website offers little explanation as to the distinction. Beginning this fall, the CMS states website visitors should be able to understand fully the coverage and payment distinctions between these programs and others. With healthcare costs continually rising and healthcare demands increasing with age, this author hopes the CMS makes good on it’s pledge to make information more readily available and more easily understood for these important decisions.