The CMS is planning to launch updates to its Medicare Plan Finder this month after a report from a government watchdog flagged significant usability concerns with the tool. The GAO analyzed the experience of comparing plans on MPF and found 58% of beneficiaries described the process as “difficult” while just 13% of beneficiaries said it was easy. “These selections can be difficult due to the Medicare program’s complexity, and can have important implications for beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket costs and access to providers,” the GAO said. This can limit a beneficiary’s ability to compare their options in traditional Medicare fully with Medicare Advantage plans, according to the report. The tool also lacks information on provider networks offered in M/A plans, which can also confuse the selection process, since it requires a beneficiary to visit individual plan websites to find that information.

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