Medicare has Internet-based tools to help beneficiaries understand their prescription drug coverage options. If you — like many seniors — do not have access to a computer, you can call 1-800-MEDICARE(1-800-633-4227, TTY/TDD 1-877-486-2048) and have them insert your information into some of these tools and mail you a hard copy version of the results. Because information changes often, we encourage you to double-check the information you obtain from these tools (such as premiums, deductibles, copays, covered drugs and participating pharmacies) with the plan directly, before you sign up.

Medicare Plan Finder:

The Medicare Plan Finder allows you to compare plans offering prescription drug coverage in your area. Both stand-alone prescription drug plans and Medicare Advantage plans can be compared. This tool will provide a chart with premiums, deductibles and an indication if drugs are covered in the donut hole. A personalized list of available plans can also be generated that will allow you to see how much you will pay out-of-pocket for each drug you are taking now. You can also check if there are pharmacies near you that belong to each plan’s network.

State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIPs):

The State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIPs) are state programs funded by the federal government to provide free local health insurance counseling, education and information to Medicare beneficiaries. Your state’s SHIP can provide additional information on choosing coverage for your prescription drugs. Use the search tool at the link listed above to find the SHIP in your state.

Eldercare Locator:

The Eldercare Locator links people with state and local agencies on aging and comm- unity-based organizations that serve seniors and their caregivers.

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You can follow the two-step process to locate an agency that can give one-on-one counseling on various topics, often including prescription drug assistance.