CMS Announces New Streamlined User Experience for Medicare Beneficiaries
October 2018 ~
CMS, on October 1, announced a multi-year initiative intended to empower patients and update Medicare resources to meet beneficiaries’ expectation of a more personalized customer experience. The eMedicare initiative will modernize the way beneficiaries get information about Medicare and create new ways to help them make the best decisions for themselves and their families.
According to CMS, the eMedicare initiative’s goal is to provide a seamless online health care experience to meet the growing expectations for this generation of Medicare beneficiaries. CMS has a cohesive, multi-year strategy of consumer data integration and web product development to modernize Medicare.gov and improve access to personal health care data. The road map for this program will enhance opportunities to go digital, offer additional self-serve options, and create a seamless multi-channel customer service experience.
Some of the new eMedicare initiatives that CMS is launching ahead of Medicare Open Enrollment are:
- An improved coverage “wizard” to help beneficiaries compare options at a deeper level as a way to decide if Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage is right for them;
- A stand alone, mobile optimized out of pocket cost calculator that will provide information on both overall costs and prescription drug costs;
- A simplified log in for the Medicare Plan Finder tool using their online account (instead of the current process of entering 5 pieces of information to authenticate);
- A web-chat option, which will be available within the Medicare Plan Finder for some beneficiaries; and
- New easy to use surveys available across Medicare.gov so beneficiaries can continue to tell us what they want.
These changes are building on previous improvements including:
- Giving beneficiaries the ability to print their Medicare card online;
- Re-designing the Mymedicare.gov homepage for easier navigation;
- Launching consumer-facing Blue Button features in Mymedicare.gov;
- Providing an online version of the Medicare & You Handbook in a mobile-friendly format. We’ve also added simple, graphical explanations at the beginning of the Medicare & You handbook;
- Improving email communications. Medicare emails more than 8 million beneficiaries with information about Open Enrollment, preventive benefits, money saving tips, and fraud prevention.
- Distributing the electronic version of the Medicare Summary Notice, allowing people with Medicare to view their explanation of benefits in a more timely manner online at MyMedicare.gov and
- The eMedicare initiative will expand and improve upon current consumer service options. People with Medicare will continue to have access to paper copies of the Medicare & You handbook and the Medicare Summary Notice.
According to the CMS press release, the Medicare population is expected to increase to more than 80 million beneficiaries in 2030, up from 54 million in 2015. As of 2016, about two-thirds of Medicare beneficiaries indicate they use the Internet daily or almost daily (65%).
Source(s): CMS Press Release; Medicare.gov Blog; Modern Healthcare;