Medicare Resources


Choosing among the various options available for Medicare can be daunting.  Fortunately, there are a number of resources available on the Internet to help you with this task.   Here are some of what I consider to be the more useful ones:

The Basics
  • Medicare.gov --  This should be your first stop.  In addition to explanations of the various parts of Medicare, it includes a "Plan Finder" tool for locating Medicare Advantage (Part C), prescription drug (Part D), and Medigap plans in your area.
  • Social Security Administration --  Within 3 months of turning 65 and haven't signed up for Social Security?  Then this is the place to go to sign up for Medicare and avoid the late signup penalties.  (Note:  If you have already claimed Social Security benefits, you are automatically signed up for Medicare at age 65.)

Understanding Your Medicare Options

  • Medicare Rights Center --  A non-profit organization that works to ensure adequate heath care choices for the elderly and those with disabilities.  A lot of educational material available, and links to other Medicare resources.
  • Kaiser Family Foundation --  If you want to know most anything about health care policies, legislation, or state-specific health care information, this is the place to go.  Not so much a plan evaluation resource as an all-encompasing health care news site.
  • California Healthcare Advocates --  You don't have to live in California to make good use of this site.  It's charter is Medicare policy, advocacy, and education, and has relevant material regardless of your state of residence.

Rating the Plans

  • HealthMetrix Research - Cost Share Report --  Click on "Cost Comparisons" and then select your geographic region, and it ranks available Medicare Advantage plans by the best ones considering your general state of health (Good/Fair/Poor).  Includes cost comparisons between different plans, a list of plans that have received their Gold Award for exceptional value, and links to other Medicare resources.
  • Plan Prescriber -- Comparison tools and education material for evaluating the options for Part C, Part D, and Medigap plans. 

Calculating Health Care Costs

  • eHealth Medicare --  Cost comparisons of the plans in your area.  Includes a calculator to see how much you could save with a particular plan.  Close the annoying pop-up window that appears when you go to this site in order to get to the listing tool.  (A for-profit site which a division of online insurance broker eHealth, Inc., but still a good information resource.)
  • HealthView Services --  Want a quick snapshot of what your future health care costs might look like?  Go to HealthView Services' "One Click Calculator," select your gender, age, and health condition for an estimate of what you can expect to pay for health care services going forward.

Medicare Plan Assistance

  • SHIPtalk.org -- A convenient way to locate the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) in your state.  They provide in-person and phone consultations at no cost to you.
  • Allsup Medicare Advisor -- A for-profit private service that offers personalized fixed-fee assistance in evaluating your Medicare needs and plan selection.  Also offer representation for Social Security Disability Insurance as a separate service.
  • Healthcare Navigation -- A more expensive private fee-based service, available as a subscription or as-needed basis, for Medicare planning.

(Please Note:  This page is intended as an information resource only.  It is not intended to be a recommendation or endorsement of any of the sites listed here.)


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