Modernizing how Medicare beneficiaries find and enroll in plans


Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)

Nearly 15% of all Americans are currently enrolled in Medicare, with that number expected to double over the next decade. As this population grows, it’s essential that individuals can reliably and easily find and enroll in the Medicare plan that best meets their needs.

The challenge

In 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) awarded Ad Hoc a contract to support CMS in modernizing the Medicare Plan Finder tool, which allows people to find available plans and enroll. Employing the best practices in human-centered design, agile development, product thinking, and infrastructure, we worked collaboratively with our government partners to rethink how we could replace a tool built more than a decade ago with one that better serves Medicare beneficiaries and those who help them.

What we did

Ad Hoc supported CMS in redesigning the Medicare Plan Finder to have three distinct user experiences that personalize the Medicare plan shopping experience for beneficiaries and those who help them.

The anonymous experience

Given the comfort of the Medicare beneficiary population with technology and information sharing, it was crucial to provide a way to view plans without providing any personal information. This allows anyone to quickly go into the tool, answer a few questions, input their drugs and pharmacies, then view plans.

The logged-in experience

Beneficiaries are able to create a account to get a more personalized experience. Through this logged-in experience, Medicare Plan Finder is able to provide beneficiaries with information about themselves to streamline the enrollment process, including prescription drugs they’ve previously taken and their current coverage.

The customer service representative experience

When calling 1-800-Medicare, beneficiaries are paired with a customer service representative who can guide them through the experience. This additional user experience allows customer service representatives to effectively log-in as a beneficiary and pull up information to help them find a plan.


Since CMS launched the redesigned Medicare Plan Finder

enrollment increase

Helped more than 2.6 million Medicare beneficiaries enroll in a Medicare plan, about 40% more enrollments than the legacy tool the previous year.

visitors per day

During Medicare’s Open Enrollment, the redesigned tool saw an average of 373,000 visitors a day and peaked at 847 API requests per second.


The redesigned Medicare Plan Finder tool ran smoothly and did not impact an individual’s ability to find and enroll in Medicare.

Looking forward

As we move forward with our support of CMS, we’ll continue to gather feedback from users, stakeholders, advocacy groups, and other external voices to understand new pain points that arise or areas that we can improve. It’s crucial to us that our tools evolve as user needs evolve so that we continue to provide clarity and ease to an important process.

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