The updated website features a benefits calculator that Medicare plan enrollees can use on a desktop computer or mobile device to compare medical and prescription drug costs to better determine what’s covered and what’s not.

10,000 consumers are enrolling in Medicare daily and that flock of new enrollees is pushing the federal government to go even more digital.

Just in time for the fall benefits enrollment season, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has relaunched an updated streamlined version of Medicare.gov.

The updated website features a benefits calculator that Medicare plan enrollees can use on a desktop computer or mobile device to compare medical and prescription drug costs to better determine what’s covered and what’s not.

Other new features include:

A new coverage tool, or wizard, to determine coverage for Medicare Part B (medical) and Part D (prescription drugs) and compare coverage options.

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  • A simplified login and a Medicare plan finder using online account information.
  • Live chat.
  • Easier-to-use online surveys.

“Our intent is not to replace traditional channels but to improve and enhance them with emerging digital options,” says CMS administrator Seema Verma.

Medicare.gov needed to be updated because of the sheer number of existing consumers already on Medicare and the big number of new consumers that will need to sign up, the federal government says.

The Medicare population is projected to increase to more than 80 million enrollees by 2030, more than double from about 54 million enrollees in 2015, says the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. About two-thirds of Medicare beneficiaries use the internet daily or almost daily and thus have a need for more self-serve and online benefits management terms.

Medicare remains a complex public health insurance program many older consumers find difficult to navigate.

With the redesign the government is calling eMedicare, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services is attempting to give “Medicare beneficiaries a simpler, more intuitive customer experience.”

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