Jewell Insurance and Financial Services Blog
The Medicare Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) is a document that Medicare beneficiaries receive each year from their Medicare Advantage (Part C) or Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D) provider. This notice is typically sent out by insurance companies that offer these plans to inform their policyholders about changes in their plan's coverage, costs, and benefits for the upcoming year.
Here are some key points about the Medicare Annual Notice of Change:
1. **Purpose**: The primary purpose of the ANOC is to provide Medicare beneficiaries with information about any changes to their Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part D plans. This includes changes to premiums, deductibles, copayments, coinsurance, and covered medications or services.
2. **Timing**: Medicare providers are required to send the ANOC to their beneficiaries each year before the start of the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP), which typically runs from October 15th to December 7th. This allows beneficiaries to review the changes and decide whether to keep their current plan or switch to a different one during the AEP. Expect these to arrive by mid-late September.
3. **Content**: The ANOC includes a summary of all changes to the plan's benefits and costs for the upcoming year. This includes any modifications to drug formularies, changes in network providers, and alterations to coverage levels. Note: this document is not meant to be a detail on every benefit in a plan. It is designed to highlight major changes in the plan.
4. **Comparison**: The ANOC often includes information on how the upcoming year's plan compares to the current year's plan. This helps beneficiaries assess whether their plan still meets their healthcare needs or if they should explore other options. Pay attention to these changes. Is the plan staying about the same? Is it improving? Or is it degrading?
5. **Importance**: Reviewing the ANOC is crucial for Medicare beneficiaries to ensure they are aware of any changes that might affect their out-of-pocket expenses or access to healthcare services. Failing to review the ANOC could lead to unexpected costs or coverage gaps.
6. **Decision-Making**: After reviewing the ANOC, beneficiaries can make informed decisions about whether to keep their current plan or switch to a different one that better suits their needs. If they decide to change plans, they can do so during the AEP.
It's essential for Medicare beneficiaries to carefully review the ANOC each year and consider their healthcare needs and budget when making decisions about their Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part D coverage.
Many people are satisfied with their current plan, and in many cases, the annual changes are fairly minor. However, it's important to review any changes to make sure your plan continues to meet your needs.
If you have questions about your Annual Notice of Changes, or if you want to review it, you can always contact our office at 815-232-7726 to book an appointment. Or, feel free to schedule online at bit.ly/AngelaDaminAppointments
If you are unhappy with your plan changes, the major opportunity to switch plans happens between October 15 and December 7, Medicare's Annual Election Period. Other Medicare election periods are described here:
Please reach out with any questions you may have. It's an important month!
Angela Damin, Your Medicare Teacher, is an award winning Medicare planning broker with over 16 years of experience in the Medicare field. She meets people in person, over the phone, and via video chat. Angela has a Masters Degree in Education and taught elementary school before switching her subject matter to the Medicare realm. She spends her spare time chasing her twin grade schoolers.