Understanding your Medicare plan's annual changes

If you already have a Medicare plan, expect to get this letter this year. Here's what it means for you.

How to Understand Your Medicare Plan “Annual Notice of Change” (ANOC)

One of the first thing that happens during the Annual Enrollment Period, (AEP) is the mailing of the Annual Notice of Change or ANOC letters. This happens in late September and the first part of October every year. 

Your Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part D prescription drug plan ANOC provides important information. It can help you decide whether to keep your current plan or look for a new one during the Annual Enrollment Period.

Reviewing your ANOC is important because Medicare Advantage and Medicare prescription drug plan insurance providers review their plan details each year and make changes as needed to better serve plan members.

Here is what I recommend you look for in your ANOC and questions to ask yourself about your plan:

Coverage changes:

  • Any new benefits added to your plan.
  • Changes that affect services you use.
  • Have there been any changes in your health that may affect what services you may need or how often you may need them?

 Provider network changes:

  • Check to see if any network changes are listed.
  • If your providers are not in the network, are you willing to switch to other providers that are?

 Drug list and pharmacy network changes:

  • Drugs removed from the plan’s covered drug list (formulary)
  • Have any of your medications been assigned to a different tier on the formulary? (This may affect your cost.)

Cost changes:

  • Plan premium changes
  • Other costs changing, such as deductibles, co-pays, co-insurance.

Let me know any questions on your ANOC or if you did not receive one by now. Once you have reviewed you ANOC you will either decide to renew your Medicare Advantage or Prescription Drug plan or reach out to and we will start looking at your options. (The AEP does not apply to Medicare Supplement Plans.)

If you choose to renew, there is nothing to do – your plan automatically renews.

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