As if Medicare wasn’t confusing enough, each September Medicare Beneficiaries should expect to receive a Medicare Annual Notice of Change Letter for each Medicare Plan in which they are enrolled.
If you do not receive this important plan document, you are advised to contact your plan provider.
Who Will Receive the Medicare Annual Notice of Change Letter
You can expect to receive a Medicare Annual Notice of Change Letter if you are a Medicare Beneficiary and are enrolled in a Medicare Plan.
So, whether you are enrolled in Part A, Part B, a Medicare Advantage Plan or a Part D Prescription Drug Plan, you will receive this annual letter through the mail.
Medicare Beneficiaries should not expect to receive an Annual Notice of Change for a Medicare Supplement Plan. That is because a Medigap Plan does not incur annual changes to the plan benefits.
What Changes Can You Anticipate Being Made to the Various Medicare Plans
The letter will include all changes to your Medicare Plans. For Parts A and B, Medicare will send the letter and you should expect it will include cost changes and if applicable, benefit and service area changes.
Beneficiaries enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan will receive the letter from the private insurance company providing their coverage. The letter will include changes in costs, benefits and any changes to the service area.
Private insurers offering Part D Plans are also required to send their beneficiaries a Medicare Annual Notice of Change Letter. For Part D Prescription Drug Plans, the changes listed will include costs, service area, and formulary changes.
Medicare guidelines require the letter is sent out annually, each fall. You should anticipate receiving your letter(s) in the month of September.
If for any reason you do not receive a letter for all Medicare Plans in which you are enrolled, you should contact the plan provider
The plan changes will take effect in January of the following year.
Where Will the Plan Providers Mail Your ANOC
It’s certain you have been counseled many times to keep your address on file with Medicare updated. Without your current address on file, you will not receive the ANOC that Medicare sends out each fall.
In addition, you want to be sure your address is up to date with any private insurance companies with which you do business. Otherwise, you will not receive the ANOC they are mailing to you each autumn.
Evidence of Coverage (EOC)
The Evidence of Coverage is usually mailed along with your Annual Notice of Change in the fall. The EOC is a list of Part D and Medicare Advantage Plan costs & benefits. These costs and benefits will take effect on January 1st of the following year.
Why Medicare Plans Send an ANOC
Last year, you worked with your trusted license insurance agent. Reviewing the options available to you and comparing those options with your anticipated medical needs.
After cost comparison and a thorough review of options, you decided on the Medicare Plans that would best meet your needs.
When those plans change, you need to be notified.
The ANOC provides you with a list of those changes over a month before the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period begins.
With a list of those changes, the Medicare Beneficiary is afforded an opportunity to contact their insurance agent to review potential options that may be a better fit for the next policy year.
Part A and Part B Plan benefits and costs are not negotiable as they are determined by Medicare. Medicare Beneficiaries receive the Annual Notice of Change Letter only as a notification.
How Do I Leave A Plan that Doesn’t Fulfill My Coverage Needs
After receiving your Annual Notice of Change Letter, you should contact your licensed agent to review the policy changes that you are expecting.
A benefit comparison is important and should include a list of the services which you most frequently utilize. Such as yearly EEG or durable medical equipment. Equally important is the cost comparison.
Take into consideration your premium costs and expected cost-sharing. Review the service area in which your current plan is available and compare it to any potential service area changes you can expect for the following year.
To Summarize the Medicare Annual Notice of Change Letter
Each September, all Medicare Beneficiaries will receive an ANOC in the mail. All changes whether cost, benefit or service area will be listed in detail.
If you don’t receive the Annual Notice of Change Letter for each Medicare Plan for which you are enrolled, contact the plan provider.
Upon receiving the ANOC for your Medicare Plans, you should contact your licensed agent to review your policy and expected changes. A licensed agent can help you navigate the muddy waters called Medicare Coverage.