Every year, Medicare premiums and deductibles change. With this comes updates to Medicare plans. Each September, Medicare beneficiaries should expect to receive a Medicare Annual Notice of Change (ANoC) letter for each Medicare plan in which they’re enrolled. This document describes the changes for the following year. If you don’t receive this important plan document, you should 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’re a Medicare beneficiary. Whether you’re enrolled in Part A, Part B, a Medicare Advantage plan, or a Part D prescription drug plan, you’ll receive this annual letter in the mail.
Medicare beneficiaries shouldn’t expect to receive an Annual Notice of Change for a Medicare Supplement plan. That’s because Medigap plans don’t incur annual changes to the plan benefits.
What Changes to Medicare Plans Can You Anticipate?
The letter will include all changes to your Medicare plans. For Parts A and B, the letter will come from Medicare. 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 message 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 an ANoC letter. For Part D prescription drug plans, the changes listed will include costs, service area, and formulary changes.
It’s crucial to note any Part D formulary changes involving medications for which you have a prescription. If a drug is dropped or changes tiers, you could end up with much higher copays.
When Will the Provider Send Your Medicare Annual Notice of Change Letter?
Medicare guidelines require the letter to be sent annually, in the fall. You should anticipate receiving your letter(s) in September. If you don’t receive a letter for each of the Medicare plans in which you’re enrolled by September 30, 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?
Without your current address on file, you won’t receive the ANoC that Medicare sends out each fall. You’ll also want to be sure your address is up-to-date with any private insurance companies with whom you do business. Otherwise, you won’t receive the ANoC that’s mailed 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 and benefits. These costs and benefits will take effect on January 1 of the following year.
Why Medicare Plans Send an ANoC
Last year, you worked with your trusted, licensed insurance agent. Together, you reviewed the options available to you and compared those options with your anticipated medical needs in mind. 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 must be notified.
The ANoC provides you with a list of changes more than a month before the Fall Medicare Enrollment Period begins. This window to make plan changes lasts from October 15 until December 7 each year. With the list of changes, the Medicare beneficiary can contact their insurance agent to review options that may be a better fit for the next policy year.
How Do I Leave a Medicare 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’re expecting. A benefit comparison is essential and should include a list of the services which you most frequently utilize. For example, yearly EEG or durable medical equipment. A cost comparison is equally important, to ensure you can still comfortably afford your policy.
If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, changes could be made to your network. If you want to keep your doctors in the upcoming year, you should speak to an agent about switching to a Medigap plan that will include your preferred providers. It’s also possible your health needs have changed since last year and you need more coverage than you originally thought you would.
Lastly, 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.
How to Get Help Understanding your Annual Notice of Change Letter
Each September, all Medicare beneficiaries will receive an Annual Notice of Change letter in the mail. All changes, whether cost, benefit, or service area, will be listed in detail. If you don’t receive the ANoC letter for each Medicare plan you’re enrolled in, 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.
If your Part D prescription drug plan formulary has changed and it will affect the prices of your medication for next year, this is especially important to address. Also, if your Medicare Advantage plan network no longer covers your healthcare providers, the Fall Annual Enrollment Period is the perfect time to change coverage.
Call the number above and one of our licensed agents will help you navigate the muddy waters of Medicare coverage during a free consultation. You can also use our online form to start the process now.