When you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan or Part D plan it seems like the mail from your plan sponsor will never end. But there is one communication that is vitally important. The Annual Notice of Change is your first step in deciding whether or not you should keep your current plan for the following year or if it will even be available.
Both Medicare Advantage plans and Part D plans are annual in nature and your current plan ceases on December 31st. This is in contrast to a Medicare supplement policies otherwise known as Medigap which are guaranteed renewable as long as you pay your monthly premium.
This article will address why you need to pay special attention to the Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) as well as a review of the components contained in this important mailing. Ignoring this important information could mean that you will be enrolled in a plan that may not be the best fit for your circumstances or that you could find yourself without coverage on January 1st.
Why the Annual Notice of Change is required
As previously mentioned, Advantage plans and Medicare Part D plans are in effect for one calendar year. On December 31st your plan will end. It is only fair that you receive advance notice of any changes to your plan. Insurance companies that are approved to offer these plans can take several courses of action for the following . They can:
- Renew the plan without substantial changes.
- Renew the plan and make changes to any or a combination of the benefits, premiums and cost sharing amounts.
- Choose not renew a plan for certain service areas (your ANOC will be service area specific).
The ANOC is required per CMS regulations and will arrive in September. The changes referenced will become effective January 1st.
Reviewing the information contained in this mailing will eliminate any surprises and allow you to make an informed decision as to whether or not you need to compare other Medicare.
Medicare Annual Notice of Change contents
Included in your 2017 Annual Notice of Change will be all the documentation required for you to evaluate how your current plan will be effected. The following documents are included:
- A summary of copays and coinsurance. This will compare costs against your current plan if you were enrolled in 2016.
- Updates to plan benefits as well as changes to premiums.
- Summary of Benefits (Advantage plans).
- Part D formulary (Part D and MAPD plans).
- Evidence of Coverage.
Looking out for your ANOC and following these tips will ensure that you are on the right step to enrolling or renewing the best Medicare Advantage plan for your circumstances.