Every year, before the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) begins on October 15th, each insurer that enrolls Medicare beneficiaries into either a Part D prescription drug plan or a Medicare Advantage plan must mail a copy of the Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) to the current member. This document is a blueprint of what the members current plan will look the following year, if they choose to remain on that plan.
The document will outline any change in premiums, deductibles, co-insurance, co-pays and plan benefits. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan the ANOC will provide updated information on hospital and doctor networks, and if you have a Medicare Part D drug plan it will outline any change in pharmacy networks as well as drug pricing and tier changes.
You'll have plenty of time to digest the ANOC and if you decide to make a plan change for the following year that enrollment period starts on October 15th and last through midnight on December 7th.
Key points to look for in your Annual Notice of Change
- An increase or decrease of your plans premium
- Cost of your prescriptions either in Part D or Medicare Advantage
- Any changes in the plan's network of hospitals and doctors
- Cost of services in a Medicare Advantage plan
After a careful review of your plans changes you may want to keep your current coverage for the following year, or switch to a different plan to better suit your needs and budget.
During the Fall Medicare Enrollment Period, you can switch to another Medicare Advantage Plan, Medicare Part D drug plan or return to Original Medicare coverage. In this instance you would most likely want a Medigap (Medicare Supplement) policy to compliment your Original Medicare. Just remember that in order to get a Medigap plan you will have to submit an application with medical underwriting questions regarding your current health. It's important to make sure that a Medigap plan is approved by the insurance company before you return to Original Medicare.
If you are unsure about your plan changes for next year, don't worry we are happy to help review this with you.
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