What is the Annual Notice of Change & Why Does it Matter?

When it comes to being smart about health insurance, one of the best things you can do is review the Annual Notice of Change (ANOC).

This is important because this document explains all the changes coming to your plan for the next year.  So here are the basics on the ANOC and what you should know about it.

Who sends the ANOC?

Starting in September, your insurance company mails you the ANOC, per government rules. Enrollees who receive these are typically either on a Medicare Advantage plan or a Prescription Drug plan.

What is the ANOC?

The ANOC is a 200+ page document that explains the changes that are coming to your Medicare Advantage or Prescription Drug plan in the following year. The plan benefits (including premium) for both the current and following year are compared side-by-side in an effort to make it easier to see the differences. Changes can include things like:

  • Monthly premium: the amount you pay each month for your plan can go up or down from year to year
  • Out-of-pocket maximum: the limit on your out-of-pocket medical costs can change each year
  • Formulary: a detailed list of covered drugs and the tiers (price categories) these drugs are in

Read More: What Exactly is a Part D Formulary?

When will your ANOC arrive?

Insurance companies begin sending out their ANOCs in the early part of September. The government requires that enrollees be able to receive their ANOCs no later than September 30.

Where will you get the ANOC?

You will receive your ANOC in the mail or by email, depending on your insurance company.

Why does the ANOC matter?

Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) runs from October 15 through December 7, and it is your yearly opportunity to switch to a different Medicare plan if your current plan no longer meets your needs. The government requires your insurance company to mail the ANOC in advance of this period to make sure you have plenty of time to review changes to your plan and decide what action to take during the open enrollment period.

It is very important that you pay attention to your ANOC and review it carefully. Many people glance over this document and miss important details, like changes in the cost of prescriptions or increases in maximum out-of-pocket limits, that can result in unexpected health care expenses.

What to Do Once You Get Your ANOC

Examining the this booklet and understanding your options can be an overwhelming process. RetireMEDiQ offers support, one-on-one assistance, and plan comparison tools to help make your Medicare decisions easy and stress free.

Our goal is to give you information and guidance to help you choose the insurance plan that best fits your retirement budget, needs and lifestyle – all at no cost to you.

We can help make sure that your current plan is still the right plan for you!

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x