Your Annual Notice of Change Helps Eliminate Medicare Guess Work
ANOC informs you of upcoming changes to coverage, costs, and services areas
Reviewed by: Brett Braithwaite, Licensed Insurance Agent. Written by: Andrew Hall.
The Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) is a letter that you will receive by mail that outlines changes to your Medicare plan for the following year
Coverage changes outlined in your ANOC can include prescription drug coverage, copaymentA copayment (copay) is the fixed amount you pay directly to your provider for medical services or prescription drugs covered in your plan. For example: If your plan includes a copayment of $20 for office visits, you'll pay $20 to your doctor whenever you have an appointment. amounts, and other important Medicare updates
GoHealth licensed insurance agents can help you review your ANOC and compare possible benefit changes before or during the Medicare Annual Enrollment PeriodThe Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) is when you can enroll, change or drop a plan. The AEP is from October 15 to December 7 every year. Changes made during AEP take effect January 1 of the following year.
The Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) is a letter or brochure that informs you of changes to your Medicare Advantage plan for the following year.  The message can include updates like changes in pricing, provider networks, medications that will no longer be covered, etc.
All plans are required to send this document to beneficiaries by mail no later than September 30, ahead of the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP), which begins on October 15. The ANOC allows members to evaluate any changes to their plan and then decide if they should make coverage changes during AEP.
Read your ANOC carefully when you receive it. It’s essential to know if coverage changes will affect your medications or other parts of your health plan. Make a list of the providers you are seeing and the ones you would like to be able to see. Likewise, make a list of any prescriptions you are currently taking and any medical care you may need. When your lists are complete, compare them with your ANOC to ensure your plan covers your needs, or if you may need to choose a different plan during AEP (Annual Enrollment Period). A GoHealth licensed insurance agent can help you compare plans free of charge with no obligation to enroll.
Changes can vary from year to year, but the most common changes include:
- Monthly plan premiums and deductibles (increasing or decreasing)
- Prescription drugs that are covered, costs and management restrictions
- Pharmacy and provider networks
- Co-payments for medical treatment and doctors’ visits
Beneficiaries do not have to request the ANOC and receive it by mail automatically every year. Some plans use postal mail and email if they have both addresses on file. If you do not receive your ANOC by the beginning of October, check with your carrier to make sure the address they have is correct. Be sure to check your mail carefully at that time of year. Some ANOCs can end up in the trash if mistaken for brochures or promotional mail. You can contact your Medicare Advantage plan for a copy of your ANOC.
If you’re a GoHealth member and have questions about your ANOC, give us a call. One of our licensed insurance agents will check your plan and make sure you have the most current info.
Even though you can expect your ANOC at the beginning of October, plans cannot be changed until October 15, the start of AEP. Changes made during AEP will take effect on January 1 of the following year.
Does Medicare change every year?
Typically, Original Medicare does not change year to year. If your Original Medicare plan were to change, your plan would give you notice. Medicare Advantage plans can frequently change, so it is beneficial to review the ANOC with a licensed GoHealth licensed insurance agent every year.
Does ANOC tell me about my specific plan or Medicare changes in general?
The ANOC is sent to you from your specific plan, so it has details about your benefits only.
How do I know if I should make a change based on the ANOC?
It’s important to understand the benefits you’ll need in the upcoming year. If your ANOC provides changes to your plan that don’t cover your needs, it’s a good idea to start comparing other plans that include the coverage you need. A GoHealth licensed insurance agent can make comparing plans easy.