During September, you will get the Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) from your Medicare Advantage and/or Part D provider. With it, you can look for changes that may improve your Medicare coverage during the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP).
What is the Annual Notice of Change?
The ANOC is a notice you receive once a year in September from your Part D or Advantage provider. With it, you don’t have to worry about whether or not your coverage changed from the previous year—it gives you a full summary of changes to your plan’s cost and/or coverage. If there are any changes, they will come into effect at the start of the following year.
You should also receive a similar notice called Evidence of Coverage (EOC). Rather than just highlighting changes, it provides a full list of your benefits, regardless of any changes.
What is the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP)?
The Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) takes place from October 15th through December 7th. During it, you can make changes to your Medicare coverage.
It is important to note that you cannot sign up for Medicare for the first time during the AEP. If you are not enrolled and did not enroll when you turned 65, you can do so during the General Enrollment Period.
You can make a variety of changes to your coverage, including:
- Switching from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage
- Dropping Medicare Advantage to stay with Original Medicare
- Going to another Advantage plan and/or plan provider
- Adding Part D to your Original Medicare plan
- Unenrolling in a Part D plan
- Switching from an Advantage plan with prescription drug coverage to one without
- Switching from an Advantage plan without prescription drug coverage to one with
- Changing your Part D plan and/or plan provider
How to Get the Most Out of Your Medicare Coverage
Why is it important to know the changes you can make during the AEP? If you feel your coverage isn’t working for you—whether it’s too much, not enough, your coverage changes, etc.—you can switch to a plan that works better for you.
And what’s the best way to know if your coverage works for you? The ANOC and EOC. Say, for instance, you have an Advantage plan. You receive your ANOC in September and discover that your plan is raising its prices.
The AEP begins in October. You will have a few months to search for a different plan that better fits your budget. There are many examples where the ANOC helps you prepare for the AEP. Just review your coverage and compare other available plans.
Walking You Through Medicare a Step at a Time—Call Today
We can help you navigate your Medicare coverage from start to finish. To learn more, call Cornerstone Senior Advisors at 316-260-3331.