During the final few months of the year, many beneficiaries feel bombarded with Medicare mail. It isn’t surprising that some people start ignoring mail that is clearly about Medicare. But it is unfortunate. Two of those items, the Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) and Evidence of Coverage (EOC), contain vital information about your plans. And using them makes Annual Enrollment a whole lot easier. This post tells you how.
The Annual Notice of Change is a document that details every change you can expect to your Medicare plan next year. You receive the ANOC if you have a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan, prescription drug plan (Part D), or any other plan beyond Original Medicare (Parts A and B). Medicare requires your plan to send the ANOC by the end of September.
That timing isn’t a coincidence. You receive the ANOC in September because it gives you plenty of time to review your current plan’s coverage changes before Annual Enrollment starts on October 15.
Call your plan if you did not receive the ANOC by the end of September.
The Evidence of Coverage explains the costs and coverage of your Medicare plan. Like the ANOC, anyone who has a Medicare plan beyond Original Medicare receives the EOC. And, you typically receive this document around the same time that you get the ANOC. Again, if you did not receive it by September 30, call your plan.
The ANOC and EOC are two of the most important documents you’ll receive from your plan all year. They contain crucial information about upcoming changes to coverage, costs, the plan’s network, and more.
You receive these documents to help you compare how well your current plan will meet your needs next year. Also, the ANOC and EOC help you compare your current plan with other plans. Don’t forget, nearly all plans change from year to year. That means a plan that wasn’t quite right this year may be your ideal plan next year.
There are a number of ways your plan may change from year to year. The most common changes include:
Please note that the Annual Notice of Change and Evidence of Coverage are the only way you learn about these changes. Medicare will never call you about plan changes. In fact, Medicare will not call you about anything unless you’ve specifically requested a call. All Medicare communication occurs via U.S. mail. If anyone calls you claiming to be from Medicare, hang up and call 1-800-MEDICARE.
We recommend comparing the ANOC and EOC against your current needs. Not sure what those are? Then create a list of the following:
Compare this information to the information in the ANOC and EOC. If the changes don’t affect you and you’re happy with your plans, great! If not, though, you know you need to take steps during Annual Enrollment if you don’t want any coverage gaps.
If you’re happy with your current coverage and the ANOC and EOC don’t reveal issues, then no, you don’t have to do anything. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do anything.
Like we said earlier, your plan isn’t the only one changing next year. They all do. Annual Enrollment is your chance to see whether a different plan might work better for you. Maybe you can find the same coverage but cheaper. Or, maybe there’s a plan with even better coverage that still fits your budget. The point is, you won’t know unless you look.
The licensed agents at MedicareUSA help you compare your plan options to find the best plan for your needs. And, it won’t cost you a penny. Call us toll-free at 800-637-7602 to get started. You can also use our online tool to compare Medicare plan options in your area.
Since 2015, Kolt Legette has helped clients navigate the often-confusing world of insurance. His number one goal is protecting the medical and financial wellbeing of every person he speaks with, whether they choose to buy insurance or not. Kolt loves representing the best brands in medical insurance as it allows him to provide side-by-side comparisons for his clients. This allows the client to decide which company works best for them. By putting the needs of the client above everything else, Kolt helps real people find affordable health insurance solutions for their most pressing healthcare needs. With his belief that peace of mind is priceless, Kolt's goal in every interaction is to make sure every person he speaks to leaves with the peace of mind they rightfully deserve.
The MedicareUSA website is operated by HealthPlanOne, LLC a licensed health insurance agency based in Connecticut; in California d/b/a HPOne Insurance Agency, license #OF30784. HealthPlanOne, is a licensed and certified representative of Medicare Advantage HMO, PPO and PPFS organizations and stand-alone prescription drug plans with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in any plan depends on contract renewal.
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Last Updated 12/21/2018