Navigating the world of Medicare can be an incredibly confusing experience whether you are trying to figure things out for yourself or a loved one. There are multiple “parts” that each come with their own rules and regulations. You may also need to look into supplemental insurance to offset what is not covered by Medicare. It can be enough to make even the most adept person’s head spin.
Here at Maggi Tax, we have made it our business to know all the ins and outs of the Medicare rules and regulations so that we can help our amazing clients figure it all out. Today, we would like to spend some time explaining what your Medicare annual notice of change letter means. So, keep reading below to get the scoop and how to understand this important coverage-related document.
All Medicare beneficiaries have coverage changes that happen each year. These modifications can be to premiums, deductibles, or any other parts of the plan/new plan that you have selected. Your annual notice of change (ANOC) letter can help you prepare for what is coming up with your Medicare coverage. You can expect this communication to arrive in September if your plan falls under any of the Medicare Advantage plans or the Part-D prescription plan.
If you receive an ANOC letter, you can expect that it will detail the following types of information:
- Changes in premium costs (increases and decreases)
- Updated charge amounts (co-pays, co-insurance, deductibles, etc.)
- Drug formulary
- Covered service area
Please remember that if you are part of a Medicare Advantage plan or Part-D prescription plan, you need to be on the lookout for this annual change notice. Here at Maggi Tax, we have not had a year go by where we haven’t seen changes to Medicare coverage, and it is vital that you understand how these annual adjustments impact you and/or your loved ones.
Some of the big items that you will want to thoroughly examine in your ANOC are as follows:
- Are your care team members (doctors, therapists, etc.) still considered in-network?
- Are all of your prescription medications still covered in the formulary, and have any been changed to generic vs. brand?
- Have your expenses for premiums, copays, and deductibles increased?
- Will you need referrals to see a specialist?
- Has the out-of-pocket maximum changed, and do you have the financial means to cover this amount should a medical emergency happen?
The good news is that plan alterations do not take effect until January 1 of the following calendar year, so you should have several months to plan whether you need to adjust any co-insurances or utilize the Fall open enrollment period to select a new plan that better fits your needs. If you are happy with your selected Medicare coverage, then you don’t need to do anything, as your plan will renew automatically.
We hope that this guide has helped to demystify what your Medicare annual notice of change letter means for you. If you have further questions, do not hesitate to reach out to the friendly and knowledgeable team here at Maggi Tax. We are always here to help with any questions you may have. Give us a call today!