Annual Notice of Change coming soon. Pay attention!

Everyone enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan or a Part D plan will be receiving, by the end of September, a package of information called the Annual Notice of Change (ANOC).

The ANOC is full of details you don’t care about – but there are several pages you should give some attention to. Those pages tell you how your plan will change in 2014.  There might also be a list of drugs that are being moved from one tier to another – resulting in higher or lower co-pays. Some drugs might be dropped from the plan’s formulary, meaning they are not covered. You need to review this list to see if any of your drugs are on it.  Some Part D plan premiums might go up significantly, so pay attention.

The ANOC for your Medicare Advantage plan or stand-alone Part D plan will arrive near the end of September. will have 2014 Medicare Advantage and Part D plan information available after October 1st.  Insurance brokers go through training meetings with every Medicare Advantage plan they represent during SEptember – but we can’t tell our clients about any changes until October 1st.

Medicare Advantage: What is changing?

I won’t know about plan changes (such as co-pays for various services), until I attend the Medicare Advantage meetings for each company. I have heard that one plan will no longer have the Silver Sneakers benefit, so I will have to talk to my clients who are enrolled in that plan to see if this makes a difference for them.

New Medicare Advantage plans in Tucson:

There is one new Medicare Advantage (MA) company coming to the Tucson area which is supposed to have low co-pays that will attract the attention of cost-conscious seniors. But there is no information yet on what kind of network it will have. The co-pays and benefits might look good, but if a person’s doctors are not in the network, it won’t be very attractive for a lot of people.

Medicare Open Enrollment Period:

October 15 – December 7 is the Open Enrollment Period (OEP) when people can apply to change their Medicare Advantage plan or stand-alone Part D plan.  People who have a Medicare supplement can change their supplement any time during the year – if they are healthy. The OEP only applies to Part D and Medicare Advantage, and new coverage begins on January 1st.

If you are happy with your Medicare Advantage plan or your stand-alone Part D plan, you don’t have to do anything. Your plan coverage will roll over into 2014.  But if you don’t pay attention, and your plan changes significantly, you will be in for a big surprise next year – and you will be stuck with a plan that doesn’t work for you for all of 2014.  So read that ANOC!



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