What is the Annual Notice of Change?

Kids are back in school, leaves are dazzling us with colorful new hues, and fresh baked pecan pies are sweetening homes all across Alabama. That can only mean one thing: it’s football season! Oh, and  Medicare Advantage plans are beginning to send out their Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) documents. As the name implies, the ANOC highlights the changes made to your current Medicare Advantage plan for the upcoming year. As a Medicare Advantage beneficiary, it’s important to keep an eye out on your mailbox for this information, because it typically gets mailed in September.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reviews ANOCs from to ensure they provide their plan members with complete and accurate information about their coverage.

Some of the information required to be in your ANOC includes:

  • What your premium will be for the upcoming year.

  • Any changes to the cost (such as copays) or coverage of your medical benefits.

  • New features or benefits being added to your plan for the upcoming year or benefits and features that may be going away.

  • If Medicare Part D is part of your plan, you will be notified of any changes to the costs of prescriptions and of any changes to the formulary.

You owe it to yourself to take some time to review the changes that have been made to your benefits, copays, and deductibles. If you are confused about some of the changes, there are a number of resources you can contact for help. For example, the Viva Medicare Cafés in Hoover, Birmingham, Montgomery, and Mobile are great resources where you can get easy-to-understand answers to all your Medicare questions. Licensed agents are always available to help you understand changes in your ANOC and can assist you with your Medicare needs.

Some other senior resources include your current Medicare Advantage plan provider, Alabama Connect, Alabama Ageline (1-800-AGELINE), or your local senior center. You may also want to be on the lookout for ANOC meetings hosted by your current Medicare Advantage plan. These meetings are a great way to get answers to your Medicare questions.

So, check your mailbox, review your ANOC documents, and make sure you understand the changes. If you are not sure, take it to the Viva Medicare Café and you want to meet with a licensed agent who can help you. Once you do these three things, it’s time to start thinking about what’s next: who will be this year’s BCS champion?