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Life Health > Health Insurance > Medicare Planning

Medicare basics: Plan annual notice of changes

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Thinking about getting into the Medicare market in the coming year?

If so, this is the time to start learning how it works.

Example: The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) requires all Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D Plans to send their members an annual notice of change (ANOC) for the upcoming year.

This notice is usually presented in the form of a booklet and contains all the changes to the current member’s costs and benefits.

This booklet is typically received by October and can help the member decide if they wish to stay with their current plan or change to another.

As a licensed agent, this is a great opportunity for me to meet with my clients, as well as prospective clients to review their plan changes with them. 

In my line of business, any opportunity to sit in front of potential clients is the perfect chance to grow my business.

A simple “Medicare Plan Review” can build a lot of rapport and leads to additional business opportunities and referrals.

It’s surprising how many Medicare beneficiaries don’t read the ANOC’s and don’t realize the major changes to their plan until the new-year when they’re already “locked-in.”

For example, if a client has a “give back” plan—which means the plan they chose gives back a portion of or all of their Medicare Part B premium in the form of a premium reduction in their social security check—and receives back $96.40 this year, it’s important to review their ANOC for next year’s premium reduction changes.

Often times, this premium reduction is the main reason why the client has chosen this plan and if they don’t review their ANOC, they may not be aware of changes that will impact this until they receive their deflated monthly Social Security check in the new year.

At that point, it’s too late to choose another plan that offers the $96.40 they were counting on each month which can lead to financial complications.

Other changes to consider include:

  • Changes in co-payments.

  • Changes to their RX drug formulary.

  • Provider directory.

Change is always a great opportunity for you as a licensed agent to get in front of new customers so take advantage of it!

Our clients’ health and wealth go hand-in-hand; if their health declines, their wealth will surely follow, so it’s up to us we to make sure they are positioned with the appropriate Medicare plan for their particular needs.


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