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Every year there are changes made to Medicare Advantage plans. Sometimes these changes will help you, but other times these changes may mean that something you need is no longer covered by your Medicare plan. That’s why it is so important to take note when your Annual Notice of Change arrives in the mail. 

In many cases, you only have one time a year to make changes to your Medicare plan, so you don’t want to waste the opportunity and be stuck with a plan that is no longer right for you.

Understanding Your Annual Notice of Change Letter

If you have questions about your Annual Notice of Change, we have answers. Whether your Medicare plan is still right for you or you need to make a switch, we’re here to help you understand your letter and make the best decision for your healthcare needs.

What is an Annual Notice of Change?

The Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) is a document that you will receive in the mail, usually before the end of September, listing any changes in your Medicare plan coverage, service area, or costs that will change beginning in January. This notice will help you decide if your plan still meets your needs.

Will I receive an Annual Notice of Change every year? 

Yes – your ANOC letter will come in the mail from your Medicare Advantage plan provider each year before the Annual Enrollment Period. AEP is your opportunity each year to make changes to your plan. It runs from October 15th to December 7th.

Medicare is always changing and an ANOC is your way of seeing what changes will be made to your current plan in the next year so that you can make an informed decision about your healthcare needs.

When do Medicare plan changes take effect?

The changes listed in your ANOC are for the next year. Any changes to costs, coverage, or service area become effective in January. You have until the end of the Annual Election Period, December 7th, to review your coverage and change your Medicare plan.

What do I do when I receive my Annual Notice of Change? 

It is important that you thoroughly review your ANOC for any changes to your Medicare plan. Consider your healthcare needs and make sure that your plan is still the best fit for you. You will want to pay close attention to any changes in costs and coverage. 

If your plan will become too expensive or no longer cover all of your prescription drugs or healthcare providers, then it may be time to switch to a new plan. Even small changes can make a big difference if you have to start paying out of pocket for a medication or health service that was previously covered.

If you are unsure about what all of the changes really mean for you, then you can meet with a Medicare advisor to review your ANOC letter together. They can explain the changes and give you all the information you need to make a decision one way or the other.

Do I have to keep my Medicare plan even if I don't like the changes?

No – the Annual Enrollment Period is your opportunity to find the Medicare plan that best fits your needs. If the changes being made to your current plan don’t help you, then you can find a better plan.

How do I change Medicare plans?

If you are ready to make a change, contact your Medicare agent, or find a local Medicare advisor, so that you can be sure you are switching to the best health coverage for your needs. 

An agent will help you review all of the changes in your ANOC, compare your current plan with your healthcare needs, narrow down your search for a new plan, and can even help you enroll in Medicare plans. They will take the burden off your shoulders so you can go back to enjoying your life.


Concerned your Medicare coverage is no longer right for you? Schedule a meeting to review your benefits with a licensed Medicare advisor to ensure you have the Medicare plan that is right for you. Medicare Annual Enrollment Period ends December 7th, so it's important you review your plan and make any changes before then.

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