Preparing For Medicare Open Enrollment: Important Documents

September is here, and with it will come important documents for Medicare’s fall Open Enrollment. Medicare Open Enrollment, which is also referred to as the Annual Election Period (AEP), occurs every year from October 15th to December 7th. During this period, you have the option to change your Medicare plan for 2021. In order to be better prepared, it is important to review the information that you will be receiving this month. Check your mailbox for the following important documents:

Medicare And You Handbook

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You will receive a “Medicare and You” handbook that will explain the benefits, your rights, and available plans.

If you are already enrolled in Medicare, you will receive a free 2021 Medicare And You handbook in the mail this month. The handbook will provide you with:

  • A summary of Medicare benefits
  • Your Medicare rights
  • Answers to frequently asked questions
  • Lists of available health and drug plans in your area. All plans have to cover the same benefits listed in the handbook, but costs and coverage rules will vary based on your area. 

If you did not receive your handbook, you can call 1-800-MEDICARE and request a copy with information for your region to be mailed to you. You can also view the handbook online at medicare.gov

Annual Notice Of Change

If you have a Part D prescription drug plan or a Medicare Advantage plan, then you should receive a notice called the Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) this month. The ANOC will list any changes that will be made to your plan in 2021 regarding your:

  • Rates What you can expect to pay for your copays, annual deductibles, and drug costs for 2021.
  • Covered Drugs- You will be able to look through the plan’s formulary and see what drugs are being added or removed from Part D formularies.
  • Provider Network– Check to see which doctors, hospitals, and other providers and pharmacies will be in your plan’s network next year. Be sure to pay attention to this as  networks do change from time to time, and you might find that some providers have been added or removed.

    caution sign ; yellow triangle with black exclamation point in the middle
    The EOC along with he ANOC are 2 very important documents that will notify you of any changes in your plans and if your plan is leaving Medicare.

Evidence Of Coverage

The Evidence of Coverage (EOC) document that you will receive will give you an in-depth explanation of the benefits and out-of-pocket costs for your plan. Your EOC should come in the mail with your ANOC, or you can look at the document on your plan’s website. Your EOC will notify you of:

  • Plans that are leaving the Medicare program, so you can start searching for another plan for the new year. 
  • The quality of performance of your current plan, if your current plan has received a low rating for 3 or more years in a row. This is so you can begin to look at other, better-rated plan options in your area.

Notice of Creditable Coverage

If you get your health insurance and drug coverage through an employer, then you will receive a notice of creditable coverage. This will inform you if your coverage is still credible, and if it is as good as or better than Medicare coverage. You will need this document as proof that you had credible employer-based health insurance, so that you do not get hit with a late enrollment penalty when you decide to switch to a Medicare Advantage or a Part D plan.

the word important in written on a purple paper with a red thumbnail on itReview these notices so that you are aware of any changes being made to your Medicare plan. If you find that there are changes that you are unhappy with, then you can start searching for a new plan before Open Enrollment begins.

Once you receive these important documents in the mail and begin reviewing your coverage, you might find that your current plan will no longer fit your needs. If it is time to change your coverage, then it is time to call EZ.Insure. Our agents are highly trained in Medicare and help you compare all of the options available for your financial and medical needs. We want to make sure that you have the best coverage and care, especially during these times. To get free, instant quotes, enter your zip code in the bar above. Or to speak directly to one of our licensed agents, call 888-753-7207.