Medicare Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage, is set for automatic renewal when you sign up for it. But it’s also important to know that automatic renewal isn’t the same as being forced into staying with a plan.
Here we’ll look into when automatic enrollment is the best idea, the Evidence of Coverage and Annual Notice of Change notices, and how these will impact what you ought to do regarding automatic renewal.
Why Automatically Renew?
While this article more extensively explores situations in which you should opt against automatic renewal, that’s not to say there aren’t times when this is the best choice.
Here are reasons why you should let your Medicare Part C plan automatically renew:
- Automatic renewal eliminates the hassle of re-enrolling
- Forgetfulness is not a liability
- You’re happy with your plan
Evidence of Coverage and Annual Notice of Change
In September of every year, you’ll get two important documents that you should review closely – the Evidence of Coverage and the Annual Notice of Change.
The Evidence of Coverage shows what you paid for and the benefits you received for that year. The Annual Notice of Change lists changes that’ll take place the following year – changes such as coverage, what you’ll pay, and the providers moving into or out of the network.
Why Evidence of Coverage and Annual Notice of Change Are Crucial
These documents are important because of when they arrive, and the role they play in what you do during the Open Enrollment Period (October 15 – December 7). Please contact your provider if you don’t get these documents by September. This is timed this way because it gives you a chance to decide if you were pleased with the coverage you received that year and if you are content with any of the plan’s changes in the next year.
The Evidence of Coverage may make you decide against automatic renewal because you were unsatisfied with your network and you wish to receive care from different healthcare professionals. You may also feel that your coverage was not worth the investment you put into it, and because of that, you want to find a better deal.
The Annual Notice of Change can make you decide not to go through with renewal because of a fundamental change in coverage, costs, or network. This document may even be more compelling for not letting your plan automatically renew.
Once you’ve looked these over, you can switch or drop Medicare Advantage Plans anytime between October 15 and December 7.
Watch Out for a Non-Renewal Notice
This hinges on your health plan’s contract with Medicare. The only time you’ll ever receive a non-renewal notice is if your health plan is no longer in contract with Medicare.
The company will try to align you with a plan that most closely resembles the plan you originally enrolled in. But that plan might cost more, or its benefits may not suit you, or the network may not include the healthcare professionals you prefer seeing. Your health plan will try its best, but it will always consult you first.
You’re not forced to go with the plan that’s “most similar” to the one you had before.
Upon this notice, you have the freedom to:
- Switch to a Medicare Advantage plan of your choice
- Let your plan revert to Original Medicare (though if the Medicare Advantage plan you were previously enrolled in had prescription drug coverage, you’ll have to enroll in Medicare Part D too)
There’s One Choice You Should Make This Year
Health insurance plans may change, but our approach to excellence doesn’t. As a consumer, you’ve always got to be on the lookout. The plan you had this year may be drastically different from the one next year, even though it was technically the same. It’s a lot to keep up with.
Every day, we help people just like you get a plan that best fits their health and finances. Now is your chance to experience a service that you can’t get anywhere else. Call us today at (855) 952-1941. We also provide you the option to video chat with us for free.