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Guide to Preparing AEP Documents — Part One: ANOC

The Medicare Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) is a crucial document that beneficiaries receive from their plan each September. The ANOC outlines any changes to the Medicare plan that will take effect the following year.  

Below is a checklist of ways Medicare companies can best prepare ANOC documents:


1. Understand the purpose and regulations: 
  • The ANOC informs beneficiaries about upcoming changes to their plan for next year, including costs, coverage, and service areas. 

  • Become familiar with federal requirements for ANOC content and format.

2. Timely preparation and deadlines: 
  • Start preparing well in advance. Gather necessary data and review plan changes. CMS usually releases model documentations in May/June. 

  • Medicare requires plans to send the ANOC to members to be received by October 1st. The recommended mail date is September 20th or earlier to meet this deadline.  

3. Format and Structure: 
  • The ANOC must follow a standard format provided by CMS, including:

    • Table of contents

    • Side-by-side comparisons of current/upcoming year benefits and costs

    • Formulary changes, if applicable

    • Optional large print format (based on membership, send large print document to all members or offer standard and large print options based on member requests)

4. Clear Communication: 
  • Use plain, simple language to explain changes, avoiding jargon. 

  • Highlight the key points to ensure beneficiaries understand cost adjustments, benefit modifications, and service area updates. 

5. Beneficiary-Centric Approach: 
  • Consider how changes affect members/beneficiaries.  

  • Address common concerns. 

  • Anticipate questions and provide answers proactively. 

6. Collaborate with Legal and Compliance: 
  • Work closely with legal and compliance teams to ensure documents meet all regulatory requirements. 

  • Review for accuracy, verifying all information is correct and up-to-date. 

7. Quality Assurance: 
  • Proofread the documents; double-check for errors, inconsistencies, or omissions. 

  • Test readability and comprehension with a user sample group. 


The ANOC plays a vital role in helping beneficiaries make informed decisions about their Medicare coverage. By following this guide to preparing the ANOC, Medicare companies can create effective and informative documents for their members.

Maximize your readiness with a downloadable guide for AEP Materials, featured in PART TWO coming soon!


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