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Ask Phil: How do I know what my Medicare plan covers? Will it change every year?

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ON SCREEN TEXT: UnitedHealthcare®

A man in a dark suit sits and speaks.

ON SCREEN TEXT: Phil Moeller
                                  "Ask Phil, by UnitedHealthcare"

PHIL: Hi, I'm Phil Moeller. I spend a lot of time writing articles and books helping people understand Medicare, retirement, and aging. Digging into these subjects gives us a better chance to make more informed health care decisions. And with that in mind, let's explore a question I get asked a lot...
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ON SCREEN TEXT: "How do I know what my
                                  Medicare plan covers?
                                  Will it change every year?"

Phil comes back into view.

PHIL: People often wonder how their Medicare coverage changes from year to year. Coverage needs change. Drugs change. New drugs move in and out of the market. So how do you find out? Well, the good news is that by law, private Medicare insurers have to send you something no later than September of every year called an Annual Notice of Change...

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ON SCREEN TEXT: Annual Notice of Change (ANOC):
                                 Document detailing any plan changes that
                                 will go into effect the following January 1.

PHIL: And then you can use that information to help you make decisions during the annual open enrollment period that occurs every fall and extends from October 15th through December 7th.

Phil comes back into view.

PHIL: So you should look at your plan changes and then decide whether you're gonna need new coverage or not. The other document that can be very helpful to you is called an Evidence of Coverage document.

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ON SCREEN TEXT: Evidence of Coverage (EOC):
                                  Document detailing what your plan covers,
                                  how much you pay, and more.

PHIL: This is a pretty big document, and again, your insurer is required to provide it to you. Increasingly,
these documents will be available online, and you can ask your insurer where to find them.

Phil comes back into view.

PHIL: These documents go over in excruciating detail everything your plan covers. If it's a drug plan, it
often usually incorporates a list of all the medications your plan covers, which is called a formulary.
Again, there are often formulary changes from one plan year to the next.

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ON SCREEN TEXT: For more guidance from Phil, visit
                                  newsroom.uhc.com/askphil.html

ON SCREEN TEXT: UnitedHealthcare®