Important Tip: Read Your Annual Notice of Change

Medicare Cafe


As we approach the Medicare annual election period (AEP) that runs from October 15 thru December 7, you will receive a ton of mail from Medicare and prescription drug plans.

What you do with all this mail is up to you, but there is one piece of mail you need to pay attention to and read: your Annual Notice of Change.

(ANOC) Annual Notice of Change

Your Annual Notice of Change will include information about changes in your plan’s service area, coverage, or cost. All changes noted in the letter will take effect on January 1 2023.

What to look for in your Annual Notice of Change (ANOC)


Is your monthly premium increasing? Last year one of the companies increased its premium by almost $50.00 a month.

Pharmacy Network and Drug Formulary

Is your preferred pharmacy still in the plan’s network? Are the costs of any of your prescription drugs increasing?

Make sure you take the time to understand any of your plan changes to avoid surprises on January 1. If you would like to make any changes, call or email me.

You will also be bombarded with information regarding Medicare Advantage Plans. Unfortunately, there are many half-truths in this advertising.

When a person enrolls in a Medicare Advantage Plan, the plan is now 100% responsible for that person’s health care. Because of this, the plan receives cash payments from the federal government, which is why you will see so much advertising.

If you have questions or concerns, call (970) 773-0220 or email me at

Lew Barr

Independent Insurance Agent

Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Pharmacy

I recently heard about the Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Pharmacy website, and for those dealing with high prescription drug costs, this may be of help.

The Basics
Mark Cuban (billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team) started an online cost-plus pharmacy in January 2022. He started offering 100 prescription drugs and currently has over 800 generic drugs. According to his website, Cost Plus Drugs, they mark up their cost for the drug by 15%, then add a $3.00 pharmacy fee and then a $5.00 shipping fee.

Who Can Benefit?
If you take low-cost generic drugs, you will probably not benefit from this. If you use expensive inhalers or have high prescription drug costs, it would not hurt to see if they offer the inhalers or prescriptions you currently use at a lower price.

How it Works
* First, make sure your medication is available at a lower price.
* If you have found your medications create an account.
* Your doctor will need to send your prescription to their online pharmacy.
* Place your order, and your medication will be mailed to you when ready.

I have not affiliated in any way with the Mark Cuban drug plan. The Mark Cuban drug plan cannot be used with your Medicare Prescription drug plan or any other insurance.