Three Common ANOC Missteps

The ANOC season is coming up fast, which means that your Medicare Advantage health plan is either already in gear or just about ready to turn the engine over. Don’t get us wrong—everything about ANOC is a bear, but in some ways, getting started is the hardest part. How you begin sets the stage for everything that follows—and any miscues that you make up front tend to be amplified later down the line when you realize the pieces aren’t fitting together and the deadline is just weeks (or days) away.

With that in mind, we thought it would be helpful to shine a light on three common missteps that plans make when putting together their ANOC campaign. Obviously, there are many other pitfalls to avoid, but definitely try to steer clear of these doozies.

1. Starting Before Your Benefits are Locked In

This is a very common mistake. Health plans look at the monumental task ahead of them and jump right in before their benefits are locked in, hoping to lay groundwork and create some breathing room. In reality, starting your books before your benefits are finalized is kind of like starting a painting before your model arrives—you will get a head start, yes, but you will also get a lot of details wrong that will need to be corrected at the eleventh hour. Always wait until the benefits are filed, and only then begin building your benefit chapters.

2. Failing to Recognize this Year’s Model

Every year, CMS changes the model language in some way, shape or form. Health plans commonly fail to understand what is different about the new model versus last year’s model, as well as what additional information or resources may be needed to populate these new areas. Plowing through your ANOC books as if the model hasn’t changed is a recipe for disaster.

3. Copying and Pasting from Last Year

By the same token, don’t repeat any errors or issues with the wording of last year’s books in this year’s book—even in areas where changes to the model have no effect. Were providers confused with the wording of a benefit? Did you receive complaints this past year from members that couldn’t understand a section or two from their EOC? These are real-world concerns that are too often brushed aside. A savvy health plan will revamp trouble areas to produce a better book—and ultimately a better customer experience.

TRAFFIK has spent over a decade in the ANOC trenches, and we see health plans making these same missteps year after year after year. To learn more about avoiding these and other potential landmines in your ANOC strategy, give us a call or even leave a comment here, and let’s see how we can work together to make this ANOC season (almost) stress free.