As you know, group health plans offering prescription drug coverage are required to disclose to all Part D-eligible individuals who are enrolled in or were seeking to enroll in the group health plan coverage whether such coverage was “actuarially equivalent,” ie, creditable.
(Coverage is creditable if its actuarial value equals or exceeds the actuarial value of standard prescription drug coverage under Part D.) This notice is required to be provided to all Part D eligible persons, including active employees, retirees, spouses, dependents and COBRA qualified beneficiaries.
The regulations also require group health plan sponsors with Part D eligible individuals to submit a similar notice to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”). Specifically, employers must electronically file these notices each year through the form supplied on the CMS website.
The filing deadline is 60 days following the first day of the plan year. If you operate a calendar year plan, the deadline is the end of February.
At a minimum, the Disclosure to CMS Form must be provided to CMS annually and upon the occurrence of certain other events including:
1) Within 60 days after the beginning date of the plan year for which disclosure is provided;
2) Within 30 days after termination of the prescription drug plan; and
3) Within 30 days after any change in creditable status of the prescription drug plan.
The Disclosure to CMS Form must be completed online at the CMS Creditable Coverage Disclosure to CMS Form web page at: https://www.cms.gov/CreditableCoverage/45_CCDisclosureForm.asp
The online process is composed of the following three step process: (1) Enter the Disclosure Information; (2) Verify and Submit Disclosure Information; and (3) Receive Submission Confirmation.
The Disclosure to CMS Form requires employers to provide detailed information to CMS including but not limited to, the name of the entity offering coverage, whether the entity has any subsidiaries, the number of benefit options offered, the creditable coverage status of the options offered, the period covered by the Disclosure to CMS Form, the number of Part D eligible individuals, the date of the notice of creditable coverage, and any change in creditable coverage status.
As with the Part D Notices to Part D Medicare-eligible individuals, while nothing in the regulations prevents a third-party from submitting the notices (such as a TPA or insurer), ultimate responsibility falls on the plan sponsor.
If you would like further information regarding the above matters, health care reform, or employee benefits in general, please feel free to contact our office. You can reach attorney Elizabeth Latchana at firstname.lastname@example.org or 517-377-0826.