Your Medicare Part D Disclosure to CMS May Be Due Soon

1/29/2009

Have you made your 2009 Medicare Part D Disclosure to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) yet? If not, we at Warner wanted to remind you that employers who sponsor group health plans that cover any prescription drugs must disclose to CMS within 60 days of the start of a new plan year whether the plan includes prescription drug coverage that is creditable or noncreditable coverage. If your plan year begins on January 1, you must file your disclosure with CMS by March 1. Filing is done electronically using the CMS Web site at http://www.cms.hhs.gov/CreditableCoverage.

This filing requirement applies to health plans that cover any individuals who are eligible for the Medicare Part D prescription drug program, whether as active employees, spouses, dependents, or retirees. There are a few limited exemptions for plans that contract with a Medicare Part D plan or that contract directly with Medicare to become a Part D plan, and for retiree plans where an employer has successfully applied for the retiree drug subsidy. No disclosures are required for health flexible spending accounts (FSAs) or health savings accounts (HSAs); but disclosures are required for Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) either on a stand-alone basis or, more likely, in connection with a high deductible health plan, if the HRA reimburses prescription drug expenses.

Note that this is in addition to the Notice of Creditable (or Noncreditable) Coverage that you provide annually to the Medicare-eligible participants in your plan. Remember also that if, after filing this disclosure, you terminate prescription drug coverage or change the coverage so that creditable coverage becomes noncreditable (or vice versa), you must file a new electronic disclosure with CMS within 30 days of the change (and also provide an updated notice to participants in your plan).

If you have any questions about the creditable coverage disclosure to CMS, or about Medicare Part D generally, please contact Norbert F. Kugele or any other member of Warner's Employee Benefits Practice Group.

 

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