Any sized employer who sponsors a group health plan is required to notify CMS of the plan’s Medicare Part D creditable coverage status. This must be done through an online form available on the CMS website. Hard copies are typically not allowed, unless the company has no internet access. The form is relatively straightforward, but the employer needs to determine whether the prescription drug plan covers any Medicare-eligible individuals at the start of the plan year, including active employees, retirees, disabled individuals or anyone on COBRA. However, any retiree drug subsidy participants should be excluded. The Disclosure to CMS Form must be submitted annually within 60 days from the start of the plan year. Thus, for plans that begin on Jan 1, the deadline to submit the CMS disclosure is March 1st. CMS must also be notified within 30 days after termination of the prescription drug plan or a change in creditable coverage status of the drug plan. Lastly, there is no specific penalty for failure to complete the Disclosure to CMS Form, but ERISA plan fiduciaries must administer the plan in accordance with ERISA and other federal laws. Therefore, employers should determine if the plan is creditable or non-creditable, and disclose that information to CMS within the appropriate timeframes.
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