Each year, group health plan sponsors that provide prescription drug coverage to individuals eligible for Medicare Part D must disclose to the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) whether that coverage is “creditable” or “non-creditable.” Prescription drug coverage is “creditable” when it is at least actuarially equivalent to Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage.
The disclosure obligation applies to all plan sponsors that provide prescription drug coverage, even those that offer prescription drug coverage only to active employees and not to retirees.
This disclosure needs to be submitted within 60 days of the start of a plan year. So, if a plan year starts 08/01 or 09/01, then this disclosure needs to be submitted by 10/31 or 11/30 respectively.
Disclosure is made using the Disclosure to CMS Form on the CMS website. An entity that does not offer outpatient prescription drug benefits to any Part D-eligible individual on the first day of its plan year is not required to complete the CMS disclosure form for that plan year. Plan sponsors that contract directly with Medicare as a Part D plan or that contract with a Part D plan to provide qualified prescription drug coverage are also exempt from the CMS disclosure requirement for individuals who participate in the Part D plan.
In addition to the annual disclosure, plan sponsors must submit a new disclosure form to CMS within 30 days following any change in the creditable coverage status of a prescription drug plan. This includes both a change in the coverage offered so that it is no longer creditable (or non-creditable) and the termination of a creditable coverage option. A new disclosure form must also be submitted to CMS within 30 days after the termination of a prescription drug plan.
The disclosure requirement applies to all plan sponsors that provide prescription drug coverage to Part D-eligible individuals, even those that do not make prescription drug coverage available to retirees.