October 15th Deadline for Medicare Part D

HR Resource
October 9, 2013 — 2,646 views  
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If you are an employer who has sponsored group health plans, here is something you should know. All the employers who have been supporting group health plans that also take into account prescription drug coverage, need to seek information from all the individuals eligible for Medicare whether their coverage is creditable or not.

The meaning of creditable coverage is that on average, it is expected to pay more or less the same amount that is covered under regular Medicare prescription drug coverage.  

Employers are required tosend out this written disclosure notice every year before the 15th of October.This date was given out by the 2010 Affordable Care Act. It changed the Medicare enrollment deadline for sending the notice from the 7th of December to the 15th of October.

This move has made it necessary for the Creditable Coverage notices under Medicare Part D to reach the eligible members by October 15th so that they can get enough time to go through their forms and consider their enrollment.

The following are the individuals who are covered under the plan:

  • Active Medicare – eligible individuals, as well as their dependents (this includes all the individuals eligible for Medicare as soon as she or she becomes a part of the plan).
  • Medicare - eligible COBRA individuals, as well as their dependents.
  • Disabled individuals eligible for Medicare who are covered under the prescription drug plan of the employer.
  • Any retirees, as well as members dependent on them.

Penalty in Case of Failure to Send the Notice

You can get model notices from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Apart from this, employers are also required to duly fill an online disclosure and send it to CMS to report the status of their credible coverage prescription drugs plans. This disclosure needs to be sent out every year.  In the event of failure to do so, employers will attract certain penalties. Also the Medicare Modernization Act will penalize those sponsors who are not able to maintain this coverage for a minimum of 63 days since their initial enrollment.

You can send out your notices as an email attachment to all the participants who have the facility to access this electronic document at their workplace. If this method is utilized, the participants need to be informed about their responsibilities. They need to be notified that they are also responsible for sharing the information with other Medicare eligible dependents covered under the health plan.

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