Medicare Part D Notification Date Changes

May 2011

Employers that currently provide prescription drug coverage must disclose to plan participants who are eligible for Part D whether the coverage is creditable.  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requires a notice be sent prior to the start of the annual Medicare Part D enrollment period, which in the past was November 15th through December 31st.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) has changed the Medicare Part D annual enrollment period to October 15th through December 7th, thus making the notices due by October 15th each year.   The new enrollment period takes effect in the fall of 2011 for 2012 Part D enrollment.  Employers should make sure to send required Part D notices prior to October 15 beginning in 2011.

CMS has also posted updated revised model disclosure notices that reflect the new enrollment period.    The model notices, in both English and Spanish, can be found at http://www.cms.gov/CreditableCoverage.

Applicability:  All employers who offer prescription drug coverage to employees are required to send a Part D notice to any participant eligible for Medicare.

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