Summary: This applies to all employers offering medical plan coverage. The online disclosure must be completed by March 1, 2019 (assuming a calendar year ERISA plan).
Federal law requires that employers provide annual notification of the Medicare Part D Prescription Benefit "creditability" to employees prior to October 15th. However, that same law also requires plan sponsors to report creditability information directly to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) within 60 days of the first day of the ERISA plan year. Many employers have a January 1 ERISA plan year (which may – or may not – coincide with your renewal or policy year); so for many employers, the deadline is in a couple of weeks!
Mandatory Online Creditable Coverage Disclosure
Virtually all employers are required to complete the online questionnaire at the CMS website, with the only exception being employers who have been approved for the Retiree Drug Subsidy (RDS). This disclosure requirement also applies to individual health insurance, government assistance programs, military coverage, and Medicare supplement plans. There is no alternative method to comply with this requirement! Please remember that you must provide this disclosure annually.
The required Disclosure Notice is made through completion of the disclosure form on the CMS Creditable Coverage Disclosure web page. Click on the following link: CMS Disclosure Form.
Employers must also update their questionnaire if there has been a change to the creditability status of their prescription drug plan, or if they terminate prescription drug benefits altogether.
Detailed Instructions and Screenshots Available
If you would like additional information on completing the online disclosure, a detailed instruction guide is available online. The instructions also include helpful screenshots so that you will know what data to have handy. More info here: CMS Notification Instruction Guide.
Helpful Tip for Vita's Clients
The Medicare Part D creditability status of your medical plans is outlined in the Welfare Summary Plan Description that we provide to all clients. Please refer to this document as you will need this information to complete the online disclosure.