Applying for the RDS Program

User Roles:

AM

AR

AC

D

This page contains answers to Common Questions about the applying for the RDS Program. Review this page to learn about how to apply for the program, what information is required to complete an application, and more. For additional information refer to the Apply for the RDS Program section of the RDS User Guide.

How does a Plan Sponsor apply for the RDS Program?

ANSWER: To participate in the RDS Program, the Plan Sponsor must submit a timely RDS application prior to the expiration of the Application Deadline. For more information about the Application Deadline, including what is required to be submitted by the Application Deadline, refer to Important Application Deadline Information.

Note: Plan Sponsors can view the Application Deadline on the Application Status page of the RDS Secure Website.

There are nine steps in the Application Submission Process. Steps 1 through 9 are accessed from the Application Status page. Use the Application Status page to complete the Application Submission Process, monitor the status of the application, maintain the application, and keep track of deadlines.

For additional information, refer to Submit the Valid Initial Online Application and the Valid Initial Retiree List by the Application Deadline.

Answer ID: 400-1
Date Posted: 10/17/2014

Return to top

Do I have to set up a new Plan Sponsor Account and new application each year I participate in the RDS Program?

ANSWER: While the Plan Sponsor Account is created once, the RDS Application Submission Process continues for every plan year. A new application must be completed for each plan year for which a Plan Sponsor wishes to receive subsidy. By the middle of the current plan year, it is important for the Plan Sponsor to initiate the RDS Application Submission Process for the upcoming plan year.

A Plan Sponsor must submit a timely RDS application prior to the expiration of the Application Deadline. For a list of Application Deadlines by Month/Year, access the RDS Program Website Featured Content Important Application Deadline Information.

For an overview of the Application Submission Process, access the RDS Welcome Kit User Roles Support Tool.

Answer ID: 400-2
Date Posted: 10/17/2014

Return to top

How do I re-apply for a new plan year with an existing Plan Sponsor ID?

ANSWER: Plan Sponsors who have previously participated in the RDS Program and wish to continue to participate must submit a timely application prior to the expiration of the Application Deadline. For more information, including business advice for re-applying for the program, refer to Re-apply for a New Plan Year With an Existing Plan Sponsor ID.

Answer ID: 400-3
Date Posted: 10/17/2014

Return to top

What information is required to complete an application?

ANSWER: The following information is required to complete an application:

  • Plan information
  • Benefit Option information
  • Actuary information
  • Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) information
  • Designee information (optional)
  • Payment Frequency
  • Retiree Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) Methods and Sources

For details on each piece of information, refer to Information Required to Complete an Application.

Answer ID: 400-4
Date Posted: 10/17/2014

Return to top

What user roles are required to complete the Application Submission Process?

ANSWER: The Account Manager, Authorized Representative, and Actuary roles are required to complete the Application Submission Process. For more information, refer to User Roles for the Application Submission Process.

Answer ID: 400-5
Date Posted: 10/17/2014

Return to top

What is Payment Frequency?

ANSWER: Payment Frequency determines how often a Plan Sponsor can receive payments from the RDS Program. To learn more about the four Payment Frequency options, refer to Information Required to Complete an Application.

Answer ID: 400-6
Date Posted: 10/17/2014

Return to top

What is Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)?

ANSWER: Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) is the method of electronically sending funds to a Plan Sponsor's bank account. To learn more about what EFT information is required to complete an RDS application, refer to Information Required to Complete an Application.

Answer ID: 400-7
Date Posted: 10/17/2014

Return to top

What is a Benefit Option, and how many can I have?

ANSWER: A Benefit Option is a particular benefit design, category of benefits, or cost-sharing arrangement offered within a group health plan. A Plan Sponsor can set up applications and Benefit Options in many ways. For additional information on Benefit Options, refer to Application and Benefit Options Defined.

Answer ID: 400-8
Date Posted: 10/17/2014

Return to top

What is a Unique Benefit Option Identifier (UBOI)?

ANSWER: A Unique Benefit Option Identifier (UBOI) is an identifier used for the Benefit Options in each application. This could be a Rx Group Identifier. For more information on UBOIs, refer to Application and Benefit Options Defined.

Answer ID: 400-9
Date Posted: 10/17/2014

Return to top

What are Retiree Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) Methods and Sources?

ANSWER: Retiree EDI Methods and Sources are selected by the Plan Sponsor to indicate the methods by which electronic data files are exchanged with CMS' RDS Center. For more information, refer to Information Required to Complete an Application.

Answer ID: 400-10
Date Posted: 10/17/2014

Return to top

What are a Plan Sponsor's options after missing the Application Deadline?

ANSWER: If a Plan Sponsor misses the Application Deadline, it has two options. Refer to Options After a Missed Application Deadline for more information.

Answer ID: 400-11
Date Posted: 10/17/2014

Return to top