Top Plan Sponsor Questions

User Roles:

AM

AR

AC

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V

This page contains answers to the questions CMS' RDS Center most frequently receives from the Plan Sponsor community.

How do I know the Application Deadline was met?

ANSWER: Both a Valid Initial Online Application and a Valid Initial Retiree List must be submitted prior to the expiration of the Application Deadline.

There are a couple of ways to verify that the Application Deadline has been met:

  1. On the Application Status page, there is a green check mark next to each of the nine steps in the Application Submission Process.
  2. The Application Status is "Approved" or "Submitted." When the Valid Initial Retiree List is submitted and the format is validated, the Valid Initial Retiree List Received Date displays in the Details box on the Application Status page. In the Application Submission Process, Step 9 is marked with a green check and the status is marked "Received" to indicate that the Valid Initial Retiree List has been received by CMS' RDS Center.

Note: An application does not need to be in an "Approved" status prior to the expiration of the Application Deadline. It can take CMS' RDS Center approximately 30 days to approve an application.

Answer ID: 7000-1
Date Posted: 11/11/2015

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I submitted a Valid Initial Retiree List, but Step 9 of the application is still showing as incomplete. What do I need to do?

ANSWER: It can take 3 to 5 business days for CMS' RDS Center to process a retiree file. For purposes of submitting a timely RDS application, the Plan Sponsor is simply responsible for submitting the file by the Application Deadline. The file does not need to be processed by the deadline.

Note that it can take a couple of days for Step 9 of the application to show as complete after a successful file upload.

Answer ID: 7000-2
Date Posted: 11/11/2015

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Both the Authorized Representative and the Account Manager have left the Plan Sponsor organization. How do we reassign the roles?

ANSWER: If neither the Account Manager nor Authorized Representative are available to reassign those roles, send an email to RDS@cms.hhs.gov requesting that those roles be reassigned and include all of the following information:

  • Plan Sponsor Name and Plan Sponsor ID
  • Name of the current Account Manager
  • Name of the current Authorized Representative
  • Name, email address, and phone number of the individual the Plan Sponsor now wishes to fill the Account Manager role
  • Name, email address, and phone number of the individual the Plan Sponsor now wishes to fill the Authorized Representative role

Answer ID: 7000-3
Date Posted: 11/11/2015

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Why can’t I see my cost reports on the RDS Secure Website?

ANSWER: There are a number of reasons you may not be able to view them on the RDS Secure Website:

  • If costs were submitted through Mainframe and the cost file had critical errors that prevented it from being processed, the cost reports are not viewable on the RDS Secure Website. For information on critical error conditions, refer to Submit Interim Costs by Mainframe Transmission in the RDS User Guide.
  • If a Mainframe cost report was received and had no critical errors, it displays on the RDS Secure Website approximately 24 to 48 hours after it was sent to CMS' RDS Center.
  • If you are a Designee, and a Vendor is submitting cost reports, you may not be attached to the Vendor. When a Designee is not attached to a Vendor, the Designee is considered a Plan Sponsor Designee. Plan Sponsor Designees do not have access to Vendor cost reports. Additionally, a Vendor Designee does not have access to any cost reports reported by the Account Manager, Plan Sponsor Designee, or another Vendor. Designees are attached to Vendors in Payment Setup.
  • For information on completing or changing Payment Setup, refer to Payment Setup in the RDS User Guide.
  • If a Vendor submitted a Mainframe cost report and the Plan Sponsor did not set up the Vendor as a Cost Reporter for the application or Unique Benefit Option Identifier (UBOI), the cost report will be rejected. The Plan Sponsor must add the Vendor to the application in Step 4 of Payment Setup and then assign the Vendor to the UBOI using Step 5.
  • For guidelines and step-by-step instructions to change Payment Setup, refer to Change Payment Setup in the RDS User Guide.

Answer ID: 7000-4
Date Posted: 11/11/2015

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I am receiving the following error when uploading a retiree file on the RDS Secure Website: "Invalid number of attributes provided in record. Expected 13, Received ____". How do I resolve this issue?

ANSWER: Verify that only columns A through M (13) contain information and are being uploaded. If columns beyond that are included, delete all information after "M", save, and then re-upload the file.

If the file only contains information in columns A through M, do the following:

  1. Close the file, then open the file in Notepad (right click on file, select "open with," then "notepad").
  2. Check the bottom of the file. If there is an extra row(s) of commas below the last record, delete the commas, then save.

You may also refer to Retiree File Upload Errors in the RDS User Guide for instructions on resolving errors. Additionally, you may reference the Sample Retiree File Spreadsheet Job Aid for a sample file and instructions.

Answer ID: 7000-5
Date Posted: 11/11/2015

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I am receiving an RDS Secure Website warning message that the Actuary's user account is disabled. What action do I need to take?

ANSWER: Once the application has been attested, that Actuary does not have any further interaction with the application. If a problem arises with the user account of the Actuary attached to an application that has already been submitted, the Plan Sponsor does not need to reassign the Actuary on that application, or take any action concerning the Actuary. The warning message you are receiving can be disregarded.

However, if the application has not yet been attested, the Actuary must re-enable their user account before they will be able to log in to the RDS Secure Website and attest the application. The Actuary may refer to Enable Your User Account in the RDS User Guide for instructions on re-enabling their account.

Answer ID: 7000-6
Date Posted: 11/11/2015

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The Plan Sponsor needs to shorten the plan year originally submitted with the application. How do we request that RDS truncate the plan year?

ANSWER: A request to truncate a plan year must be sent by the Account Manager or Authorized Representative either in an email to RDS@cms.hhs.gov or through a support request. The request must include the following information:

  • Plan Sponsor Name and Plan Sponsor ID
  • Application ID
  • Dates of the current application plan year
  • Dates of the plan year that the Plan Sponsor wishes the application to have
  • Reason for truncating the plan year

Note: The Plan Sponsor must send in a retiree file to update the termination date for each retiree listed on the Covered Retiree List to reflect the new last day of the plan year.

Answer ID: 7000-7
Date Posted: 11/11/2015 Last Updated: 2/17/2016

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The Plan Sponsor has an overpayment on one application, but has submitted another payment request for a different application. Can that payment request be used to satisfy the overpayment?

ANSWER: CMS' RDS Center will deduct an overpayment from any positive interim payment requests or any positive final payment requests on another application with the same Plan Sponsor ID that is available.

  • If the amount of the positive payment request does not satisfy the entire overpayment, the Plan Sponsor will receive an Overpayment Notification of Change Email for the remaining balance.
  • If the positive payment request does satisfy the entire overpayment, then CMS' RDS Center will send an Overpayment Notification of Change Email stating that the overpayment is fully satisfied.

Answer ID: 7000-8
Date Posted: 11/11/2015

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The Plan Sponsor is changing Cost Reporter Vendors mid-year. What do we need to do?

ANSWER: It is the responsibility of the Plan Sponsor to coordinate the submission of cost data when the Plan Sponsor changes Vendors mid plan year. Keep in mind that the cost data from the first half of the year must be communicated to the Vendor who is covering the second half of the year so that Threshold Reductions and Limit Reductions are not reported twice. Refer to Coordination of Individual Retiree Cost Data in the RDS User Guide and the Changing Cost Reporter Vendors Technical Article for additional information.

Answer ID: 7000-9
Date Posted: 11/11/2015

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Is there a telephone number I can call to speak with CMS' RDS Center?

ANSWER: Telephone support through CMS' RDS Center Help Line has been discontinued. Plan Sponsors may contact CMS' RDS Center by submitting an RDS Secure Website support request or by emailing RDS@cms.hhs.gov.

Answer ID: 7000-10
Date Posted: 11/11/2015

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How may a Plan Sponsor request cancellation of a payment request?

ANSWER: A request for payment cancellation must be submitted by the Plan Sponsor’s Account Manager or Authorized Representative through email to RDS@cms.hhs.gov. The request must be on company letterhead and include the following information:

  • Plan Sponsor Name and Plan Sponsor ID
  • Application ID
  • Payment Request Date
  • Payment Request Amount
  • Person requesting cancellation: Name and RDS Secure Website User Role
  • Reason for payment cancellation

Answer ID: 7000-11
Date Posted: 2/17/2016            Last Updated: 7/1/2016

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