Create a New Plan Sponsor Account

User Roles:

AM

AR

Overview

This section provides an overview of the user roles and information required to create a new Plan Sponsor Account.

Introduction to Becoming a Plan Sponsor

The Retiree Drug Subsidy (RDS) Program allows companies and organizations to apply for subsidy of drug costs. For information on qualifying retirees for subsidy, refer to Qualifications for the RDS Program.

Organizations and companies that participate in the RDS Program are called Plan Sponsors. Unless there is a significant business need to have multiple accounts, there may only be one RDS Plan Sponsor account per Employer Identification Number (EIN). Before registering to become a Plan Sponsor, consider which individuals to assign RDS Secure Website user roles and gather the required Registration information.

Important: Users should not create new Plan Sponsor accounts to bypass the Account Manager or Authorized Representative Role Reassignment process. If an individual is required to replace an existing Account Manager or Authorized Representative for an existing Plan Sponsor account that will continue to be used in the future, users must follow the guidance in the Reassign the Account Manager and Authorized Representative Roles section.

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RDS Secure Website User Roles

There are two user roles assigned during the Plan Sponsor Registration process: the Account Manager and the Authorized Representative. All registered users must have a U.S. Social Security Number.

Consider the following responsibilities when choosing individuals to fulfill these two roles:

Account Manager Responsibilities

The purpose of the Account Manager is to initiate and manage the Plan Sponsor account.

The Account Manager needs to dedicate sufficient time for management tasks in the RDS Program Lifecycle, such as assigning and managing users, reporting costs, requesting payment, and managing retirees.

For more information about the Account Manager, refer to Register as an RDS Secure Website User.

Authorized Representative Responsibilities

The purpose of the Authorized Representative is to verify and sign the Plan Sponsor Agreement and Reconciliation Agreement.

The Authorized Representative has a significantly less active role than the Account Manager.

The Authorized Representative is granted the legal authority to bind the Plan Sponsor to the terms of the Plan Sponsor Agreement. The Authorized Representative typically delegates application and Reconciliation tasks to the Account Manager or Designees.

For more information about the Authorized Representative, refer to Register as an RDS Secure Website User.

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Required Organization Registration Information

Gather the following organization contact and identification information before you register.

Plan Sponsor Information

  • Employer Identification Number (EIN)
    • Also known as the Federal Employer Tax Identification Number
    • Should be unique per Plan Sponsor account
    • Must be ten characters and must be entered in "00-0000000" format
      • A dash after the second number is required
  • Organization Name
    • Also known as the legal organization name
    • Must be associated with the Employer Identification Number
    • Organization Name field allows a maximum of 50 characters, including spaces
      • If the entire legal organization name does not fit in the field, enter it without abbreviation, until the character limit is reached.
      • Example: Entering the Legal Organization Name.
        • Legal Organization Name: First America American Autoworkers Union Local Chapter 47
          • Correct Entry: First America American Autoworkers Union Local Cha
          • Incorrect Entry: First Amer American Autowkers Union Local Chapt 47
  • Phone Number
    • Must be 10 numbers
  • Extension (optional)
  • Website (optional)
  • Organization Type
    • Select from: Commercial, Government, Nonprofit, Religious, or Union

Plan Sponsor Address (must be associated with Employer Identification Number [EIN])

  • Street Line 1
  • Street Line 2 (optional)
  • City
  • State
  • Zip Code

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Required Authorized Representative Information

  • Email Address (must be in a valid format)
  • First Name
  • Middle Initial (optional)
  • Last Name

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Required Account Manager Information

Account Manager Information

  • First Name (must be associated with Social Security Number)
  • Middle Initial (optional)
  • Last Name (must be associated with Social Security Number)
  • Date of Birth (must be associated with Social Security Number)
  • U.S. Social Security Number
  • Phone Number (must be 10 numbers)
  • Extension (optional)
  • Job Title
  • Email Address (must be in a valid format)

Account Manager Mailing Address

  • Street Address 1
  • Street Address 2 (optional)
  • City
  • State
  • Zip Code

For more information, refer to Register as an RDS Secure Website User.

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What's Next After Creating a New Plan Sponsor Account?

CMS' RDS Center processes and validates the Plan Sponsor and Account Manager Registration information. When this process is successfully completed, the Account Manager receives an email notification confirming the Registration and prompting them to activate Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). Refer to Multi-Factor Authentication for additional information.

Once MFA has been activated, the Account Manager can then access the RDS Secure Website using their Login ID, Password, and MFA token. If the Account Manager does not receive an email within five business days, contact CMS' RDS Center.

The Authorized Representative receives an email invitation to register with CMS' RDS Center, and a copy of that email is also sent to the Account Manager. The Authorized Representative must follow the instructions in the email invitation to complete Registration. Authorized Representatives that already have an existing account will receive an email notification advising them that they have been added to the new Plan Sponsor account. If the Authorized Representative does not receive an email within five business days, contact CMS' RDS Center.

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Step-by-Step Instructions

This section provides step-by-step instructions to complete Plan Sponsor registration.

Select one of the options below based on your current account status.

Important: If you are an existing user with a role type other than Account Manager (i.e., Authorized Representative, Designee, or Actuary), your current account must be terminated before you can register to become an Account Manager. You must be removed from all applications and Plan Sponsor accounts you are assigned to, even applications that have completed Reconciliation in the past. Refer to User Management for guidance on these processes.

New User

If you do not have an existing Account Manager Secure Website account, follow the instructions below:

  1. Navigate to the RDS Program Website home page: http://www.rds.cms.hhs.gov.
  2. Select Register.

     Select REGISTER for the RDS Program

On the Plan Sponsor Registration page, within the Introduction section:

  1. Review the Account Manager Introduction.
  2. Select Continue to proceed or select Cancel to terminate this process and return to the Login page.

     Select [Continue]

In the Plan Sponsor Account Registration section:

An * indicates a required field.

  1. *Enter the Employer Identification Number
  2. *Enter the Organization Name (If the entire legal organization name does not fit in the field, enter it without abbreviation until the character limit is reached.)
    • Example: Entering the Legal Organization Name
      • Legal Organization Name: First America American Autoworkers Union Local Chapter 47
        • Correct Entry: First America American Autoworkers Union Local Cha
        • Incorrect Entry: First Amer American Autowkers Union Local Chapt 47
  3. *Enter the Phone Number
  4. Enter the Organization Website
  5. *Select the Organization Type
  6. *Enter Street Line 1
  7. Enter Street Line 2
  8. *Enter the City
  9. *Select the State
  10. *Enter the Zip Code
  11. Review the User Agreement. Use the scroll bar to scroll through and view the User Agreement, or select the link to view and print the User Agreement in a new window.
  12. *Select the checkbox to accept the User Agreement.
  13. Select Continue to proceed. Close the browser, or select Cancel from the Introduction section to terminate this process and return to the Login page.

     Select [Continue]

In the Assign Authorized Representative section:

An * indicates a required field.

  1. *Enter the Email Address for the person who will be invited to be the Authorized Representative.
  2. Select Continue to proceed. To terminate this process and return to the Login page, close the browser or select Cancel from the Introduction section.

     Select [Continue]

Note: You will receive one of the following messages in the Authorized Representative Information section based on the Email Address you entered for the Authorized Representative. Follow the instructions for the corresponding message name.

Authorized Representative Assignment Permitted Message

 Select [Assign New Authorized Representative]

In the Authorized Representative Information section:

An * indicates a required field.

  1. *Enter the First Name
  2. Enter the Middle Initial
  3. *Enter the Last Name.
  4. Select Assign New Authorized Representative to assign appoint this person as the Authorized Representative and continue on to number 5 of this subsection. That individual will receive a Registration email at the address you provided in order to complete Registration and create their RDS Secure Website account. Close the browser, or select Cancel from the Introduction section to terminate this process and return to the Login page.

    If you would like to assign a different individual, you may enter a new Email Address in the Email Address field; the Authorized Representative Assignment Permitted message will be removed. Select Continue again to determine if that new user can be assigned as the Authorized Representative.

     Select [Continue]

In the Account Manager Information section:

An * indicates a required field.

  1. *Enter the First Name
  2. Enter the Middle Initial
  3. *Enter the Last Name
  4. *Enter the Date of Birth
  5. *Enter the Social Security Number
  6. *Enter the Phone Number
  7. Enter the Extension
  8. *Enter the Job Title
  9. *Enter the Email Address
  10. *Re-enter the Email Address
  11. *Enter Street Line 1
  12. Enter Street Line 2
  13. *Enter the City
  14. *Select the State
  15. *Enter the Zip Code
  16. *Enter a Login ID based on the Login ID Requirements.
  17. *Enter a Password based on the Password Requirements.
  18. *Re-enter Password for verification.
  19. *Select Security Questions and enter Answers (these are not case-sensitive fields when you are asked for them within the Secure Website).

    Account Manager Information

In the Account Manager Confirmation pop-up window:

  1. Print this page for your records.
  2. Review the important reminders.
  3. Select Exit to return to the RDS Program Website.

     Select [Exit]

Authorized Representative Found Message

Authorized Representative Found

In the Authorized Representative Information section:

  1. Select Assign to appoint this person as the Authorized Representative. That individual will receive an email at the address you provided notifying them that they have been invited to the Plan Sponsor account. Close the browser, or select Cancel from the Introduction section to terminate this process and return to the Login page.

    If you would like to assign a different individual, you may enter a new Email Address in the Email Address field; the Authorized Representative Assignment Found message will be removed. Select Continue again to determine if that new user can be assigned as the Authorized Representative.

    Authorized Representative Information

In the Account Manager Information section:

An * indicates a required field.

  1. *Enter the First Name
  2. Enter the Middle Initial
  3. *Enter the Last Name
  4. *Enter the Date of Birth
  5. *Enter the Social Security Number
  6. *Enter the Phone Number
  7. Enter the Extension
  8. *Enter the Job Title
  9. *Enter the Email Address
  10. *Re-enter the Email Address
  11. *Enter Street Line 1
  12. Enter Street Line 2
  13. *Enter the City
  14. *Select the State
  15. *Enter the Zip Code
  16. *Enter a Login ID based on the Login ID Requirements.
  17. *Enter a Password based on the Password Requirements.
  18. *Re-enter Password for verification.
  19. *Select Security Questions and enter Answers (these are not case-sensitive fields when you are asked for them within the Secure Website).

     Select [Continue]

In the Account Manager Confirmation pop-up window:

  1. Print this page for your records.
  2. Review the important reminders.
  3. Select Exit to return to the RDS Program Website.

     Select [Exit]

Authorized Representative Cannot Use Message

Authorized Representative Cannot Use

In the Authorized Representative Information section:

  1. Enter a new Email Address in the Email Address field to appoint a different individual; the Authorized Representative Cannot Use message will be removed. Close the browser, or select Cancel from the Introduction section to terminate this process and return to the Login page.
  2. Select Continue again to determine if that new user can be assigned as the Authorized Representative.

    Note: A user cannot be assigned as an Authorized Representative when:

    • Their RDS Secure Website user account is inactive. To resolve their inactive account, the Authorized Representative must verify their Email Address when logging into the RDS Secure Website. Refer to Verify Email Address for step-by-step instructions.
    • Their Email Address is associated with a user account that has a different RDS Secure Website user role. If this user must be appointed as the Authorized Representative, their existing account must first be terminated. The individual must be removed from all applications and Plan Sponsor accounts they are assigned to, even applications that have completed Reconciliation in the past. Refer to User Management for guidance on these processes.

    Assign Authorized Representative

  3. Refer to the either of the previous two subsections, Authorized Representative Assignment Permitted Message or Authorized Representative Found Message, for guidance on how to complete the Assign Authorized Representative process based on the results from the new Email Address you entered.

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Existing User

If you have an existing Account Manager Secure Website account, follow the instructions below:

  1. Log in to the RDS Secure Website. Refer to Instructions to Access the RDS Secure Website for guidance.
  2. Select Create a New Plan Sponsor Account from the Account Settings box.

    Plan Sponsor List with Application Summary page

On the Plan Sponsor Account Registration page:

An * indicates a required field.

  1. *Enter the Employer Identification Number

  2. *Enter the Organization Name (If the entire legal organization name does not fit in the field, enter it without abbreviation until the character limit is reached.)
    • Example: Entering the Legal Organization Name
      • Legal Organization Name: First America American Autoworkers Union Local Chapter 47
        • Correct Entry: First America American Autoworkers Union Local Cha
        • Incorrect Entry: First Amer American Autowkers Union Local Chapt 47
  3. *Enter the Phone Number
  4. Enter the Fax Number
  5. Enter the Organization Website
  6. *Select the Organization Type
  7. *Enter Street Line 1
  8. Enter Street Line 2
  9. *Enter the City
  10. *Select the State
  11. *Enter the Zip Code
  12. Select Continue to proceed, or select Cancel to return to the Plan Sponsor with Application Summary page.

    Plan Sponsor Account Registration

On the Assign Authorized Representative page:

An * indicates a required field.

  1. *Enter the Email Address for the person who will be invited to be the Authorized Representative.
  2. Select Continue to proceed, or select Cancel to return to the Plan Sponsor Account Registration page.

    Assign Authorized Representative

Note: You will navigate to one of the following pages based on the Email Address entered for the Authorized Representative. Follow the instructions for the corresponding page name.

Authorized Representative Not Found page:

  1. Select Assign New Authorized Representative to assign this person as the Authorized Representative, or select Return to Assign Authorized Representative to enter a new Email Address.

    Authorized Representative Not Found

On the Assign New Authorized Representative page:

An * indicates a required field.

  1. *Enter the First Name
  2. Enter the Middle Initial
  3. *Enter the Last Name.
  4. Select Continue to proceed to the Account Manager Information page, or select Cancel to return to the Assign Authorized Representative page.

    Assign New Authorized Representative

On the Plan Sponsor Verification page:

  1. Review the information.
  2. Select Confirm to accept the information; select Edit to return to the Plan Sponsor Account Registration page and make changes; or select Cancel to return to the Assign Authorized Representative page.

    Plan Sponsor Verification

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Authorized Representative Found page:

  1. Select Continue to assign this person as an Authorized Representative, or select Return to Assign Authorized Representative to enter a new Email Address.

    Authorized Representative Found

On the Plan Sponsor Verification page:

  1. Review the information.
  2. Select Confirm to accept the information; select Edit to return to the Plan Sponsor Account Registration page and make changes; or select Cancel to return to the Assign Authorized Representative page.

    Plan Sponsor Verification

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Authorized Representative Cannot Use page:

  1. Select Return to Assign Authorized Representative to enter a new Email Address.

    Note: This action navigates to the Assign Authorized Representative page. Enter a new Email Address to search.

    Note: A user cannot be assigned as an Authorized Representative when:

    1. Their RDS Secure Website user account is inactive. To resolve their inactive account, the Authorized Representative must verify their Email Address when logging into the RDS Secure Website. Refer to Verify Email Address for step-by-step instructions.
    2. Their Email Address is associated with a user account that has a different RDS Secure Website user role. If this user must be appointed as the Authorized Representative, their existing account must first be terminated. The individual must be removed from all applications and Plan Sponsor accounts they are assigned to, even applications that have completed Reconciliation in the past. Refer to User Management for guidance on these processes.

    Authorized Representative Cannot Use

Troubleshooting

Error Message Descriptions and Resolutions

Use the following table to assist in resolving errors associated with creating a new Plan Sponsor account.

Table 1: Error Message Descriptions and Resolutions
Message Text Message Type Condition Resolution
Invalid Value/Field is required. Error Required field(s) left empty and/or field(s) contains invalid data. Populate all required fields with valid data.
<Field Name> is required. Enter a valid value in the <Field Name> field. Error Required field(s) left empty and/or field(s) contains invalid data. Populate all required fields with valid data.
Select the checkbox to confirm that you have reviewed and agree to the User Agreement and Privacy Policy. Error User Agreement and Privacy Policy check box left unchecked. Select the checkbox.
This user cannot be assigned as an Authorized Representative. This Email Address entered is associated with an active user assigned a different RDS Secure Website user role. Please enter a different Email Address to search again. Error The Email Address entered is associated to an active user account with a different role type (i.e., Account Manager, Designee, or Actuary).
  • Enter a new Email Address for a different user.
  • Their active account must be terminated before you they may be assigned as the Authorized Representative. The individual must be removed from all Plan Sponsor accounts they are assigned to. Refer to User Management for guidance on these processes.
The Social Security Number you provided is already in use. Users can have only one Login ID, which is identified by unique Social Security Number. Please re-enter the Social Security Number if it was entered incorrectly. Error The Social Security Number is associated to an active user account.
  • Re-enter the Social Security Number if it was entered incorrectly.
  • Your active account must be terminated before you may register to become an Account Manager. You must be removed from all applications and Plan Sponsor accounts you are assigned to, even applications that have completed Reconciliation in the past. Refer to User Management for guidance on these processes.
Login ID is already in use. Enter a new Login ID. Error Login ID is already associated to another user account. Enter a new Login ID based on the Login ID Requirements.
Password invalid. Password entered does not meet the requirements. Error Invalid password format. Enter a new Password based on the Password Requirements
Password entries do not match. Error Password field and Re-enter Password Field values do not match. Ensure the Password field and the Re-enter Password field match exactly.
Security Questions cannot be the same. Error Same value selected for Security Question 1 and Security Question 2. Ensure Security Question 1 and Security Question 2 are not the same question selection.
Email Address entries must match. Error Values in Email Address field and Re-enter Email Address field do not match. Ensure the Email Address field and the Re-enter Email Address field match exactly.
Email Address entry is associated with an active user holding a different RDS Secure Website user role. Verify the Email Address and enter a different Email Address. Error Email Address is associated to an active user account.
  • Re-enter the Email Address if it was entered incorrectly.
  • Your active account must be terminated before you may register to become an Account Manager. You must be removed from all applications and Plan Sponsor accounts you are assigned to, even applications that have completed Reconciliation in the past. Refer to User Management for guidance on these processes.

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Field Formats

Use the following table to assist in completing form fields associated with creating a new Plan Sponsor account.

Plan Sponsor Information Field Formats

Table 2: Plan Sponsor Information Field Formats
Field Name Required or Optional Size Limit Character Requirements Notes
Employer Identification Number Required 9 Characters Exactly Numeric Only
  • Also known as the Federal Employer Tax Identification Number (i.e., EIN)
  • Should be unique per Plan Sponsor account
  • Must be nine characters
Organization Name Required 1-50 Characters Alpha, Numeric, and Special Characters Allowed
  • Also known as the legal organization name
  • Must be associated with the Employer Identification Number (EIN)
  • Organization Name field allows a maximum of 50 characters, including spaces; if the entire legal organization name does not fit in the field, enter it without abbreviation, until the character limit is reached
Phone Number Required 10 Characters Exactly Numeric Only None
Extension Optional 1-5 Characters Numeric Only None
Website Optional 1-255 Characters Alpha, Numeric, and Special Characters Allowed Pre-populated with ‘http://’, which can be edited or removed
Organization Type Required Pre-defined Choices Pre-defined Choices Select from: Commercial, Government, Nonprofit, Religious, or Union

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Plan Sponsor Address Field Formats

Table 3: Plan Sponsor Address Field Formats
Field Name Required or Optional Size Limit Character Requirements Notes
Street Line 1 Required 1-40 Characters Alpha, Numeric, and Special Characters Allowed Must be associated with Employer Identification Number (EIN)
Street Line 2 Optional 1-40 Characters Alpha, Numeric, and Special Characters Allowed Must be associated with Employer Identification Number (EIN)
City Required 1-30 Characters Alpha, Numeric, and Special Characters Allowed Must be associated with Employer Identification Number (EIN)
State Required Pre-defined Choices Pre-defined Choices Must be associated with Employer Identification Number (EIN)
Zip Required 5 or 9 Characters Exactly Numeric Only Must be associated with Employer Identification Number (EIN)

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Required Authorized Representative Information Field Formats

Table 4: Required Authorized Representative Information Field Formats
Field Name Required or Optional Size Limit Character Requirements Notes
Email Address Required 1-255 Characters Alpha, Numeric, and Special Characters Allowed
  • Must be in a valid format containing '@' and '.' characters
  • Must not be associated with an active user account with a different role type (i.e., Account Manager, Designee, or Actuary)
First Name Required 1-30 Characters Alpha, Numeric, and Special Characters Allowed None
Middle Initial Optional 1 Character Alpha, Numeric, and Special Characters Allowed None
Last Name Required 1-40 Characters Alpha, Numeric, and Special Characters Allowed None

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Account Manager Information Field Formats

Table 5: Account Manager Information Field Formats
Field Name Required or Optional Size Limit Character Requirements Notes
First Name Required 1-30 Characters Alpha, Numeric, and Special Characters Allowed Must be associated with Social Security Number
Last Name Required 1-40 Characters Alpha, Numeric, and Special Characters Allowed Must be associated with Social Security Number
Middle Initial Optional 1 Character Alpha, Numeric, and Special Characters Allowed Must be associated with Social Security Number if provided
Date of Birth Required -Month = 1-2 Characters
-Day = 1-2 Characters
-Year = Exactly 4 Characters
Numeric Only
  • Must be associated with Social Security Number
  • Any valid historical date is accepted
U.S. Social Security Number Required Exactly 9 Characters Numeric Only
  • Must be issued by the United States
Phone Number Required Exactly 10 Characters Numeric Only None
Extension Optional 1-5 Characters Numeric Only None
Job Title Required 1-20 Characters Alpha, Numeric, and Special Characters Allowed None
Email Address Required 1-255 Characters Alpha, Numeric, and Special Characters Allowed
  • Must be in a valid format containing '@' and '.' Characters
  • Must not be associated with an active user account with a different role type (i.e., Authorized Representative, Designee, or Actuary)
Re-enter Email Address Required 1-255 Characters Alpha, Numeric, and Special Characters Allowed Must match Email Address field exactly

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Account Manager Mailing Address Field Formats

Table 6: Account Manager Mailing Address Field Formats
Field Name Required or Optional Size Limit Character Requirements Notes
Street Line 1 Required 1-40 Characters Alpha, Numeric, and Special Characters Allowed None
Street Line 2 Optional 1-40 Characters Alpha, Numeric, and Special Characters Allowed None
City Required 1-30 Characters Alpha, Numeric, and Special Characters Allowed None
State Required Pre-defined Choices Pre-defined Choices None
Zip Required 5 or 9 Characters Exactly Numeric Only None

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