Plan Sponsors who have previously participated in the Retiree Drug Subsidy (RDS) Program and wish to continue to participate in a new plan year must submit a timely RDS application prior to the expiration of the Application Deadline for the new plan year.
For more information about the Application Deadline, including what is required to be submitted by the Application Deadline, refer to Important Application Deadline Information.
Did You Know?
- Plan Sponsors do not have to register a new Plan Sponsor ID every plan year. Plan Sponsors should start each new application using their existing Plan Sponsor ID.
- Existing RDS Secure Website users (Authorized Representative, Account Manager, Designee, and Actuary) do not have to re-register their user roles each plan year, as long as the users remain in the same role as the previous year. For more information about changing user roles, refer to User Management.
When re-applying to the RDS Program for a new plan year, the Plan Sponsor needs to re-examine the application information that was provided the previous year.
Some items to consider when re-applying are:
- No previous application information automatically carries over to the new application plan year. Plan Sponsors who wish to carry over information from a previous application to the new plan year must use the Copy Application function when creating a new application. Refer to Application Submission: Create Application for more information.
- Have you logged into the RDS Secure Website in the last 180 days? If not, you need to enable your user account. Refer to Enable Your User Account for more information about maintaining an active account, as well as step-by-step instructions to enable your user account.
- Has the Plan Sponsor information changed (for example: Plan Sponsor Address, Phone Number, Fax Number, Organization Type, or Website)? For more information about maintaining Plan Sponsor information, refer to Manage a Plan Sponsor Account.
- Has there been a change of ownership? For more information about change of ownership, refer to Report a Change of Plan Sponsor EIN or Company Name.
- Has personal information changed about the current Account Manager or Authorized Representative (for example: Email Address, Phone Number, First Name, Last Name, or Job Title)? For more information about maintaining User Account Information, refer to Manage Registered User Information.
- Will a new person be serving as the Authorized Representative or Account Manager for the Plan Sponsor? For more information reassigning the Authorized Representative and Account Manager, refer to Reassign the Account Manager and Authorized Representative Roles.
- Is there an existing Designee who is a RDS Secure Website user or new Designee who participates in the Application Submission Process? If the Designee is already registered, the Plan Sponsor requires the Designee's email address. For more information on reassigning Designee(s), refer to Manage the Designee Role.
- What Benefit Options are to be included in the new application plan year?
- Benefit Option Name
- Unique Benefit Option Identifier (UBOI) (for example: Rx Group Number)
- Benefit Option Type (Self-Funded or Fully-Insured)
- Is this the Actuary who attests to the Actuarial Equivalence of the Benefit Option who is specified in the application? If the Actuary is already registered, the Plan Sponsor requires the Actuary's email address. For more information on reassigning the Actuary, refer to Manage the Actuary Role.
- What bank account receives the subsidy payments?
- Who submits the retiree information, and how does it get submitted?
- If using the RDS Secure Website, the Plan Sponsor may choose to assign a Designee.
- If submitting using Vendor Connect:Direct to RDS Center Connect:Direct, the Vendor needs to inform CMS' RDS Center, establish a Technical Contact, and obtain a Vendor ID. The Vendor ID must be communicated to the Plan Sponsor. For more information, refer to the Vendor Quick Start Guide and Communicating With Your RDS Vendor.
- For Vendors with a CMS Extranet account and a connection to CMS' RDS Center, the setup takes 1 to 2 weeks.
- For Vendors with a CMS Extranet account, but no connection to CMS' RDS Center, the setup takes 1 to 2 months.
- For Vendors without a CMS Extranet account, the setup takes 2 to 3 months.
- If submitting using Plan Sponsor Connect:Direct to RDS Center Connect:Direct, the Plan Sponsor needs to inform CMS' RDS Center and establish a Technical Contact.
- For Plan Sponsors with a CMS Extranet account and a connection to CMS' RDS Center, the setup takes 1 to 2 weeks.
- For Plan Sponsors with a CMS Extranet account, but no connection to CMS' RDS Center, the setup takes 1 to 2 months.
- For Plan Sponsors without a CMS Extranet account, the setup takes 2 to 3 months.
- If submitting a Voluntary Data Sharing Agreement (VDSA) or Mandatory Insurer Reporting (MIR) using a Coordination of Benefits (COB) Contractor, the Plan Sponsor needs to contact the CMS COB Contractor at COBVA@ghimedicare.com to get additional VDSA or MIR information.
- The usual timeframe for completing the agreement and testing with the CMS COB contractor is 60 to 90 days for new agreements.
- The CMS COB contractor provides the Plan Sponsor with the VDSA information or MIR ID number.
For more information about starting a new application, refer to Create Application.
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