Plan Sponsors who have previously participated in the Retiree Drug Subsidy (RDS) Program and wish to continue to participate 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.
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, 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.
- 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)?
- 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)?
- Will a new person be serving as the Authorized Representative or Account Manager for the Plan Sponsor?
- 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.
- 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 specified in the application? If the Actuary is already registered, the Plan Sponsor requires the Actuary's email address.
- What bank account receives the subsidy payments?
- What is the Payment Frequency: Monthly, Quarterly, Interim Annual, or Annual?
- 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 Mainframe to RDS Center Mainframe, 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 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 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.
- If submitting using Plan Sponsor Mainframe to RDS Center Mainframe, 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.
For more information about starting a new application, refer to Start a New Application.
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