Submit the Valid Initial Online Application and the Valid Initial Retiree List by the Application Deadline

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To participate in the Retiree Drug Subsidy (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.

The Application Submission Process includes two components:

Valid Initial Online Application

The Valid Initial Online Application consists of eight steps. In the first seven steps of the Application Submission Process, a Plan Sponsor defines the details regarding the application. Step 8 allows the Authorized Representative to sign the Plan Sponsor Agreement and submit the Valid Initial Online Application to CMS' RDS Center.

Valid Initial Retiree List

Step 9, submission of the Valid Initial Retiree List, is the first transfer of retiree information from the Plan Sponsor to CMS' RDS Center. The Valid Initial Retiree List is a collection of data about the beneficiaries for whom the Plan Sponsor is seeking subsidy.

A Valid Initial Retiree List can be submitted to CMS' RDS Center after the application has been started, an Application ID is assigned, Benefit Options have been established, and Retiree Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) Methods and Sources have been defined.

User Role/Responsibility for Submitting an Application and Valid Initial Retiree List

The Authorized Representative is required to submit the application. The Authorized Representative is the only user role that has the authority to sign the Plan Sponsor Agreement in the RDS Secure Website.

For step-by-step instructions on how to submit an application to CMS' RDS Center using the RDS Secure Website, refer to Complete Step 8: Plan Sponsor Agreement. These instructions are only applicable to the Authorized Representative.

The Account Manager, Authorized Representative, and Designee with View/Send/Receive Retiree Data privilege can submit a Valid Initial Retiree List using the RDS Secure Website. For more information on submitting retiree information using the Mainframe, Voluntary Data Sharing Agreement, and Mandatory Insurer Reporting methods, refer to Plan Sponsor Mainframe to RDS Center Mainframe or Voluntary Data Sharing Agreement or Mandatory Insurer Reporting through CMS' Coordination of Benefits (COB) Contractor.

Retiree files must include current data for each retiree, including the Application ID and Unique Benefit Option Identifier (UBOI). For more information on the Retiree List Submission Process, refer to Managing Retiree Information.

Emails About the Application Deadline

If the Plan Sponsor has not submitted a Valid Initial Online Application or a Valid Initial Retiree List, and the deadline to submit that RDS application has passed, CMS' RDS Center sends an email to notify the Plan Sponsor.

For more information about the Application Deadline, including what is required to be submitted by the Application Deadline, refer to Important Application Deadline Information.

User Role/Responsibility for Requesting an Application Deadline Extension

The Account Manager, Authorized Representative, and Designee with Request Extension privilege can request a 30-day Application Deadline Extension that is adjusted for weekends and holidays. The one-time Application Deadline Extension may be requested before the Application Deadline using the RDS Secure Website.

For more information about the Application Deadline, including what is required to be submitted by the Application Deadline, refer to Important Application Deadline Information.

For more information on requesting an Application Deadline Extension, refer to Request an Application Deadline Extension.

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