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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS') Retiree Drug Subsidy (RDS) Program is committed to making all RDS Web Sites accessible to the widest possible audience, including individuals with disabilities. In keeping with its mission, the RDS Center complies with the regulations of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Section 508 Implementation Policy. The information contained within the RDS Web Sites is intended to be accessible through screen readers and other accessibility tools. If alternative means of access to any information contained on RDS Web Sites are needed, or interpreting any information proves difficult, contact CMS' RDS Center. E-mail In an e-mail, please indicate the nature of the accessibility problem including the accessibility tool and web browser used, the web page address that is causing difficulty, contact name, e-mail address, and phone number. Please do not include any Protected Health Information (PHI), as defined in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), in the e-mail.


This page provides information for those visitors who use assistive or other devices to access the content on this web site. Please go to Contact Us to find answers to general questions, or if you have difficulty finding something on this web site.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act:

For information about the availability of auxiliary aids and services, please visit:

Synopsis of Section 508 Accessibility Requirements:

Section 508 requires that individuals with disabilities seeking information or services from this web site have access to and the ability to use information and data that is comparable to that provided to the public who are not disabled. Section 508 also requires that Federal employees with disabilities have access to and the ability to use information and data that is comparable to Federal employees who are not disabled. To learn more about regulations governing the accessibility of Federal electronic information, read the Summary of Section 508 Accessibility Requirements on the web site, accessibility guidelines that are consistent with Section 508 Law, and web standards developed by the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI).


Wherever possible, we will post information on in open-standard, accessible formats (e.g., HTML). However, there are some areas of the web site where specialized media must be used and plug-ins or special viewers may be needed to access the content. Below is a list of file types that are used on the web site as well as further information on getting the plug-ins.

Note on viewing and downloading files: Depending on the configuration of your computer, files of the types listed below may:

  • Open inside of your web browser,
  • Open in a new program window, or
  • Ask you where to save the file. If you would like to download a copy of the file to your computer, right-click (on Windows) or command-click (on Macintosh) and choose "Save Target As..." (IE) or "Save Link As..." (Netscape). This will allow you to save a copy of the file to your computer rather than having the file open inside your web browser.

Open formats can be viewed by a number of free or commercial packages:

ZIP/Self-Extracting ZIP Version N/A: ZIP files are used to simplify the download process by wrapping a number of separate files into a single "wrapper" and compressing the original files by a significant amount. ZIP and UNZIP software is available from a variety of vendors.

CSV (Comma Separated Values) Version N/A: A data format in which each piece of data is separated by a comma. CSV files can be opened by the majority of spreadsheet and database programs available.

RTF (Rich Text Format) Version N/A: A standard formalized by Microsoft for specifying formatting of documents. RTF files are actually ASCII (plain text) files with special commands to indicate formatting information, such as fonts and margins. RTF files can be opened by the majority of word processing programs available.

MP3 (MPEG-1, audio layer 3) Version N/A: MP3 is a very popular audio format with very high compression (e.g., very small file sizes). MP3 playing and recording software is available from a variety of software vendors. Quicktime and RealPlayer have the ability to play MP3 files.

Adobe Acrobat/PDF (Portable Document Format) Version 5.0/4.0: Adobe Acrobat/PDF files are used to retain the formatting of printed documents. To view PDF files, you will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Vendor: Adobe Systems Incorporated.

RealMedia G2 (RealAudio/RealVideo) Versions G2 or later: RealMedia files are audio and video files designed to stream across the Internet. Vendor: RealNetworks.

Quicktime Version 4: Quicktime is an alternative audio/video format. Quicktime files do not stream, but are downloaded to your computer and then played. Vendor: Apple.

Word Versions: 97, 2000: Word is a popular word processing application. The viewer is available for Windows and MacOS platforms. Additionally, most other office suites (e.g., StarOffice, Lotus, WordPerfect) can read Word files. Vendor: Microsoft.

Excel Versions: 97, 2000: Excel is a popular spreadsheet application from Microsoft. Occasionally, tabular data sets will be made available in Excel format. Additionally, most other office suites (e.g., StarOffice, Lotus, WordPerfect) can read Excel files. Vendor: Microsoft.

PowerPoint Versions: 97, 2000: PowerPoint is a presentation program from Microsoft. Some conference proceedings and briefing materials will be posted in PowerPoint format. The viewer is available for the Windows and MacOS platforms. Vendor: Microsoft.

WMV (Windows Media Video): WMV is a high compression video format created by Microsoft. Microsoft Windows Media Player is used to view this format. Vendor: Microsoft.


  • Many links have title attributes that describe the link in greater detail, unless the text of the link already fully describes the target (such as the headline of an article).
  • Links are written to make sense out of context.


  • All content images used in this web site include descriptive ALT attributes. Purely decorative graphics include null ALT attributes.

Visual Design

  • This site uses cascading style sheets for visual layout.
  • This site uses only relative font sizes, compatible with the user-specified "text size" option in visual browsers.
  • If your browser or browsing device does not support stylesheets at all, the content of each page is still readable.
  • This site uses flexible page formats for all pages, so pages can be automatically resized for different window sizes and screen resolutions.
  • The page formatting uses cascading style sheets (CSS), not tables, to ensure that the structure of the information within the page is preserved.
  • Pages are designed with separate (external) style sheets, so they can be replaced by user-defined style sheets.


  • The web site may be used without a mouse.


All navigation elements are plain text and we provide text alternatives to any graphics on the site.

You may use your browser to increase the size of the text on the screen. Methods for doing so differ from one browser to the next. You may find options called "Text Zoom" or "Text Magnification" or "Text Size" or "Font Size" under the "View" selection on the main menu of your browser. From that point, you should be able to find and select an additional sub-menu option that adjusts text size to your needs.

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