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Important Application Deadline Information

A Retiree Drug Subsidy (RDS) Application consists of both a Valid Initial Online Application and a Valid Initial Retiree List. To submit a timely RDS Application for a given Plan Year, a Plan Sponsor must submit a Valid Initial Online Application AND a Valid Initial Retiree List prior to the expiration of the Application Deadline, which is 90 days before the Plan Year Start Date selected when a new application is created. A Plan Sponsor Application that fails to meet these requirements is not timely and the Plan Sponsor receives a notification that the Application has been denied.

The Account Manager, the Authorized Representative, and the Actuary are required user roles in order to submit an RDS application. Designees are optional – the Plan Sponsor does not need to assign Designees to applications nor are Designees required to submit applications. If the Plan Sponsor chooses to assign Designees to their applications, Designees can be assigned and registered to an RDS application before or after Application Submission.

Please note that a Plan Sponsor may choose to submit a Valid Initial Retiree List to CMS' RDS Center using one of the following methods:

  • RDS Secure Website to RDS Center
  • Vendor Connect:Direct to the RDS Center Connect:Direct
  • CMS' Coordination of Benefits (COB) contractor using Voluntary Data Sharing Agreement (VDSA) or Mandatory Insurer Reporting (MIR)
  • Plan Sponsor Connect:Direct to the RDS Center Connect:Direct

Regardless of how a Plan Sponsor elects to submit a Valid Initial Retiree List to CMS' RDS Center, a Valid Initial Online Application AND a Valid Initial Retiree List must be submitted by the Application Deadline to constitute a timely RDS Application.

The following table provides Application Deadlines for those Plan Sponsors with an Application that specifies a Plan Year that starts on the first day of the month.

NOTE: After the Authorized Representative signs the Plan Sponsor Agreement in the RDS Secure Website, a Success message will display on the Review & Submit Application page confirming that the Plan Sponsor Agreement has been signed and the Valid Initial Online Application has been submitted. CMS' RDS Center strongly recommends that you print that page for your records.

If your Plan Year starts on a date other than the first day of the month, you may contact CMS' RDS Center to confirm your Application Deadline date.

Obtaining Support for Upcoming Deadlines

CMS’ RDS Center strongly encourages all Plan Sponsors to complete your application submissions in advance of your Application Deadlines and Reconciliation Deadlines. Don’t wait until the last minute to submit your applications! 

CMS’ RDS Center operates in the Eastern Time Zone. As soon as an issue is identified, please contact CMS’ RDS Center through a support request or email. A response to your inquiry shall be provided within 24 business hours from when it was received by CMS’ RDS Center; support is not guaranteed the same business day. When an inquiry is sent to the RDS Center during weekends or holidays, a response shall be provided within 24 business hours from the start of the next business day following receipt of the inquiry. 

IMPORTANT: When a user account becomes locked after multiple failed login attempts for any reason—invalid Login ID, Password, or MFA code, or any combination of these—

  • CMS’ RDS Center is prohibited by Federal Security Regulations to identify which login requirements were entered incorrectly.
  • The user is now required to change their password
  • Passwords can be changed five (5) times in a 24-hour period.
  • If a user changes their password the maximum five (5) times and then locks their account again on the same day, the user cannot change their password to unlock their account until 24 hours have passed.

Due to security reasons, the RDS Center does not have the authority to unlock accounts for Secure Website users. As a result, the 24 hours immediately preceding a deadline can be very difficult to obtain remediation regarding account login issues, potentially resulting in a missed deadline and possible loss of subsidy. 

Upcoming RDS Application Deadlines
Plan Year Start Date Application Deadline Application Deadline When a 30-day Extension Has Been Granted
September 1, 2024 June 3, 2024 July 3, 2024
October 1, 2024 July 2, 2024 August 1, 2024
November 1, 2024 August 2, 2024 September 3, 2024
December 1, 2024 September 3, 2024 October 3, 2024
January 1, 2025 October2, 2024  November 1, 2024 
February 1, 2025  November 4, 2024  December 4, 2024 
March 1, 2025  December 2, 2024  January 2, 2025 
April 1, 2025  December 31, 2024  January 30, 2025 
May 1, 2025  January 30, 2025  March 3, 2025 
June 1, 2025  March 3, 2025  April 2, 2025 
July 1, 2025  April 1, 2025  May 1, 2025 
August 1, 2025  May 2, 2025  June 2, 2025 
September 1, 2025 June 2, 2025  July 2, 2025 
October 1, 2025  July 2, 2025  August 1, 2025 
November 1, 2025  August 4, 2025  September 3, 2025 
December 1, 2025 September 2, 2025  October 2, 2025 

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