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Announcements

Check this page often for news about important program updates, training opportunities, and educational information.
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Get Ready for RDS Reconciliation!

The busiest RDS Reconciliation season is approaching – within 15 months after the application Plan Year End Date, Plan Sponsors must complete Reconciliation to finalize their application's Covered Retiree List and submit final cost data to CMS' RDS Center. This is a requirement for each application for which the Plan Sponsor is seeking subsidy. As such, now is the perfect time to familiarize yourself and your Plan Sponsor organization with the new, modernized Reconciliation process in the RDS Secure Website.

New Second Level Hearing Appeals Portal Begins Today!

Starting today, January 16, 2023, Retiree Drug Subsidy (RDS) Plan Sponsors will now utilize the new CMS Office of Hearings Case and Document Management System (OH CDMS) for their Second Level Appeals. The OH CDMS is a web-based portal for RDS Plan Sponsors to submit and maintain their Second Level Informal Hearing Appeals and to correspond with the CMS Hearing Officer. This information is only relevant to Plan Sponsors who pursue an RDS Second Level Appeal. In support of this change, CMS’ RDS Center has published updated educational materials as well. Because the OH CDMS portal falls entirely outside of the RDS Program’s purview, CMS’ RDS Center will not provide technical support for this web application.

Coming Next Week – OH CDMS Portal For Second Level Appeals

On January 16, 2023, the new CMS Office of Hearings Case and Document Management System (OH CDMS) will become available for RDS Plan Sponsors pursuing RDS Second Level Appeals. The OH CDMS is a web-based portal for RDS Plan Sponsors to submit and manage their Second Level Informal Hearing Appeals and to correspond with the CMS Hearing Officer. This information is only relevant to Plan Sponsors who pursue an RDS Second Level Appeal. This Second Level Appeal process change will not be relevant to First Level Reconsiderations or to Third Level Administrator Reviews.

11/19/22 – 11/20/22 System Maintenance Notification

CMS' RDS Center will be performing system maintenance on the RDS Secure Website on Saturday, November 19, 2022 beginning at 8:00PM ET and concluding Sunday, November 20, 2022 at 10:00AM ET. The Secure Website will be available but file processing will be impacted. 

Application Submission Reminder: Understanding Application Information

The Annual Plan Year Application is the fundamental component of the Retiree Drug Subsidy (RDS) Program. In the modernized RDS Secure Website, Plan Sponsors can create new applications in two different ways. Regardless of how the Plan Sponsor chooses to create an application, certain required application information must be defined for an application to be considered complete and RDS eligible. Much of this required application information is defined during the Application Submission Process, before submission, whereas other required application information cannot be defined until an application is approved, after submission.

Coming Soon – Second Level Informal Hearing Appeals Portal

In the coming months, CMS will introduce RDS Plan Sponsors to the new CMS Office of Hearings Case and Document Management System (OH CDMS). The OH CDMS is a web-based portal for RDS Plan Sponsors to submit and manage their Second Level Informal Hearing Appeals and to correspond with the CMS Hearing Officer. The RDS Secure Website (SWS) and the OH CDMS portal are separate web applications requiring separate and unique registrations and account management. This change will only be relevant to Plan Sponsors who pursue an RDS Second Level Appeal.

Application Submission Reminder: Initial Retiree Lists

CMS’ RDS Center would like to remind RDS Secure Website (SWS) users that for an Application to be considered timely, a Plan Sponsor must submit a Valid Initial Retiree List to CMS' RDS Center prior to the expiration of the Application Deadline, and that Retiree List must contain at least one Qualified Covered Retiree. Initial Retiree Lists are processed by CMS' RDS Center after the Application is submitted by the Authorized Representative. When the Valid Initial Retiree List is submitted and the format is validated, the Initial Retiree List Received Date displays on the Application Overview page. It can take several days after a successful file transfer for the application to show that the Valid Initial Retiree List is complete.

Application Submission Reminder: User Account Management

CMS’ RDS Center would like to remind RDS Secure Website (SWS) users: don’t wait until the last minute to complete your Application. Confirm your access to the RDS Secure Website now!

Application Submission Reminder: New Copy Feature Available

CMS’ RDS Center would like to remind RDS users that with the release of the modernized Secure Website (SWS) in April 2022, a new Copy Application feature is now available. Use this enhancement to create a new application by copying information from an existing prior application.

Update on CMS Agency E-Mail Outage

On Wednesday, August 31, 2022, CMS’ RDS Center posted an Announcement regarding an agency wide e-mail outage over the Labor Day holiday. Please be advised that the RDS Center is unable to receive inbound inquiries from end users using the rds@cms.hhs.gov e-mail address or Support Requests submitted through the RDS Secure Website at this time due to a technical issue. Outbound e-mails from the RDS Center are unaffected by this technical issue. CMS’ RDS Center is working diligently to resolve the technical issue with an estimated restoration of service by noon today, September 7, 2022.