As a business owner, Fall will become a busy time for you. As you guide employees through their health insurance enrollment choices, remember that this task is more than a courtesy. You are required by law to issue certain reminders to them, such as this one regarding Medicare Part D.
Essentially, this notice applies to employees who are eligible for Medicare. If you provide prescription drug coverage to these workers, you must provide notice informing them whether your drug plan is creditable or non-creditable.
“Creditable” means that the prescription plan provided by the employer is equivalent to, or richer than, the level of coverage provided by Medicare Part D. “Non-creditable” mean that your provided plan will offer, on average, less coverage for prescription drugs than Part D would provide.
This is called the Medicare Part D Disclosure Notice, and you must provide it to all Medicare-eligible employees before the Annual Enrollment Period begins on October 15, 2018.
This notice will allow your Medicare-eligible employees the opportunity to evaluate their options, and enroll in Part D prescription drug coverage if they so desire. If these employees do not maintain creditable prescription drug coverage for more than 62 days from their initial Medicare enrollment period, they will be subject to a late enrollment penalty if they later choose to enroll in Part D. This enrollment penalty is permanent, so allowing these employees the opportunity to make this decision is of utmost importance.
Second, if you do provide prescription drug coverage to Medicare-eligible employees, you must submit an online disclosure to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) each year, and any time a change in coverage affects creditable status. The deadlines for providing this notice are as follows:
- Within 60 days of the start of the coverage year
- Within 30 days after termination of prescription drug coverage
- Within 30 days after changes in creditable coverage status
If you have further questions about either of these notices, please contact us for more information. We can guide you through the process, and help you evaluate all of your health insurance options as Open Enrollment and the Annual Election Period get underway this Fall.