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Aug 3 2011

Health Care Reform Changes Medicare Annual Enrollment Period | Employment Law

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The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Affordable Care Act”) makes certain changes to the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act (MMA) signed in to law on December 8, 2003. Specifically, beginning in 2011, the annual enrollment period for Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage plans has been changed to October 15 through December 7. As a result, Notices of Creditable and Non-Creditable Coverage relating to employee benefit plans’ prescription drug coverage for Medicare eligible participants must now be distributed to participants by October 15.
Previously, these notices were required to be sent by November 15. As a reminder, the notices must also be provided under the following circumstances: (1) when a Medicare eligible individual joins the plan; (2) prior to when an individual becomes eligible for Medicare; (3) prior to a change in the prescription drug coverage which causes it to change from being creditable to non-creditable; and (4) upon request from the beneficiary.
If you have any questions concerning these requirements or any other issues involving employee benefits, please feel free to contact us.