Medicare Part D Creditable Coverage Notices: New Deadline and Revised Model Notice

10 October 2011 Publication

Legal News: Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation

Sponsors of group health plans offering prescription drug coverage must notify Medicare-eligible individuals whether their prescription drug coverage is “creditable coverage” (i.e., whether their coverage is expected to pay on average as much as the standard Medicare prescription drug coverage).

This notice must be provided prior to the first day of the Medicare Part D annual election period. Historically, the annual election period has taken place from November 15 through December 31. However, starting this year, the annual election period will now take place from October 15 through December 7. As a result, group health plan sponsors will need to distribute creditable coverage notices on or before Friday, October 14, 2011.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued an updated model notice that can be used to satisfy the creditable coverage notice requirement.

Action Required by Plan Sponsors

  • Plan sponsors distributing model creditable coverage notices should use the updated CMS model notice (for use on or after April 1, 2011)
  • Plan sponsors distributing customized creditable coverage notices should update their notices to reflect the new annual election period for Medicare Part D
  • Plan sponsors should review and update their distribution procedures for creditable coverage notices to ensure compliance with the new October 14 deadline


Legal News Alert is part of our ongoing commitment to providing up-to-the-minute information about pressing concerns or industry issues affecting our clients and colleagues. If you have any questions about this alert or would like to discuss the topic further, please contact your Foley attorney or the following individuals:

Erik D. Vogt
Chicago, Illinois


Internal Revenue Service regulations generally require that, for purposes of avoiding United States federal tax penalties, a taxpayer may only rely on formal written opinions meeting specific requirements described in those regulations. This newsletter does not meet those requirements. To the extent this newsletter contains written information relating to United States federal tax issues, the written information is not intended or written to be used, and a taxpayer cannot use it, for the purpose of avoiding United States federal tax penalties, and it was not written to support the promotion or marketing of any transaction or matter discussed in the newsletter.

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