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Affordable Care Act Changes Timing of Medicare Part D Notices - August 9, 2011

Employers who sponsor group health plans covering prescription drugs must provide an annual credible coverage notice to participants who are eligible for Medicare Part D. This notice must be provided each year prior to Medicare Part D's Annual Coordinated Election Period. Previously, this Election Period started November 15 and ran through December 31. The Affordable Care Act changed this Election Period so that beginning in 2011 it now starts on October 15 and runs through December 7.


Because of the change to the Election Period, an employer's annual Medicare Part D notice should be sent to Medicare Part D eligible plan participants on or before October 14, 2011. Employers should also ensure that their Part D notices have been updated to reflect the new Election Period. A copy of CMS' updated model notices can be obtained here.