42 USC 1395w101 - Eligibility, enrollment, and information

(a) Provision of qualified prescription drug coverage through enrollment in plans 

(1) In general 
Subject to the succeeding provisions of this part, each part D eligible individual (as defined in paragraph (3)(A)) is entitled to obtain qualified prescription drug coverage (described in section 1395w–102 (a) of this title) as follows:
(A) Fee-for-service enrollees may receive coverage through a prescription drug plan 
A part D eligible individual who is not enrolled in an MA plan may obtain qualified prescription drug coverage through enrollment in a prescription drug plan (as defined in section 1395w–151 (a)(14) of this title).
(B) Medicare Advantage enrollees 


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(i) Enrollees in a plan providing qualified prescription drug coverage receive coverage through the plan A part D eligible individual who is enrolled in an MAPD plan obtains such coverage through such plan.
(ii) Limitation on enrollment of MA plan enrollees in prescription drug plans Except as provided in clauses (iii) and (iv), a part D eligible individual who is enrolled in an MA plan may not enroll in a prescription drug plan under this part.
(iii) Private fee-for-service enrollees in MA plans not providing qualified prescription drug coverage permitted to enroll in a prescription drug plan A part D eligible individual who is enrolled in an MA private fee-for-service plan (as defined in section 1395w–28 (b)(2) of this title) that does not provide qualified prescription drug coverage may obtain qualified prescription drug coverage through enrollment in a prescription drug plan.
(iv) Enrollees in MSA plans permitted to enroll in a prescription drug plan A part D eligible individual who is enrolled in an MSA plan (as defined in section 1395w–28 (b)(3) of this title) may obtain qualified prescription drug coverage through enrollment in a prescription drug plan.
(2) Coverage first effective January 1, 2006 
Coverage under prescription drug plans and MAPD plans shall first be effective on January 1, 2006.
(3) Definitions 
For purposes of this part:
(A) Part D eligible individual 
The term part D eligible individual means an individual who is entitled to benefits under part A of this subchapter or enrolled under part B of this subchapter.
(B) MA plan 
The term MA plan has the meaning given such term in section 1395w–28 (b)(1) of this title.
(C) MA–PD plan 
The term MAPD plan means an MA plan that provides qualified prescription drug coverage.
(b) Enrollment process for prescription drug plans 


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(1) Establishment of process 

(A) In general 
The Secretary shall establish a process for the enrollment, disenrollment, termination, and change of enrollment of part D eligible individuals in prescription drug plans consistent with this subsection.
(B) Application of MA rules 
In establishing such process, the Secretary shall use rules similar to (and coordinated with) the rules for enrollment, disenrollment, termination, and change of enrollment with an MAPD plan under the following provisions of section 1395w–21 of this title:
(i) Residence requirements Section 1395w–21 (b)(1)(A) of this title, relating to residence requirements.
(ii) Exercise of choice Section 1395w–21 (c) of this title (other than paragraph (3)(A) of such section), relating to exercise of choice.
(iii) Coverage election periods Subject to paragraphs (2) and (3) of this subsection, section 1395w–21 (e) of this title (other than subparagraphs (B), (C), and (E) of paragraph (2) and the second sentence of paragraph (4) of such section), relating to coverage election periods, including initial periods, annual coordinated election periods, special election periods, and election periods for exceptional circumstances.
(iv) Coverage periods Section 1395w–21 (f) of this title, relating to effectiveness of elections and changes of elections.
(v) Guaranteed issue and renewal Section 1395w–21 (g) of this title (other than paragraph (2) of such section and clause (i) and the second sentence of clause (ii) of paragraph (3)(C) of such section), relating to guaranteed issue and renewal.
(vi) Marketing material and application forms Section 1395w–21 (h) of this title, relating to approval of marketing material and application forms.

In applying clauses (ii), (iv), and (v) of this subparagraph, any reference to section 1395w–21 (e) of this title shall be treated as a reference to such section as applied pursuant to clause (iii) of this subparagraph.

(C) Special rule 
The process established under subparagraph (A) shall include, in the case of a part D eligible individual who is a full-benefit dual eligible individual (as defined in section 1396u–5 (c)(6) of this title) who has failed to enroll in a prescription drug plan or an MAPD plan, for the enrollment in a prescription drug plan that has a monthly beneficiary premium that does not exceed the premium assistance available under section 1395w–114 (a)(1)(A) of this title).[1] If there is more than one such plan available, the Secretary shall enroll such an individual on a random basis among all such plans in the PDP region. Nothing in the previous sentence shall prevent such an individual from declining or changing such enrollment.
(2) Initial enrollment period 

(A) Program initiation 
In the case of an individual who is a part D eligible individual as of November 15, 2005, there shall be an initial enrollment period that shall be the same as the annual, coordinated open election period described in section 1395w–21 (e)(3)(B)(iii) of this title, as applied under paragraph (1)(B)(iii).
(B) Continuing periods 
In the case of an individual who becomes a part D eligible individual after November 15, 2005, there shall be an initial enrollment period which is the period under section 1395w–21 (e)(1) of this title, as applied under paragraph (1)(B)(iii) of this section, as if entitled to benefits under part A of this subchapter or enrolled under part B of this subchapter were substituted for entitled to benefits under part A of this subchapter and enrolled under part B of this subchapter, but in no case shall such period end before the period described in subparagraph (A).
(3) Additional special enrollment periods 
The Secretary shall establish special enrollment periods, including the following:
(A) Involuntary loss of creditable prescription drug coverage 

(i) In general In the case of a part D eligible individual who involuntarily loses creditable prescription drug coverage (as defined in section 1395w–113 (b)(4) of this title).
(ii) Notice In establishing special enrollment periods under clause (i), the Secretary shall take into account when the part D eligible individuals are provided notice of the loss of creditable prescription drug coverage.
(iii) Failure to pay premium For purposes of clause (i), a loss of coverage shall be treated as voluntary if the coverage is terminated because of failure to pay a required beneficiary premium.
(iv) Reduction in coverage For purposes of clause (i), a reduction in coverage so that the coverage no longer meets the requirements under section 1395w–113 (b)(5) of this title (relating to actuarial equivalence) shall be treated as an involuntary loss of coverage.
(B) Errors in enrollment 
In the case described in section 1395p (h) of this title (relating to errors in enrollment), in the same manner as such section applies to part B of this subchapter.
(C) Exceptional circumstances 
In the case of part D eligible individuals who meet such exceptional conditions (in addition to those conditions applied under paragraph (1)(B)(iii)) as the Secretary may provide.
(D) Medicaid coverage 
In the case of an individual (as determined by the Secretary) who is a full-benefit dual eligible individual (as defined in section 1396u–5 (c)(6) of this title).
(E) Discontinuance of MA–PD election during first year of eligibility 
In the case of a part D eligible individual who discontinues enrollment in an MAPD plan under the second sentence of section 1395w–21 (e)(4) of this title at the time of the election of coverage under such sentence under the original medicare fee-for-service program.
(4) Information to facilitate enrollment 

(A) In general 
Notwithstanding any other provision of law but subject to subparagraph (B), the Secretary may provide to each PDP sponsor and MA organization such identifying information about part D eligible individuals as the Secretary determines to be necessary to facilitate efficient marketing of prescription drug plans and MAPD plans to such individuals and enrollment of such individuals in such plans.
(B) Limitation 

(i) Provision of information The Secretary may provide the information under subparagraph (A) only to the extent necessary to carry out such subparagraph.
(ii) Use of information Such information provided by the Secretary to a PDP sponsor or an MA organization may be used by such sponsor or organization only to facilitate marketing of, and enrollment of part D eligible individuals in, prescription drug plans and MAPD plans.
(5) Reference to enrollment procedures for MA–PD plans 
For rules applicable to enrollment, disenrollment, termination, and change of enrollment of part D eligible individuals in MAPD plans, see section 1395w–21 of this title.
(6) Reference to penalties for late enrollment 
Section 1395w–113 (b) of this title imposes a late enrollment penalty for part D eligible individuals who
(A) enroll in a prescription drug plan or an MAPD plan after the initial enrollment period described in paragraph (2); and
(B) fail to maintain continuous creditable prescription drug coverage during the period of non-enrollment.
(c) Providing information to beneficiaries 

(1) Activities 
The Secretary shall conduct activities that are designed to broadly disseminate information to part D eligible individuals (and prospective part D eligible individuals) regarding the coverage provided under this part. Such activities shall ensure that such information is first made available at least 30 days prior to the initial enrollment period described in subsection (b)(2)(A) of this section.
(2) Requirements 
The activities described in paragraph (1) shall
(A) be similar to the activities performed by the Secretary under section 1395w–21 (d) of this title, including dissemination (including through the toll-free telephone number 1800MEDICARE) of comparative information for prescription drug plans and MAPD plans; and
(B) be coordinated with the activities performed by the Secretary under such section and under section 1395b–2 of this title.
(3) Comparative information 

(A) In general 
Subject to subparagraph (B), the comparative information referred to in paragraph (2)(A) shall include a comparison of the following with respect to qualified prescription drug coverage:
(i) Benefits The benefits provided under the plan.
(ii) Monthly beneficiary premium The monthly beneficiary premium under the plan.
(iii) Quality and performance The quality and performance under the plan.
(iv) Beneficiary cost-sharing The cost-sharing required of part D eligible individuals under the plan.
(v) Consumer satisfaction surveys The results of consumer satisfaction surveys regarding the plan conducted pursuant to section 1395w–104 (d) of this title.
(B) Exception for unavailability of information 
The Secretary is not required to provide comparative information under clauses (iii) and (v) of subparagraph (A) with respect to a plan
(i) for the first plan year in which it is offered; and
(ii) for the next plan year if it is impracticable or the information is otherwise unavailable.
(4) Information on late enrollment penalty 
The information disseminated under paragraph (1) shall include information concerning the methodology for determining the late enrollment penalty under section 1395w–113 (b) of this title.
[1] So in original. The closing parenthesis probably should not appear.