STATE OF CONNECTICUT
THE STATE COMPTROLLER
55 ELM STREET
HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT 06106-1775
November 16, 2005
TO THE HEADS OF ALL STATE AGENCIES
|ATTENTION:||Personnel and Payroll Officers, Chief Administrative and Fiscal Officers, Business Managers|
|SUBJECT:||Medicare Part D - Creditable Coverage Notices|
The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA) added a new prescription drug program to Medicare, referred to as "Part D" of Medicare. Prescription drug coverage under Medicare will be available starting January 1, 2006. This new program requires that the State, as an entity that provides prescription drug coverage to Medicare beneficiaries, must disclose whether the entity's coverage is "creditable prescription drug coverage" (Disclosure Notice). The disclosure is required whether the entity's coverage is primary or secondary to Medicare. The Creditable Coverage Disclosure Notice (hereinafter the "Notice") must be provided to all Part D eligible individuals who are covered under, or who apply for, the State's prescription drug coverage. The Notice requirement applies with respect to Medicare beneficiaries who are active employees and those who are retired, as well as to Medicare beneficiaries who are covered as spouses under active or retiree coverage.
The prescription drug benefits of the State employee and retiree health plan qualify as creditable coverage, meaning that the benefits provided are at least as valuable as the benefits provided under Medicare Part D.
The Retirement and Benefits Services Division mailed the Notice to retired employees and beneficiaries with the October 2005 Retirement check, and will provide such Notices to Retirees in the future. The Division has also mailed the Notice to all active employees and their spouses who are, or will be, age 65 on or before January 1, 2007.
In that connection, the purpose of this Memorandum is to notify state agencies of the procedures that are being implemented to assure that all Medicare eligible employees and their dependents are provided the Notice as required by federal law, and the tasks that must be performed at the Agency level to identify those eligible for such Notice.II. NOTICE PROCEDURES - The Division will continue to provide Notices to retired beneficiaries. Agencies should refer all questions from retired employees or dependents to the Retirement Health Insurance Unit at (860) 702-3533. The Division will continue to mail the annual Notice to all employees and their enrolled beneficiaries who are identified as Medicare-eligible and are enrolled in active employee health coverage.
A. Recordkeeping - In order to assure compliance with federal regulations that require employers to provide the Notice at certain times as outlined in B. below, the following information must be obtained from all Medicare beneficiaries prior to the issuance of the Notice in B. below:
The information must be entered into the CORE-CT Personal Data page (for employees), or on the Dependent\Beneficiary page, Medicare Flag tab, for dependent\beneficiaries.
B. Notice is also required at certain other times, and must be provided by the employing Agency as follows:
C. Use the form letter Creditable Coverage Notice_EE_form.doc (enclosed) in the above situations. Complete all fields in the form letter, and a place a copy of the Notice in the employee's personnel file used. The text of this letter cannot be changed by the Agency.
Inquiries from employees who have questions about Medicare D that are not answered in the Creditable Coverage Notice should be referred to Medicare. Inquiries from retired employees should be referred to the Retirement Health Insurance Unit at 702-3533. Personnel or Payroll staff who have questions concerning the Medicare D Creditable Coverage Notice should contact the Comptroller's Retirement & Benefit Services Division, Health Care Analysis Unit at (860) 702-3535.
Very truly yours,
Return to Index of 2005 Comptroller's Memoranda
Return to Index of Comptroller's Memoranda
Return to Comptroller's Home Page