(a)Basic rule. Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, CMS does not enter into a contract under this subpart unless the organization meets the following minimum enrollment requirement—
(1) At least 5,000 individuals (or 1,500 individuals if the organization is a PSO) are enrolled for the purpose of receiving health benefits from the organization; or
(2) At least 1,500 individuals (or 500 individuals if the organization is a PSO) are enrolled for purposes of receiving health benefits from the organization and the organization primarily serves individuals residing outside of urbanized areas as defined in § 412.62(f) (or, in the case of a PSO, the PSO meets the requirements in § 422.352(c)).
(3) Except as provided for in paragraph (b) of this section, an MA organization must maintain a minimum enrollment as defined in paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2) of this section for the duration of its contract.
(b)Minimum enrollment waiver.
(1) For a contract applicant or MA organization that does not meet the applicable requirement of paragraph (a) of this section at application for an MA contract or during the first 3 years of the contract, CMS may waive the minimum enrollment requirement as provided for below. To receive a waiver, a contract applicant or MA organization must demonstrate to CMS's satisfaction that it is capable of administering and managing an MA contract and is able to manage the level of risk required under the contract. Factors that CMS takes into consideration in making this evaluation include the extent to which—
(i) The contract applicant or MA organization's management and providers have previous experience in managing and providing health care services under a risk-based payment arrangement to at least as many individuals as the applicable minimum enrollment for the entity as described in paragraph (a) of this section, or
(ii) The contract applicant or MA organization has the financial ability to bear financial risk under an MA contract. In determining whether an organization is capable of bearing risk, CMS considers factors such as the organization's management experience as described in paragraph (b)(1)(i) of this section and stop-loss insurance that is adequate and acceptable to CMS; and
(iii) The contract applicant or MA organization is able to establish a marketing and enrollment process that allows it to meet the applicable enrollment requirement specified in paragraph (a) of this section before completion of the third contract year.
(2) If an MA organization fails to meet the enrollment requirement in the first year, CMS may waive the minimum requirements for another year provided that the organization—
(i) Requests an additional minimum enrollment waiver no later than 120 days before the end of the first year;
(ii) Continues to demonstrate it is capable of administering and managing an MA contract and is able to manage the level of risk; and,
(iii) Demonstrates an acceptable marketing and enrollment process. Enrollment projections for the second year of the waiver will become the organization's transitional enrollment standard.
(3) If an MA organization fails to meet the enrollment requirement in the second year, CMS may waive the minimum requirements for the third year only if the organization has attained the transitional enrollment standard as described in paragraph (b)(2)(iii) of this section.
(c) Failure to meet enrollment requirements. CMS may elect not to renew its contract with an MA organization that fails to meet the applicable enrollment requirement in paragraph (a) of this section