(a) Acceptance of enrollees: General rule.
Except for the limitations on enrollment in an MA MSA plan provided by § 422.62(d)(1) and except as specified in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, each MA organization must accept without restriction (except for an MA RFB plan as provided by § 422.57) individuals who are eligible to elect an MA plan that the MA organization offers and who elect an MA plan during initial coverage election periods under § 422.62(a)(1), annual election periods under § 422.62(a)(2), and under the circumstances described in § 422.62(b)(1) through (b)(4).
MA organizations must accept elections during the open enrollment periods specified in § 422.62(a)(3), (a)(4), and (a)(5) if their MA plans are open to new enrollees.
(b) Capacity to accept new enrollees.
MA organizations may submit information on enrollment capacity of plans.
If CMS determines that an MA plan offered by an MA organization has a capacity limit, and the number of MA eligible individuals who elect to enroll in that plan exceeds the limit, the MA organization offering the plan may limit enrollment in the plan under this part, but only if it provides priority in acceptance as follows:
First, for individuals who elected the plan prior to the CMS determination that capacity has been exceeded, elections will be processed in chronological order by date of receipt of their election forms.
Then for other individuals in a manner that does not discriminate on the basis of any factor related to health as described in § 422.110.
CMS considers enrollment limit requests for an MA plan service area, or a portion of the plan service area, only if the health and safety of beneficiaries is at risk, such as if the provider network is not available to serve the enrollees in all or a portion of the service area.
(c) Election forms and other election mechanisms.
The election must comply with CMS instructions regarding content and format and be approved by CMS as described in § 422.80. The election must be completed by the MA eligible individual (or the individual who will soon become eligible to elect an MA plan) and include authorization for disclosure and exchange of necessary information between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and its designees and the MA organization. Persons who assist beneficiaries in completing forms must sign the form, or through other approved mechanisms, indicate their relationship to the beneficiary.
The MA organization must file and retain election forms for the period specified in CMS instructions.
(d) When an election is considered to have been made.
An election in an MA plan is considered to have been made on the date the completed election is received by the MA organization.
(e) Handling of elections.
The MA organization must have an effective system for receiving, controlling, and processing elections. The system must meet the following conditions and requirements:
Each election is dated as of the day it is received in a manner acceptable to CMS.
Elections are processed in chronological order, by date of receipt.
The MA organization gives the beneficiary prompt notice of acceptance or denial in a format specified by CMS.
If the MA plan is enrolled to capacity, it explains the procedures that will be followed when vacancies occur.
Upon receipt of the election, or for an individual who was accepted for future enrollment from the date a vacancy occurs, the MA organization transmits, within the timeframes specified by CMS, the information necessary for CMS to add the beneficiary to its records as an enrollee of the MA organization.
(f) Exception for employer group health plans.
In cases in which an MA organization has both a Medicare contract and a contract with an employer group health plan, and in which the MA organization arranges for the employer to process elections for Medicare-entitled group members who wish to enroll under the Medicare contract, the effective date of the election may be retroactive. Consistent with § 422.308(f)(2), payment adjustments based on a retroactive effective date may be made for up to a 90-day period.
In order to obtain the effective date described in paragraph (f)(1) of this section, the beneficiary must certify that, at the time of enrollment in the MA organization, he or she received the disclosure statement specified in § 422.111.
Upon receipt of the election from the employer, the MA organization must submit the enrollment within timeframes specified by CMS.
(g) Passive enrollment by CMS.
In situations involving either immediate terminations as provided in § 422.510(a)(5) or other situations in which CMS determines that remaining enrolled in a plan poses potential harm to the members, CMS may implement passive enrollment procedures.
(1) Passive enrollment procedures.
Individuals will be considered to have elected the plan selected by CMS unless they—
Decline the plan selected by CMS, in a form and manner determined by CMS, or
Request enrollment in another plan.
(2) Beneficiary notification.
The organization that receives the enrollment must provide notification that describes the costs and benefits of the plan and the process for accessing care under the plan and clearly explains the beneficiary's ability to decline the enrollment or choose another plan. Such notification must be provided to all potential enrollees prior to the enrollment effective date (or as soon as possible after the effective date if prior notice is not practical), in a form and manner determined by CMS.
(3) Special election period.
All individuals will be provided with a special election period, as described in § 422.62(b)(4).
[63 FR 35071, June 26, 1998; 63 FR 52612, Oct. 1, 1998; 63 FR 54526, Oct. 9, 1998; 64 FR 7980, Feb. 17, 1999; 65 FR 40316, June 29, 2000; 70 FR 4716, Jan. 28, 2005; 70 FR 52026, Sept. 1, 2005; 74 FR 1541, Jan. 12, 2009]