(a) Eligibility for bidding. An applicant may submit a bid to become a Part D plan sponsor.
(b) Bid submission—(1) General. Not later than the first Monday in June, each potential Part D sponsor must submit bids and supplemental information described in this section for each Part D plan it intends to offer in the subsequent calendar year.
(2) Substantial differences between bids. Potential Part D sponsors' bid submissions must reflect differences in benefit packages or plan costs that CMS determines to represent substantial differences relative to a sponsor's other bid submissions. In order to be considered “substantially different,” each bid must be significantly different from the sponsor's other bids with respect to beneficiary out-of-pocket costs or formulary structures.
(3) CMS may decline to accept any or every bid submitted by a Part D sponsor or potential Part D sponsor.
(c) Basic rule for bid. Each potential Part D sponsor must submit a bid and supplemental information in a format to be specified by CMS for each Part D plan it offers. Each bid must reflect a uniform benefit package, including premium (except as provided for the late enrollment penalty described in § 423.286(d)(3)) and all applicable cost sharing, for all individuals enrolled in the plan. Each bid must reflect the applicant's estimate of its average monthly revenue requirements to provide qualified prescription drug coverage (including any supplemental coverage) for a Part D eligible individual with a national average risk profile for the factors described in § 423.329(b)(1).
(1) Included costs. The bid includes costs (including administrative costs and return on investment/profit) for which the plan is responsible in providing basic and supplemental benefits.
(2) Excluded costs. The bid does not include costs associated with payments by the enrollee for deductible, co-payments, coinsurance, and liability above the plan allowance in the case of out-of-network claims, payments projected to be made by CMS for reinsurance, or any other costs for which the sponsor is not responsible.
(3) Actuarial valuation. The bid must be prepared in accordance with CMS actuarial guidelines based on generally accepted actuarial principles. A qualified actuary must certify the plan's actuarial valuation (which may be prepared by others under his or her direction or review), and must be a member of the American Academy of Actuaries to be deemed qualified. Applicants may use qualified outside actuaries to prepare their bids.
(d) Specific requirements for bids. The bid and supplemental information submission must include the following information:
(1) Coverage. A description of the coverage to be provided under the plan, including any supplemental coverage and the deductible and other cost sharing.
(2) Actuarial value of bid components. The applicant must provide the following information on bid components, as well as actuarial certification that the values are calculated according to CMS guidelines on actuarial valuation, including adjustment for the effect that providing alternative prescription drug coverage (rather than defined standard prescription drug coverage) has on drug utilization, if applicable.
(i) The actuarial value of the qualified prescription drug coverage to be offered under each plan for a Part D eligible individual with a national average risk profile for the factors described in § 423.329(b)(1) and the basis for the estimate.
(ii) The portion of the bid attributable to basic prescription drug coverage and the portion (if any) attributable to supplemental benefits.
(iii) The assumptions regarding reinsurance amounts payable under § 423.329(c) used in calculating the bid.
(iv) The assumptions regarding low-income cost-sharing payable under § 423.329(d) used in calculating the bid.
(v) The amount of administrative costs and return on investment or profit included in the bid.
(3) Service area. A description of the service area of the plan.
(4) Level of risk assumed. For a potential Part D sponsor, the level of risk assumed in the bid specified in paragraph (e) of this section.
(5) Plan Average Risk Score. An estimate of the plan's average prescription drug risk score (as established under § 423.329(b)) for all projected enrollees for purposes of risk adjusting any supplemental premium.
(6) Additional information. Additional information CMS requests to support bid amounts and facilitate negotiation.
(e) Special rule for PDP sponsors. Bids for all plans offered by a potential PDP sponsor in a region, but not those of potential MA organizations offering MA-PD plans, PACE organizations offering PACE plans including qualified prescription drug coverage, and cost-based HMOs or CMPs offering section 1876 cost plans including qualified prescription drug coverage, may include a uniform modification of the amount of risk assumed (based on a process to be specified) as described in one or more of the following paragraphs. Any such modification applies to all plans offered by the PDP sponsor in a PDP region.
(2) Increase in Federal percentage assumed in second risk corridor. An equal percentage point increase in the percents applied for costs above the second threshold upper limit or below the second threshold upper limit under paragraphs § 423.336(b)(2)(ii)(B) and (b)(3)(ii)(B).
(3) Decrease in size of risk corridors. A decrease in the size of the risk corridors by means of reductions in the threshold risk percentages specified in § 423.336(a)(2)(ii)(A) and/or (a)(2)(ii)(B).
(f) Special rule for fallback prescription drug plans. Fallback prescription drug plan bids are not subject to the rules in this section. They must follow requirements specified in § 423.863.