42 CFR § 422.100 - General requirements.
(a) Basic rule. Subject to the conditions and limitations set forth in this subpart, an MA organization offering an MA plan must provide enrollees in that plan with coverage of the basic benefits described in paragraph (c)(1) of this section (except that additional telehealth benefits may be, but are not required to be, offered by the MA plan) and, to the extent applicable, supplemental benefits as described in paragraph (c)(2) of this section, by furnishing the benefits directly or through arrangements, or by paying for the benefits. CMS reviews these benefits subject to the requirements of this section and the requirements in subpart G of this part.
(b) Services of noncontracting providers and suppliers.
(1) An MA organization must make timely and reasonable payment to or on behalf of the plan enrollee for the following services obtained from a provider or supplier that does not contract with the MA organization to provide services covered by the MA plan:
(i) Ambulance services dispatched through 911 or its local equivalent as provided in § 422.113.
(ii) Emergency and urgently needed services as provided in § 422.113.
(iii) Maintenance and post-stabilization care services as provided in § 422.113.
(iv) Renal dialysis services provided while the enrollee was temporarily outside the plan's service area.
(v) Services for which coverage has been denied by the MA organization and found (upon appeal under subpart M of this part) to be services the enrollee was entitled to have furnished, or paid for, by the MA organization.
(2) An MA plan (and an MA MSA plan, after the annual deductible in § 422.103(d) has been met) offered by an MA organization satisfies paragraph (a) of this section with respect to benefits for services furnished by a noncontracting provider if that MA plan provides payment in an amount the provider would have received under original Medicare (including balance billing permitted under Medicare Part A and Part B).
(1) Basic benefits are all items and services (other than hospice care or, beginning in 2021, coverage for organ acquisitions for kidney transplants) for which benefits are available under Parts A and B of Medicare, including additional telehealth benefits offered consistent with the requirements at § 422.135.
(i) Supplemental benefits consist of -
(A) Mandatory supplemental benefits are services not covered by Medicare that an MA enrollee must purchase as part of an MA plan that are paid for in full, directly by (or on behalf of) Medicare enrollees, in the form of premiums or cost sharing.
(B) Optional supplemental benefits are health services not covered by Medicare that are purchased at the option of the MA enrollee and paid for in full, directly by (or on behalf of) the Medicare enrollee, in the form of premiums or cost sharing. These services may be grouped or offered individually.
(ii) Supplemental benefits must meet the following requirements:
(A) Except in the case of special supplemental benefit for the chronically ill (SSBCI) offered in accordance with § 422.102(f) that are not primarily health related, the benefits diagnose, prevent, or treat an illness or injury; compensate for physical impairments; act to ameliorate the functional/psychological impact of injuries or health conditions; or reduce avoidable emergency and health care utilization;
(B) The MA organization incurs a non-zero direct medical cost, except that in the case of a SSBCI that is not primarily health related that is offered in accordance with § 422.102, the MA organization may instead incur a non-zero direct non-administrative cost; and
(C) The benefits are not covered by Medicare (This specifically includes Medicare Parts A, B, and D).
(ii) MA plans may provide supplemental benefits (such as specific reductions in cost sharing or additional services or items) that are tied to disease state or health status in a manner that ensures that similarly situated individuals are treated uniformly; there must be some nexus between the health status or disease state and the specific benefit package designed for enrollees meeting that health status or disease state.
(e) Multiple plans in one service area. An MA organization may offer more than one MA plan in the same service area subject to the conditions and limitations set forth in this subpart for each MA plan.
(f) CMS review and approval of MA benefits and associated cost sharing. CMS reviews and approves MA benefits and associated cost sharing using written policy guidelines and requirements in this part and other CMS instructions to ensure all of the following:
(1) Medicare-covered services meet CMS fee-for-service guidelines.
(2) MA organizations are not designing benefits to discriminate against beneficiaries, promote discrimination, discourage enrollment or encourage disenrollment, steer subsets of Medicare beneficiaries to particular MA plans, or inhibit access to services.
(3) Benefit design meets other MA program requirements.
(4) Except as provided in paragraph (f)(5) of this section, MA local plans (as defined in § 422.2) must have an out-of-pocket maximum for Medicare Parts A and B services that is no greater than the annual limit set by CMS using Medicare Fee-for-Service data. Beginning no earlier than January 1, 2020, CMS will set the annual limit to strike a balance between limiting maximum beneficiary out of pocket costs and potential changes in premium, benefits, and cost sharing, with the goal of ensuring beneficiary access to affordable and sustainable benefit packages.
(5) With respect to a local PPO plan, the limit specified under paragraph (f)(4) of this section applies only to use of network providers. Such local PPO plans must include a total catastrophic limit on beneficiary out-of-pocket expenditures for both in-network and out-of-network Parts A and B services that is -
(ii) Not greater than the annual limit set by CMS using Medicare Fee-for-Service data to establish appropriate beneficiary out-of-pocket expenditures. Beginning no earlier than January 1, 2020, CMS will set the annual limit to strike a balance between limiting maximum beneficiary out of pocket costs and potential changes in premium, benefits, and cost sharing, with the goal of ensuring beneficiary access to affordable and sustainable benefit packages.
(6) Cost sharing for Medicare Part A and B services specified by CMS does not exceed levels annually determined by CMS to be discriminatory for such services. CMS may use Medicare Fee-for-Service data to evaluate the possibility of discrimination and to establish non-discriminatory out-of-pocket limits; beginning no earlier than January 1, 2020, CMS may also use MA encounter data to inform patient utilization scenarios used to help identify MA plan cost sharing standards and thresholds that are not discriminatory.
(g) Benefits affecting screening mammography, influenza vaccine, and pneumoccal vaccine.
(1) Enrollees of MA organizations may directly access (through self-referral) screening mammography and influenza vaccine.
(i) Provider networks. The MA plans offered by an MA organization may share a provider network as long as each MA plan independently meets the access and availability standards described at § 422.112, as determined by CMS.
(j) Services for which cost sharing may not exceed cost sharing under Original Medicare. On an annual basis, CMS will evaluate whether there are service categories for which MA plans' in-network cost sharing may not exceed that required under Original Medicare and specify in regulation which services are subject to that cost sharing limit. The following services are subject to this limit on cost sharing:
(1) Chemotherapy administration services to include chemotherapy drugs and radiation therapy integral to the treatment regimen.
(2) Renal dialysis services as defined at section 1881(b)(14)(B) of the Act.
(3) Skilled nursing care defined as services provided during a covered stay in a skilled nursing facility during the period for which cost sharing would apply under Original Medicare.
(k) Cost sharing for in-network preventive services. MA organizations may not charge deductibles, copayments, or coinsurance for in-network Medicare-covered preventive services (as defined in § 410.152(l)).
(l) Coverage of DME. MA organizations -
(1) Must cover and ensure enrollees have access to all categories of DME covered under Part B; and
(2) May, within specific categories of DME, limit coverage to certain DME brands, items, and supplies of preferred manufacturers provided the MA organization ensures all of the following:
(i) Its contracts with DME suppliers ensure that enrollees have access to all DME brands, items, and supplies of preferred manufacturers.
(ii) Its enrollees have access to all medically-necessary DME brands, items, and supplies of non-preferred manufacturers.
(iii) At the enrollees' request, it provides for an appropriate transition process for new enrollees during the first 90 days of their coverage under its MA plan, during which time the MA organization will do the following:
(A) Ensure the provision of a transition supply of DME brands, items, and supplies of non-preferred manufacturers.
(B) Provide for the repair of DME brands, items, and supplies of non-preferred manufacturers.
(iv) It makes no negative changes to its DME brands, items, and supplies of preferred manufacturers during the plan year.
(v) It treats denials of DME brands, items, and supplies of non-preferred manufacturers as organization determinations subject to § 422.566.
(vi) It discloses DME coverage limitations and beneficiary appeal rights in the case of a denial of a DME brand, item, or supply of a non-preferred manufacturer as part of the description of benefits required under § 422.111(b)(2) and § 422.111(h).
(vii) It provides full coverage, without limitation on brand and manufacturer, to all DME categories or subcategories annually determined by CMS to require full coverage.
(m) Special requirements during a disaster or emergency.
(1) When a state of disaster is declared as described in paragraph (m)(2) of this section, an MA organization offering an MA plan must, until one of the conditions described in paragraph (m)(3) of this section occurs, ensure access to benefits in the following manner:
(ii) Waive, in full, requirements for gatekeeper referrals where applicable.
(iii) Provide the same cost-sharing for the enrollee as if the service or benefit had been furnished at a plan-contracted facility.
(iv) Make changes that benefit the enrollee effective immediately without the 30-day notification requirement at § 422.111(d)(3).
(2) Declarations of disasters. A declaration of disaster will identify the geographic area affected by the event and may be made as one of the following:
(i) Presidential declaration of a disaster or emergency under the either of the following:
(A) Stafford Act.
(iii) Declaration by the Governor of a State or Protectorate.
(5) Disclosure. In addition to other requirements of annual disclosure under § 422.111, an organization must do all of the following:
(i) Indicate the terms and conditions of payment during the public health emergency or disaster for non-contracted providers furnishing benefits to plan enrollees residing in the state-of-disaster area.
(ii) Annually notify enrollees of the information listed in paragraphs (m)(1) through (3) and (m)(5) of this section.
(iii) Provide the information described in paragraphs (m)(1), (2), and (3) and (m)(5)(i) of this section on its website.
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