42 CFR 423.859 - Assuring access to a choice of coverage.

§ 423.859 Assuring access to a choice of coverage.
(a) Choice of at least 2 qualifying plans in each area. Each Part D eligible individual must have available a choice of enrollment in at least 2 qualifying plans (as defined in § 423.855) in the area in which the individual resides. This requirement is not satisfied if only one entity offers all the qualifying plans in the area. At least 1 of the 2 qualifying plans must be a prescription drug plan.
(b) Fallback service area—
(1) For coverage year. Before the start of each coverage year CMS determines if Part D eligible individuals residing in a PDP region have access to a choice of enrollment in a minimum of 2 qualifying plans, as described in paragraph (a) of this section. If CMS determines that Part D eligible individuals in a PDP region, or some portion of the region, do not have available a choice of enrollment in a minimum of two qualified plans, CMS designates the region or portion of a region as a fallback service area. Each Part D eligible individual in a fallback service area is given the opportunity to enroll in a fallback prescription drug plan.
(2) For mid-year changes. If a contract with a qualifying plan is terminated in the middle of a contract year (as provided for in § 423.508, § 423.509, or § 423.510), CMS determines if Part D eligible individuals residing in the affected PDP region still have access to a choice of enrollment in a minimum of 2 qualifying plans, as described in paragraph (a) of this section. If CMS determines that Part D eligible individuals in a PDP region, or some portion of the region, no longer have available a choice of enrollment in a minimum of two qualifying plans, CMS designates the region or portion of a region as a fallback service area.
(c) Access to coverage in the territories. CMS may waive or modify the requirements of this part if—
(1) CMS determines that waiver or modification is necessary to secure access to qualified prescription drug coverage for Part D eligible individuals residing in a State other than the 50 States or the District of Columbia; or
(2) An entity seeking to become a prescription drug plan in an area such as a territory, other than the 50 States or the District of Columbia requests waiver or modification of any Part D requirement in order to provide qualified prescription drug coverage.
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§ 423.859 Assuring access to a choice of coverage.

(a) Choice of at least 2 qualifying plans in each area. Each Part D eligible individual must have available a choice of enrollment in at least 2 qualifying plans (as defined in § 423.855) in the area in which the individual resides. This requirement is not satisfied if only one entity offers all the qualifying plans in the area. At least 1 of the 2 qualifying plans must be a prescription drug plan.

(b) Fallback service area -

(1) For coverage year. Before the start of each coverage year CMS determines if Part D eligible individuals residing in a PDP region have access to a choice of enrollment in a minimum of 2 qualifying plans, as described in paragraph (a) of this section. If CMS determines that Part D eligible individuals in a PDP region, or some portion of the region, do not have available a choice of enrollment in a minimum of two qualified plans, CMS designates the region or portion of a region as a fallback service area. Each Part D eligible individual in a fallback service area is given the opportunity to enroll in a fallback prescription drug plan.

(2) For mid-year changes. If a contract with a qualifying plan is terminated in the middle of a contract year (as provided for in § 423.508, § 423.509, or § 423.510), CMS determines if Part D eligible individuals residing in the affected PDP region still have access to a choice of enrollment in a minimum of 2 qualifying plans, as described in paragraph (a) of this section. If CMS determines that Part D eligible individuals in a PDP region, or some portion of the region, no longer have available a choice of enrollment in a minimum of two qualifying plans, CMS designates the region or portion of a region as a fallback service area.

(c) Access to coverage in the territories. CMS may waive or modify the requirements of this part if -

(1) CMS determines that waiver or modification is necessary to secure access to qualified prescription drug coverage for Part D eligible individuals residing in a State other than the 50 States or the District of Columbia; or

(2) An entity seeking to become a prescription drug plan in an area such as a territory, other than the 50 States or the District of Columbia requests waiver or modification of any Part D requirement in order to provide qualified prescription drug coverage.