42 CFR 423.890 - Appeals.
(a) Informal written reconsideration -
(1) Initial determinations. A sponsor is entitled to an informal written reconsideration of an adverse initial determination. An initial determination is a determination regarding the following:
(i) The amount of the subsidy payment.
(ii) The actuarial equivalence of the sponsor's retiree prescription drug plan.
(iii) If an enrollee in a retiree prescription drug plan is a qualifying covered retiree; or
(iv) Any other similar determination (as determined by CMS) that affects eligibility for, or the amount of, a subsidy payment.
(2) Effect of an initial determination regarding the retiree drug subsidy. An initial determination is final and binding unless reconsidered in accordance with this paragraph (a) of this section.
(3) Manner and timing for request. A request for reconsideration must be made in writing and filed with CMS within 15 days of the date on the notice of adverse determination.
(4) Content of request. The request for reconsideration must specify the findings or issues with which the sponsor disagrees and the reasons for the disagreements. The request for reconsideration may include additional documentary evidence the sponsor wishes CMS to consider.
(5) Conduct of informal written reconsideration. In conducting the reconsideration, CMS reviews the subsidy determination, the evidence and findings upon which it was based, and any other written evidence submitted by the sponsor or by CMS before notice of the reconsidered determination is made.
(6) Decision of the informal written reconsideration. CMS informs the sponsor of the decision orally or through electronic mail. CMS sends a written decision to the sponsor on the sponsor's request.
(7) Effect of CMS informal written reconsideration. A reconsideration decision, whether delivered orally or in writing, is final and binding unless a request for hearing is filed in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section, or it is revised in accordance paragraph (d) of this section.
(b) Right to informal hearing. A sponsor dissatisfied with the CMS reconsideration decision is entitled to an informal hearing as provided in this section.
(1) Manner and timing for request. A request for a hearing must be made in writing and filed with CMS within 15 days of the date the sponsor receives the CMS reconsideration decision.
(2) Content of request. The request for informal hearing must include a copy of the CMS reconsideration decision (if any) and must specify the findings or issues in the decision with which the sponsor disagrees and the reasons for the disagreements.
(3) Informal hearing procedures. (i)CMS provides written notice of the time and place of the informal hearing at least 10 days before the scheduled date.
(ii) The hearing is conducted by a CMS hearing officer who neither receives testimony nor accepts any new evidence that was not presented with the reconsideration request. The CMS hearing officer is limited to the review of the record that was before CMS when CMS made both its initial and reconsideration determinations.
(iii) If CMS did not issue a written reconsideration decision, the hearing officer may request, but not require, a written statement from CMS or its contractors explaining CMS' determination, or CMS or its contractors may, on their own, submit the written statement to the hearing officer. Failure of CMS to submit a written statement does not result in any adverse findings against CMS and may not in any way be taken into account by the hearing officer in reaching a decision.
(4) Decision of the CMS hearing officer. The CMS hearing officer decides the case and sends a written decision to the sponsor, explaining the basis for the decision.
(5) Effect of hearing officer decision. The hearing officer decision is final and binding, unless the decision is reversed or modified by the Administrator in accordance with paragraph (c) of this section.
(c) Review by the Administrator.
(1) A sponsor that has received a hearing officer decision upholding a CMS initial or reconsidered determination may request review by the Administrator within 15 days of receipt of the hearing officer's decision.
(2) The Administrator may review the hearing officer's decision, any written documents submitted to CMS or to the hearing officer, as well as any other information included in the record of the hearing officer's decision and determine whether to uphold, reverse or modify the hearing officer's decision.
(3) The Administrator's determination is final and binding.
(d) Reopening -
(1) Ability to reopen. CMS may reopen and revise an initial or reconsidered determination upon its own motion or upon the request of a sponsor:
(i) Within 1 year of the date of the notice of determination for any reason.
(ii) Within 4 years for good cause.
(iii) At any time when the underlying decision was obtained through fraud or similar fault.
(2) Notice of reopening.
(i) Notice of reopening and any revisions following the reopening are mailed to the sponsor.
(ii) Notice of reopening specifies the reasons for revision.
(3) Effect of reopening. The revision of an initial or reconsidered determination is final and binding unless-
(i) The sponsor requests reconsideration in accordance with paragraph (a) of this section;
(ii) A timely request for a hearing is filed under paragraph (b) of this section;
(iii) The determination is reviewed by the Administrator in accordance with paragraph (c) of this section; or
(iv) The determination is reopened and revised in accordance with paragraph (d) of this section.
(4) Good cause. For purposes of this section, CMS finds good cause if -
(i) New and material evidence exists that was not readily available at the time the initial determination was made;
(ii) A clerical error in the computation of payments was made; or
(iii) The evidence that was considered in making the determination clearly shows on its face that an error was made.
(5) For purposes of this section, CMS does not find good cause if the only reason for reopening is a change of legal interpretation or administrative ruling upon which the initial determination was made.
(6) A decision by CMS not to reopen an initial or reconsidered determination is final and binding and cannot be appealed.