45 CFR § 156.410 - Cost-sharing reductions for enrollees.

§ 156.410 Cost-sharing reductions for enrollees.

(a) General requirement. A QHP issuer must ensure that an individual eligible for cost-sharing reductions, as demonstrated by assignment to a particular plan variation, pays only the cost sharing required of an eligible individual for the applicable covered service under the plan variation. The cost-sharing reduction for which an individual is eligible must be applied when the cost sharing is collected.

(b) Assignment to applicable plan variation. If an individual is determined to be eligible to enroll in a QHP in the individual market offered through an Exchange and elects to do so, the QHP issuer must assign the individual under enrollment and eligibility information submitted by the Exchange as follows -

(1) If the individual is determined eligible by the Exchange for cost-sharing reductions under § 155.305(g)(2)(i), (ii), or (iii) of this subchapter (subject to the special rule for family policies set forth in § 155.305(g)(3) of this subchapter) and chooses to enroll in a silver health plan, the QHP issuer must assign the individual to the silver plan variation of the selected silver health plan described in § 156.420(a)(1), (2), or (3), respectively.

(2) If the individual is determined eligible by the Exchange for cost-sharing reductions for Indians with lower household income under § 155.350(a) of this subchapter (subject to the special rule for family policies set forth in § 155.305(g)(3) of this subchapter), and chooses to enroll in a QHP, the QHP issuer must assign the individual to the zero cost sharing plan variation of the selected QHP with all cost sharing eliminated described in § 156.420(b)(1).

(3) If the individual is determined by the Exchange to be eligible for cost-sharing reductions for Indians regardless of household income under § 155.350(b) of this subchapter (subject to the special rule for family policies set forth in § 155.305(g)(3) of this subchapter), and chooses to enroll in a QHP, the QHP issuer must assign the individual to the limited cost sharing plan variation of the selected QHP with the prohibition on cost sharing for benefits received from the Indian Health Service and certain other providers described in § 156.420(b)(2).

(4) If the individual is determined by the Exchange not to be eligible for cost-sharing reductions (including eligibility under the special rule for family policies set forth in § 155.305(g)(3) of this subchapter), and chooses to enroll in a QHP, the QHP issuer must assign the individual to the selected QHP with no cost-sharing reductions.

(c) Improper cost-sharing reductions.

(1) If a QHP issuer fails to ensure that an individual assigned to a plan variation receives the cost-sharing reductions required under the applicable plan variation, taking into account § 156.425(b) concerning continuity of deductibles and out-of-pocket amounts (if applicable), then the QHP issuer must notify the enrollee of the improper application of any cost-sharing reduction within 45 calendar days of discovery of such improper application, and refund any resulting excess cost sharing paid by or for the enrollee as follows:

(i) If the excess cost sharing was paid by the provider, the QHP issuer must refund the excess cost sharing to the provider within 45 calendar days of discovery of the improper application.

(ii) If the excess cost sharing was not paid by the provider and is not requested by the enrollee as a refund, the QHP issuer must, within 45 calendar days of discovery of the error, apply the excess cost sharing paid by or for the enrollee to the enrollee's portion of the premium (or refund the amount directly). If any excess premium remains, the QHP issuer must apply the excess premium to the enrollee's portion of the premium for each subsequent month for the remainder of the period of enrollment or benefit year until the excess is fully applied (or refund any remaining amount directly). If any excess premium remains at the end of the period of enrollment or benefit year, the QHP issuer must refund the enrollee any remaining excess cost sharing paid by or for the enrollee within 45 calendar days of the end of the period of enrollment or benefit year, whichever comes first.

(iii) If the excess cost sharing was not paid by the provider, and if a refund is requested by the enrollee, the refund must be provided to the enrollee within 45 calendar days of the date of the request.

(2) If a QHP issuer provides an individual assigned to a plan variation greater cost-sharing reductions than required under the applicable plan variation, taking into account § 156.425(b) concerning continuity of deductibles and out-of-pocket amounts (if applicable), then the QHP issuer will not be eligible for reimbursement of any excess cost-sharing reductions provided to the enrollee, and may not seek reimbursement from the enrollee or the applicable provider for any of the excess cost-sharing reductions.

(d) Improper assignment. If a QHP issuer does not assign an individual to the applicable plan variation (or standard plan without cost-sharing reductions) in accordance with §§ 156.410(b) and 156.425(a) based on the eligibility and enrollment information or notification provided by the Exchange, then the QHP issuer must reassign the enrollee to the applicable plan variation (or standard plan without cost-sharing reductions) and notify the enrollee of the improper assignment such that:

(1) If the QHP issuer discovers the improper assignment between the first and fifteenth day of the month, the QHP issuer must reassign the enrollee to the correct plan variation (or standard plan without cost-sharing reductions) by the first day of the following month.

(2) If the QHP issuer discovers the improper assignment between the sixteen and the last day of the month, the QHP issuer must reassign the individual to the correct plan variation (or standard plan without cost-sharing reductions) by the first day of the second following month.

(3) If, pursuant to a reassignment under this paragraph (d), a QHP issuer reassigns an enrollee from a more generous plan variation to a less generous plan variation of a QHP (or a standard plan without cost-sharing reductions), the QHP issuer will not be eligible for reimbursement for any of the excess cost-sharing reductions provided to the enrollee following the effective date of eligibility required by the Exchange, and may not seek reimbursement from the enrollee or the applicable provider for any of the excess cost-sharing reductions.

(4) If, pursuant to a reassignment under this paragraph (d), a QHP issuer reassigns an enrollee from a less generous plan variation (or a standard plan without cost-sharing reductions) to a more generous plan variation of a QHP, the QHP issuer must recalculate the enrollee's liability for cost sharing paid between the effective date of eligibility required by the Exchange and the date on which the issuer effectuated the change, and must refund any excess cost sharing paid by or for the enrollee during such period as follows:

(i) If the excess cost sharing was paid by the provider, the QHP issuer must refund the excess cost sharing to the provider within 45 calendar days of discovery of the improper assignment.

(ii) If the excess cost sharing was not paid by the provider and is not requested by the enrollee as a refund, the QHP issuer must, within 45 calendar days of discovery of the improper assignment, apply the excess cost sharing paid by or for the enrollee to the enrollee's portion of the premium (or refund the amount directly). If any excess premium remains, the QHP issuer must apply the excess premium to the enrollee's portion of the premium for each subsequent month for the remainder of the period of enrollment or benefit year until the excess is fully applied (or refund the remaining amount directly). If any excess premium remains at the end of the period of enrollment or benefit year, the QHP issuer must refund the enrollee any remaining excess cost sharing paid by or for the enrollee within 45 calendar days of the end of the period of enrollment or benefit year, whichever comes first.

(iii) If the excess cost sharing was not paid by the provider, then, if the enrollee requests a refund, the refund must be provided to the enrollee within 45 calendar days of the date of the request.

[78 FR 15535, Mar. 11, 2013, as amended at 78 FR 65097, Oct. 30, 2013; 80 FR 10875, Feb. 27, 2015]