(a) Statutory basis.
(1) Section 1862(b) of the Act provides in part that Medicare is secondary payer, under specified conditions, for services covered under any of the following:
(i) Group health plans of employers that employ at least 20 employees and that cover Medicare beneficiaries age 65 or older who are covered under the plan by virtue of the individual's current employment status with an employer or the current employment status of a spouse of any age. (Section 1862(b)(1)(A))
(ii) Group health plans (without regard to the number of individuals employed and irrespective of current employment status) that cover individuals who have ESRD. Except as provided in § 411.163, group health plans are always primary payers throughout the first 18 months of ESRD-based Medicare eligibility or entitlement. (Section 1862(b)(1)(C))
(iii) Large group health plans (that is, plans of employers that employ at least 100 employees) and that cover Medicare beneficiaries who are under age 65, entitled to Medicare on the basis of disability, and covered under the plan by virtue of the individual's or a family member's current employment status with an employer. (Section 1862(b)(1)(B))
(2) Sections 1862(b)(1)(A), (B), and (C) of the Act provide that group health plans and large group health plans may not take into account that the individuals described in paragraph (a)(1) of this section are entitled to Medicare on the basis of age or disability, or eligible for, or entitled to Medicare on the basis of ESRD.
(3) Section 1862(b)(1)(A)(i)(II) of the Act provides that group health plans of employers of 20 or more employees must provide to any employee or spouse age 65 or older the same benefits, under the same conditions, that it provides to employees and spouses under 65. The requirement applies regardless of whether the individual or spouse 65 or older is entitled to Medicare.
(4) Section 1862(b)(1)(C)(ii) of the Act provides that group health plans may not differentiate in the benefits they provide between individuals who have ESRD and other individuals covered under the plan on the basis of the existence of ESRD, the need for renal dialysis, or in any other manner. Actions that constitute “differentiating” are listed in § 411.161(b).
(b) Scope. This subpart sets forth general rules pertinent to -
(1) Medicare payment for services that are covered under a group health plan and are furnished to certain beneficiaries who are entitled on the basis of ESRD, age, or disability.
(2) The prohibition against taking into account Medicare entitlement based on age or disability, or Medicare eligibility or entitlement based on ESRD.
(3) The prohibition against differentiation in benefits between individuals who have ESRD and other individuals covered under the plan.
(4) The requirement to provide to those 65 or over the same benefits under the same conditions as are provided to those under 65.
(5) The appeals procedures for group health plans that CMS determines are nonconforming plans.