(a) Examples of actions that constitute “taking into account”. Actions by GHPs or LGHPs that constitute taking into account that an individual is entitled to Medicare on the basis of ESRD, age, or disability (or eligible on the basis of ESRD) include, but are not limited to, the following:
(2) Offering coverage that is secondary to Medicare to individuals entitled to Medicare.
(3) Terminating coverage because the individual has become entitled to Medicare, except as permitted under COBRA continuation coverage provisions (26 U.S.C. 4980B(f)(2)(B)(iv); 29 U.S.C. 1162.(2)(D); and 42 U.S.C. 300bb-2.(2)(D)).
(4) In the case of a LGHP, denying or terminating coverage because an individual is entitled to Medicare on the basis of disability without denying or terminating coverage for similarly situated individuals who are not entitled to Medicare on the basis of disability.
(5) Imposing limitations on benefits for a Medicare entitled individual that do not apply to others enrolled in the plan, such as providing less comprehensive health care coverage, excluding benefits, reducing benefits, charging higher deductibles or coinsurance, providing for lower annual or lifetime benefit limits, or more restrictive pre-existing illness limitations.
(6) Charging a Medicare entitled individual higher premiums.
(7) Requiring a Medicare entitled individual to wait longer for coverage to begin.
(8) Paying providers and suppliers less for services furnished to a Medicare beneficiary than for the same services furnished to an enrollee who is not entitled to Medicare.
(9) Providing misleading or incomplete information that would have the effect of inducing a Medicare entitled individual to reject the employer plan, thereby making Medicare the primary payer. An example of this would be informing the beneficiary of the right to accept or reject the employer plan but failing to inform the individual that, if he or she rejects the plan, the plan will not be permitted to provide or pay for secondary benefits.
(10) Including in its health insurance cards, claims forms, or brochures distributed to beneficiaries, providers, and suppliers, instructions to bill Medicare first for services furnished to Medicare beneficiaries without stipulating that such action may be taken only when Medicare is the primary payer.
(11) Refusing to enroll an individual for whom Medicare would be secondary payer, when enrollment is available to similarly situated individuals for whom Medicare would not be secondary payer.
(b) Permissible actions.
(1) If a GHP or LGHP makes benefit distinctions among various categories of individuals (distinctions unrelated to the fact that the individual is disabled, based, for instance, on length of time employed, occupation, or marital status), the GHP or LGHP may make the same distinctions among the same categories of individuals entitled to Medicare whose plan coverage is based on current employment status. For example, if a GHP or LGHP does not offer coverage to employees who have worked less than one year and who are not entitled to Medicare on the basis of disability or age, the GHP or LGHP is not required to offer coverage to employees who have worked less than one year and who are entitled to Medicare on the basis of disability or age.
(2) A GHP or LGHP may pay benefits secondary to Medicare for an aged or disabled beneficiary who has current employment status if the plan coverage is COBRA continuation coverage because of reduced hours of work. Medicare is primary payer for this beneficiary because, although he or she has current employment status, the GHP coverage is by virtue of the COBRA law rather than by virtue of the current employment status.
(3) A GHP may terminate COBRA continuation coverage of an individual who becomes entitled to Medicare on the basis of ESRD, when permitted under the COBRA provisions.