(a) General standards for appeal requests. The Exchange and the appeals entity -
(1) Must accept appeal requests submitted -
(i) By telephone;
(ii) By mail;
(iii) In person, if the Exchange or the appeals entity, as applicable, is capable of receiving in-person appeal requests; and
(iv) Via the Internet.
(2) Must assist the applicant or enrollee in making the appeal request, if requested;
(3) Must not limit or interfere with the applicant or enrollee's right to make an appeal request; and
(b) Appeal request. The Exchange and the appeals entity must allow an applicant or enrollee to request an appeal within -
(1) 90 days of the date of the notice of eligibility determination; or
(2) A timeframe consistent with the state Medicaid agency's requirement for submitting fair hearing requests, provided that timeframe is no less than 30 days, measured from the date of the notice of eligibility determination.
(c) Appeal of a State Exchange appeals entity decision to HHS. If the appellant disagrees with the appeal decision of a State Exchange appeals entity, he or she may make an appeal request to the HHS appeals entity within 30 days of the date of the State Exchange appeals entity's notice of appeal decision or notice of denial of a request to vacate a dismissal.
(d) Acknowledgement of appeal request.
(i) Send timely acknowledgment to the appellant of the receipt of his or her valid appeal request, including -
(A) Information regarding the appellant's eligibility pending appeal pursuant to § 155.525; and
(B) An explanation that any advance payments of the premium tax credit paid on behalf of the tax filer pending appeal are subject to reconciliation under 26 CFR 1.36B-4.
(ii) Send timely notice via secure electronic interface of the appeal request and, if applicable, instructions to provide eligibility pending appeal pursuant to § 155.525, to the Exchange and to the agencies administering Medicaid or CHIP, where applicable.
(iii) If the appeal request is made pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section, send timely notice via secure electronic interface of the appeal request to the State Exchange appeals entity.
(2) Upon receipt of an appeal request that is not valid because it fails to meet the requirements of this section or § 155.505(b), the appeals entity must -
(i) Promptly and without undue delay, send written notice to the applicant or enrollee informing the appellant:
(A) That the appeal request has not been accepted;
(B) About the nature of the defect in the appeal request; and
(C) That the applicant or enrollee may cure the defect and resubmit the appeal request by the date determined under paragraph (b) or (c) of this section, as applicable, or within a reasonable timeframe established by the appeals entity.
(D) That, in the event the appeal request is not valid due to failure to submit by the date determined under paragraph (b) or (c) of this section, as applicable, the appeal request may be considered valid if the applicant or enrollee sufficiently demonstrates within a reasonable timeframe determined by the appeals entity that failure to timely submit was due to exceptional circumstances and should not preclude the appeal.
(ii) Treat as valid an amended appeal request that meets the requirements of this section and § 155.505(b).
(3) Upon receipt of a valid appeal request pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section, or upon receipt of the notice under paragraph (d)(1)(ii) of this section, the Exchange must transmit via secure electronic interface to the appeals entity -
(i) The appeal request, if the appeal request was initially made to the Exchange; and
(ii) The appellant's eligibility record.
(4) Upon receipt of the notice pursuant to paragraph (d)(1)(iii) of this section, the State Exchange appeals entity must transmit via secure electronic interface the appellant's appeal record, including the appellant's eligibility record as received from the Exchange, to the HHS appeals entity.