Under the Medicare Modernization Act (MMA), the new Medicare prescription drug benefit (aka, Medicare Part D) includes a retiree subsidy to encourage the continuation of employer-sponsored drug plans for retired Americans.
Here are some excellent resources to help employers understand the Medicare retiree subsidy:
– White Paper on Retiree Drug Coverage Under Medicare. From Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). CMS also provides a brief summary of the purpose of the retiree subsidy.
– Covington & Burling provides an excellent, reader-friendly summary of the retiree subsidy and the relevant provisions of the CMS proposed rule (PDF).
– Last year, the American Academy of Actuaries and the Society of Actuaries held an excellent briefing for Congressional staff on how to determine the actuarial equivalence of Medicare prescription drug plans (PDF).
– For folks needing background on the bigger picture, the National Business Coalition on Health (NBCH) provides an excellent guide for employers on managing prescription drug benefits (PDF) and an informative white paper on trends in pharmaceutical benefits (PDF).