View all text of Subpart F [§ 438.400 - § 438.424]

§ 438.402 - General requirements.

(a) The grievance and appeal system. Each MCO, PIHP, and PAHP must have a grievance and appeal system in place for enrollees. Non-emergency medical transportation PAHPs, as defined in § 438.9, are not subject to this subpart F. For grievances and appeals at the plan level, an applicable integrated plan as defined in § 422.561 of this chapter is not subject to this subpart F, and is instead subject to the requirements of §§ 422.629 through 422.634 of this chapter. For appeals of integrated reconsiderations, applicable integrated plans are subject to § 438.408(f).

(b) Level of appeals. Each MCO, PIHP, and PAHP may have only one level of appeal for enrollees.

(c) Filing requirements—(1) Authority to file. (i) An enrollee may file a grievance and request an appeal with the MCO, PIHP, or PAHP. An enrollee may request a State fair hearing after receiving notice under § 438.408 that the adverse benefit determination is upheld.

(A) Deemed exhaustion of appeals processes. In the case of an MCO, PIHP, or PAHP that fails to adhere to the notice and timing requirements in § 438.408, the enrollee is deemed to have exhausted the MCO's, PIHP's, or PAHP's appeals process. The enrollee may initiate a State fair hearing.

(B) External medical review. The State may offer and arrange for an external medical review if the following conditions are met.

(1) The review must be at the enrollee's option and must not be required before or used as a deterrent to proceeding to the State fair hearing.

(2) The review must be independent of both the State and MCO, PIHP, or PAHP.

(3) The review must be offered without any cost to the enrollee.

(4) The review must not extend any of the timeframes specified in § 438.408 and must not disrupt the continuation of benefits in § 438.420.

(ii) If State law permits and with the written consent of the enrollee, a provider or an authorized representative may request an appeal or file a grievance, or request a State fair hearing, on behalf of an enrollee. When the term “enrollee” is used throughout subpart F of this part, it includes providers and authorized representatives consistent with this paragraph, with the exception that providers cannot request continuation of benefits as specified in § 438.420(b)(5).

(2) Timing—(i) Grievance. An enrollee may file a grievance with the MCO, PIHP, or PAHP at any time.

(ii) Appeal. Following receipt of a notification of an adverse benefit determination by an MCO, PIHP, or PAHP, an enrollee has 60 calendar days from the date on the adverse benefit determination notice in which to file a request for an appeal to the managed care plan.

(3) Procedures—(i) Grievance. The enrollee may file a grievance either orally or in writing and, as determined by the State, either with the State or with the MCO, PIHP, or PAHP.

(ii) Appeal. The enrollee may request an appeal either orally or in writing.

[81 FR 27853, May 6, 2016, as amended at 84 FR 15844, Apr. 16, 2019; 85 FR 72842, Nov. 13, 2020]