United States Code
USC most recently checked for updates: Feb 22, 2020
The Secretary shall not permit the election under section 1395w–21 of this title of a Medicare+Choice plan offered by a Medicare+Choice organization under this part, and no payment shall be made under section 1395w–23 of this title to an organization, unless the Secretary has entered into a contract under this section with the organization with respect to the offering of such plan. Such a contract with an organization may cover more than 1 Medicare+Choice plan. Such contract shall provide that the organization agrees to comply with the applicable requirements and standards of this part and the terms and conditions of payment as provided for in this part.
In applying paragraph (1) in the case of a Medicare+Choice organization that is offering an MSA plan, paragraph (1) shall be applied by substituting covered lives for individuals.
The Secretary may waive the requirement of paragraph (1) during the first 3 contract years with respect to an organization.
Each contract under this section shall be for a term of at least 1 year, as determined by the Secretary, and may be made automatically renewable from term to term in the absence of notice by either party of intention to terminate at the end of the current term.
The effective date of any contract executed pursuant to this section shall be specified in the contract, except that in no case shall a contract under this section which provides for coverage under an MSA plan be effective before January 1999 with respect to such coverage.
The Secretary may not enter into a contract with a Medicare+Choice organization if a previous contract with that organization under this section was terminated at the request of the organization within the preceding 2-year period, except as provided in subparagraph (B) and except in such other circumstances which warrant special consideration, as determined by the Secretary.
Subparagraph (A) shall not apply with respect to the offering by a Medicare+Choice organization of a Medicare+Choice plan in a Medicare+Choice payment area if during the 6-month period beginning on the date the organization notified the Secretary of the intention to terminate the most recent previous contract, there was a legislative change enacted (or a regulatory change adopted) that has the effect of increasing payment amounts under section 1395w–23 of this title for that Medicare+Choice payment area.
The authority vested in the Secretary by this part may be performed without regard to such provisions of law or regulations relating to the making, performance, amendment, or modification of contracts of the United States as the Secretary may determine to be inconsistent with the furtherance of the purpose of this subchapter.
The Secretary shall provide for the annual auditing of the financial records (including data relating to medicare utilization and costs, including allowable costs under section 1395w–27a(c) of this title) of at least one-third of the Medicare+Choice organizations offering Medicare+Choice plans under this part. The Comptroller General shall monitor auditing activities conducted under this subsection.
Each contract under this section shall require the organization to provide (and pay for) written notice in advance of the contract’s termination, as well as a description of alternatives for obtaining benefits under this subchapter, to each individual enrolled with the organization under this part.
Each Medicare+Choice organization shall make the information reported pursuant to subparagraph (A) available to its enrollees upon reasonable request.
The contract shall require the organization to notify the Secretary of loans and other special financial arrangements which are made between the organization and subcontractors, affiliates, and related parties.
In conjunction with the periodic audit of a specialized Medicare Advantage plan for special needs individuals under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall conduct a review to ensure that such organization offering the plan meets the requirements described in section 1395w–28(f)(5) of this title.
The contract shall contain such other terms and conditions not inconsistent with this part (including requiring the organization to provide the Secretary with such information) as the Secretary may find necessary and appropriate.
A Medicare+Choice organization and a PDP sponsor under part D shall pay the fee established by the Secretary under subparagraph (B).
The Secretary is authorized to charge a fee to each Medicare+Choice organization with a contract under this part and each PDP sponsor with a contract under part D that is equal to the organization’s or sponsor’s pro rata share (as determined by the Secretary) of the aggregate amount of fees which the Secretary is directed to collect in a fiscal year. Any amounts collected shall be available without further appropriation to the Secretary for the purpose of carrying out section 1395w–21 of this title (relating to enrollment and dissemination of information), section 1395w–101(c) of this title, and section 1395b–4 of this title (relating to the health insurance counseling and assistance program).
There are authorized to be appropriated for the purposes described in subparagraph (B) for each fiscal year beginning with fiscal year 2001 and ending with fiscal year 2005 an amount equal to $100,000,000, and for each fiscal year beginning with fiscal year 2006 an amount equal to $200,000,000, reduced by the amount of fees authorized to be collected under this paragraph and section 1395w–112(b)(3)(D) of this title for the fiscal year.
A contract under this section with an MA organization shall require the organization to provide, in any written agreement described in section 1395w–23(a)(4) of this title between the organization and a federally qualified health center, for a level and amount of payment to the federally qualified health center for services provided by such health center that is not less than the level and amount of payment that the plan would make for such services if the services had been furnished by a entity providing similar services that was not a federally qualified health center.
Under the written agreement referred to in subparagraph (A), a federally qualified health center must accept the payment amount referred to in such subparagraph plus the Federal payment provided for in section 1395l(a)(3)(B) of this title as payment in full for services covered by the agreement, except that such a health center may collect any amount of cost-sharing permitted under the contract under this section, so long as the amounts of any deductible, coinsurance, or copayment comply with the requirements under section 1395w–24(e) of this title.
Beginning with plan years beginning on or after
Not later than
A contract under this part shall require a Medicare+Choice organization to provide prompt payment (consistent with the provisions of sections 1395h(c)(2) and 1395u(c)(2) of this title) of claims submitted for services and supplies furnished to enrollees pursuant to the contract, if the services or supplies are not furnished under a contract between the organization and the provider or supplier (or in the case of a Medicare+Choice private fee-for-service plan, if a claim is submitted to such organization by an enrollee).
In the case of a Medicare+Choice eligible organization which the Secretary determines, after notice and opportunity for a hearing, has failed to make payments of amounts in compliance with paragraph (1), the Secretary may provide for direct payment of the amounts owed to providers and suppliers (or, in the case of a Medicare+Choice private fee-for-service plan, amounts owed to the enrollees) for covered services and supplies furnished to individuals enrolled under this part under the contract. If the Secretary provides for the direct payments, the Secretary shall provide for an appropriate reduction in the amount of payments otherwise made to the organization under this part to reflect the amount of the Secretary’s payments (and the Secretary’s costs in making the payments).
The provisions of section 1320a–7a (other than subsections (a) and (b)) of this title shall apply to a civil money penalty under paragraph (2) or (3) in the same manner as they apply to a civil money penalty or proceeding under section 1320a–7a(a) of this title.
Paragraph (1) shall not apply if the Secretary determines that a delay in termination, resulting from compliance with the procedures specified in such paragraph prior to termination, would pose an imminent and serious risk to the health of individuals enrolled under this part with the organization.
During the period beginning on
To facilitate the offering of Medicare+Choice plans under contracts between Medicare+Choice organizations and employers, labor organizations, or the trustees of a fund established by one or more employers or labor organizations (or combination thereof) to furnish benefits to the entity’s employees, former employees (or combination thereof) or members or former members (or combination thereof) of the labor organizations, the Secretary may waive or modify requirements that hinder the design of, the offering of, or the enrollment in such Medicare+Choice plans.
To facilitate the offering of MA plans by employers, labor organizations, or the trustees of a fund established by one or more employers or labor organizations (or combination thereof) to furnish benefits to the entity’s employees, former employees (or combination thereof) or members or former members (or combination thereof) of the labor organizations, the Secretary may waive or modify requirements that hinder the design of, the offering of, or the enrollment in such MA plans. Notwithstanding section 1395w–21(g) of this title, an MA plan described in the previous sentence may restrict the enrollment of individuals under this part to individuals who are beneficiaries and participants in such plan.