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By Nov. 15, 2005, employers or their group health plans that offer prescription drug coverage to active employees and retirees who are eligible for Medicare must provide these individuals and their dependents with a notice indicating whether the plan's coverage is "creditable coverage" under Medicare Part D. The notice must be provided regardless of whether the prescription drug coverage is primary or secondary to Medicare. After the Nov. 15, 2005 notice deadline--which is also the date on which the Medicare Part D initial enrollment period opens--the notice must be issued annually, as well as upon the occurrence of certain other events.
Prescription drug coverage is considered creditable only if its value meets or exceeds the value of the Medicare prescription drug benefit.
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