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Title 45

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Title 45

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Editorial codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register.

§ 156.1220 Administrative appeals.

(a) Requests for reconsideration -

(1) Matters for reconsideration. An issuer may file a request for reconsideration under this section to contest a processing error by HHS, HHS's incorrect application of the relevant methodology, or HHS's mathematical error only with respect to the following:

(i) The amount of advance payment of the premium tax credit, advance payment of cost-sharing reductions or Federally-facilitated Exchange user fees charge for a benefit year;

(ii) The amount of a risk adjustment payment or charge for a benefit year, including an assessment of risk adjustment user fees;

(iii) The amount of a reinsurance payment for a benefit year;

(iv) The amount of a risk adjustment default charge for a benefit year;

(v) The amount of a reconciliation payment or charge for cost-sharing reductions for a benefit year;

(vi) The amount of a risk corridors payment or charge for a benefit year;

(vii) The findings of a second validation audit as a result of risk adjustment data validation (if applicable) with respect to risk adjustment data for the 2016 benefit year and beyond; or

(viii) The calculation of a risk score error rate as a result of risk adjustment data validation with respect to risk adjustment data for the 2016 benefit year and beyond.

(2) Materiality threshold. Notwithstanding paragraph (a)(1) of this section, an issuer may file a request for reconsideration under this section only if the amount in dispute under paragraph (a)(1)(i) through (viii) of this section, as applicable, is equal to or exceeds 1 percent of the applicable payment or charge listed in such paragraphs (a)(1)(i) through (viii) of this section payable to or due from the issuer for the benefit year, or $10,000, whichever is less.

(3) Time for filing a request for reconsideration. The request for reconsideration must be filed in accordance with the following timeframes:

(i) For advance payments of the premium tax credit, advance payments of cost-sharing reductions, Federally-facilitated Exchange user fee charges, or State-based Exchanges utilizing the Federal platform fees, within 60 calendar days after the date of the final reconsideration notification specifying the aggregate amount of advance payments of the premium tax credit, advance payments of cost-sharing reductions, Federally-facilitated Exchange user fees, and State-based Exchanges utilizing the Federal platform fees for the applicable benefit year;

(ii) For a risk adjustment payment or charge, including an assessment of risk adjustment user fees, within 30 calendar days of the date of the notification under § 153.310(e) of this subchapter;

(iii) For the findings of a second validation audit (if applicable), or the calculation of a risk score error rate as a result of risk adjustment data validation, within 30 calendar days of publication of the applicable benefit year's Summary Report of Benefit Year Risk Adjustment Data Validation Adjustments to Risk Adjustment Transfers;

(iv) For a reinsurance payment, within 30 calendar days of the date of the notification under § 153.240(b)(1)(ii) of this subchapter;

(v) For a default risk adjustment charge, within 30 calendar days of the date of the notification of the default risk adjustment charge;

(vi) For reconciliation of the cost-sharing reduction portion of advance payments, within 60 calendar days of the date of the cost-sharing reduction reconciliation discrepancy resolution decision; and

(vii) For a risk corridors payment or charge, within 30 calendar days of the date of the notification under § 153.510(d) of this subchapter.

(4) Content of request.

(i) The request for reconsideration must specify the findings or issues specified in paragraph (a)(1) of this section that the issuer challenges, and the reasons for the challenge.

(ii) Notwithstanding paragraph (a)(1) of this section, a reconsideration with respect to a processing error by HHS, HHS's incorrect application of the relevant methodology, or HHS's mathematical error may be requested only if, to the extent the issue could have been previously identified, the issuer notified HHS of the dispute through the applicable process for reporting a discrepancy set forth in §§ 153.630(d)(2), 153.710(d)(2), and 156.430(h)(1) of this subchapter, it was so identified and remains unresolved.

(iii) Notwithstanding paragraph (a)(1) of this section, a reconsideration with respect to advance payments of the premium tax credit, advance payments of cost-sharing reductions, and Federally-facilitated Exchange user fees may be requested only if, to extent the issue could have been previously identified by the issuer to HHS under § 156.1210, it was so identified and remains unresolved. An issuer may request reconsideration if it previously identified an issue under § 156.1210 after the 15-calendar-day deadline, but late discovery of the issue was not due to misconduct on the part of the issuer.

(iv) The issuer may include in the request for reconsideration additional documentary evidence that HHS should consider. Such documents may not include data that was to have been filed by the applicable data submission deadline, but may include evidence of timely submission.

(5) Scope of review for reconsideration. In conducting the reconsideration, HHS will review the appropriate payment and charge determinations, the evidence and findings upon which the determination was based, and any additional documentary evidence submitted by the issuer. HHS may also review any other evidence it believes to be relevant in deciding the reconsideration, which will be provided to the issuer with a reasonable opportunity to review and rebut the evidence. The issuer must prove its case by a preponderance of the evidence with respect to issues of fact.

(6) Reconsideration decision. HHS will inform the issuer of the reconsideration decision in writing. A reconsideration decision is final and binding for decisions regarding the advance payments of the premium tax credit, advance payment of cost-sharing reductions, or Federally-facilitated Exchange user fees. A reconsideration decision with respect to other matters is subject to the outcome of a request for informal hearing filed in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section.

(b) Informal hearing. An issuer may request an informal hearing before a CMS hearing officer to appeal HHS's reconsideration decision.

(1) Manner and timing for request. A request for an informal hearing must be made in writing and filed with HHS within 30 calendar days of the date of the reconsideration decision under paragraph (a)(5) of this section.

(2) Content of request. The request for informal hearing must include a copy of the reconsideration decision and must specify the findings or issues in the decision that the issuer challenges, and its reasons for the challenge. HHS may submit for review by the CMS hearing officer a statement of its reasons for the reconsideration decision.

(3) Informal hearing procedures.

(i) The issuer will receive a written notice of the time and place of the informal hearing at least 15 calendar days before the scheduled date.

(ii) The CMS hearing officer will neither receive testimony nor accept any new evidence that was not presented with the reconsideration request and HHS statement under paragraph (b) of this section. The CMS hearing officer will review only the documentary evidence provided by the issuer and HHS, and the record that was before HHS when HHS made its reconsideration determination. The issuer may be represented by counsel in the informal hearing, and must prove its case by clear and convincing evidence with respect to issues of fact.

(4) Decision of the CMS hearing officer. The CMS hearing officer will send the informal hearing decision and the reasons for the decision to the issuer. The decision of the CMS hearing officer is final and binding, but is subject to the results of any Administrator's review initiated in accordance with paragraph (c) of this section.

(c) Review by the Administrator of CMS.

(1) Either the issuer or CMS may request review by the Administrator of CMS of the CMS hearing officer's decision. A request for review of the CMS hearing officer's decision must be submitted to the Administrator of CMS within 15 calendar days of the date of the CMS hearing officer's decision, and must specify the findings or issues that the issuer or CMS challenges. The issuer or CMS may submit for review by the Administrator of CMS a statement supporting the decision of the CMS hearing officer.

(2) After receiving a request for review, the Administrator of CMS has the discretion to elect to review the CMS hearing officer's decision or to decline to review the CMS hearing officer's decision. If the Administrator of CMS elects to review the CMS hearing officer's decision, the Administrator of CMS will also review the statements of the issuer and CMS, and any other information included in the record of the CMS hearing officer's decision, and will determine whether to uphold, reverse, or modify the CMS hearing officer's decision. The issuer or CMS must prove its case by clear and convincing evidence for issues of fact. The Administrator of CMS will send the decision and the reasons for the decision to the issuer.

(3) The Administrator of CMS's determination is final and binding.

[79 FR 13841, Mar. 11, 2014, as amended at 80 FR 10876, Feb. 27, 2015; 81 FR 12352, Mar. 8, 2016; 81 FR 94182, Dec. 22, 2016; 86 FR 24294, May 5, 2021]