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Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

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AGENCY:

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, HHS.

In compliance with the requirement of section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Department of Health and Human Services, is publishing the following summary of proposed collections for public comment. Interested persons are invited to send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including any of the following subjects: (1) The necessity and utility of the proposed information collection for the proper performance of the Agency's function; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology to minimize the information collection burden.

1. Type of Information Collection Request: Revision of a currently approved collection; Title of Information Collection: Request for Expedited Review of Denial of Premium Assistance; Use: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provides for premium assistance and expanded eligibility for health benefits under both the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986, commonly called COBRA, and comparable State continuation coverage programs. This premium assistance is not paid directly to the covered employee or the qualified beneficiary, but instead is in the form of a tax credit for the health plan, the employer, or the insurer. “Assistance eligible individuals” pay only 35% of their continuation coverage premiums to the plan and the remaining 65% is paid through the tax credit.

If an individual requests treatment as an assistance eligible individual and the employee's group health plan, employer, or insurer denies him or her the reduced premium assistance, the Secretary of Health and Human Services must provide for expedited review of the denial upon application to the Secretary in the form and manner the Secretary provides. The Secretary is required to make a determination within 15 business days after receipt of an individual's application for review.

The Request for Review If You Have Been Denied Premium Assistance (the “application”) is the form that will be used by individuals to file their expedited review appeals. Each individual must complete all information requested on the application in order for CMS to begin reviewing his or her case. An application cannot be reviewed if sufficient information is not provided. Refer to the supporting document “Crosswalk of Changes Between Request for Expedited Review of Denial of Premium Assistance (4/09) and Request for Review if You Have Been Denied Premium Assistance (6/09)” for a list of changes: Form Number: CMS-10285 (OMB#: 0938-1062); Frequency: Reporting—Once; Affected Public: Individuals and households; Number of Respondents: 12,000; Total Annual Responses: 12,000; Total Annual Hours: 12,000. (For policy questions regarding this collection contact Jim Mayhew at 410-786-9244. For all other issues call 410-786-1326.)

To obtain copies of the supporting statement and any related forms for the proposed paperwork collections referenced above, access CMS Web site address at http://www.cms.hhs.gov/​PaperworkReductionActof1995, or e-mail your request, including your address, phone number, OMB number, and CMS document identifier, to Paperwork@cms.hhs.gov, or call the Reports Clearance Office on (410) 786-1326.

To be assured consideration, comments and recommendations for the proposed information collections must be received by the OMB desk officer at the address below, no later than 5 p.m. on October 5, 2009: OMB, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attention: CMS Desk Officer, Fax Number: (202) 395-6974, E-mail: OIRA_submission@omb.eop.gov.

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Dated: August 28, 2009.

Michelle Shortt,

Director, Regulations Development Group, Office of Strategic Operations and Regulatory Affairs.

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[FR Doc. E9-21423 Filed 9-3-09; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4120-01-P