The Retiree Drug Subsidy Program


The Retiree Drug Subsidy (RDS) program was authorized by Part D of the Medicare Modernization Act, and permits employers and unions with qualifying prescription drug plans to receive retiree drug subsidy payments. In order to qualify for the subsidy, a plan sponsor’s application must be accompanied by an attestation by a “qualified actuary” that the actuarial value of the plan (or benefit options under the plan) is at least equal to the actuarial value of the new defined standard Medicare prescription drug benefit. The Center for Medicare/Medicaid Services’ (CMS) regulations implementing the RDS program require a “qualified actuary” to be a member of the American Academy of Actuaries.

Academy Membership Verification System

The Academy, as a service to its members participating in the RDS program, has established an on-line “opt” in process for members who elect be on the RDS Program List. By “opting-in” the member is granting the Academy permission to provide a limited amount of information (name and Academy member number) for the sole purpose of verifying the individual’s Academy membership status. This information cannot be used for any other purpose, and only Academy members who have opted-in will have their information shared with the RDS.

How to Opt in
  1. Log into your Academy Member page.
  2. Update your contact information if necessary.
  3. Write down your Academy Member Number and your first and last names exactly as they appear on your member file so that you can provide them to the plan sponsor to be used as part of the application process.
  4. Select “Opt in/out of the the RDS program,” authorizing the Academy to provide information to the RDS program to verify your membership in the Academy. Only members who opt in will have their membership information sent to the RDS program.
  5. The process is completed! The RDS program will have your name and number available for its verification system in 24–72 hours.
If you Have Problems with the Opt in Process

1. If you have a problem logging into your Academy Member page, make sure that you are following the instructions completely. Some common problems include:

  • Using a nickname rather than the name used on your Academy membership file. (For example, use “William” rather than “Bill” or “Patricia” instead of “Pat.”)
  • If your name has an apostrophe, include it as one of the three first characters of you last name (O’Riley would be O’R).
  • Use your date of birth in a 6 digit format, both as part of your login name and for your password.
If you continue to have a problem logging onto your Academy member page, please contact Kasha Shelton at shelton@actuary.org, or 202-223-8196.

2. If you have a problem logging onto the RDS system after completing the Academy opt in process and waiting 24–72 hours, check the following:

  • The only information the Academy provides to the RDS program is your name as it appears on your Academy Member page and your Academy Member number. Verify the name and Academy Member number you provided to your plan sponsor are correct.
  • If there is a problem with any other information that either you or your plan sponsor provided to the RDS program, you must contact the plan sponsor or the RDS program directly (see below).
To talk to an RDS program customer service agent about a log-in problem, dial 1-877-RDS-HELP (737-4357) and:
  • Press 1 for English, 2 for Spanish, and
  • As soon as the menu starts, press “0” for a customer service agent. This is the only menu level one can request a customer service agent, so do not continue through the menu listings if you wish to talk to a person.
For more information about the RDS program itself, visit the RDS Center website.

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