Congress enacted a law (Section 6202 of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1989) to provide CMS with better information about Medicare beneficiaries’ group health plan (GHP) coverage. The law required the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Social Security Administration (SSA), and CMS to share information that each agency had about whether Medicare beneficiaries or their spouses were working. The process for sharing this information was called the IRS-SSA-CMS Data Match. The purpose of the Data Match was to identify situations in which another payer might have been primary to Medicare.
Under the program, employers were required to provide CMS with information about health coverage of their Medicare-eligible workers and spouses. CMS would send a questionnaire to employers requiring the employer to provide certain participant data. To respond to the data request, the employer was required to set up an account with CMS. Once the account was activated, the employer was required to provide information about their health plan and to answer questions about relevant employees and participants.