Application Instructions

Download the entire set of instructions for printing and/or offline review, or access through this website. Individual instructions chapters are posted to the corresponding application section webpages.

Microsoft Excel Trusted Locations

Each year, CMS makes various Excel-based QHP Application materials available to issuers and states, including QHP Application Templates and Review Tools. Use of these templates is required to complete and submit a QHP Application, while use of the review tools is highly encouraged to help identify potential errors in issuers’ data. In June 2022, Microsoft will implement a security update affecting Office 365 customers; this update will block the enabling of macros in Excel files unless the macros are trusted. To address this issue, CMS requests issuers and states create a trusted location on their local computers; this trusted location will allow the macros in all affected files to function as intended, so that issuers and states can leverage full functionality of their templates and tools. Note that each individual engaging with one or more of these materials will need to follow these steps on their own local devices.

CMS has developed various resources to guide issuers and states in adding trusted locations to their local device:

Additional Resources: