Application Submission

Once all application materials have been completed and checked for errors, issuers should confirm the accuracy of all filenames and formats of templates and supporting documents, as detailed in the QHP Application Issuer Instructions, and submit their QHP Application(s) according to the QHP Data Submission and Certification Timeline. CMS encourages issuers to submit their application materials as soon as they are complete, rather than waiting until the required deadlines. 

Issuers submitting via the System for Electronic Rates & Forms Filing (SERFF) should also work with their states to meet any state-specific submission deadlines. Issuers submitting via the Health Insurance Oversight System (HIOS) should check with their states to confirm whether the state requires any materials to be submitted to SERFF in addition to HIOS. For additional details on the primary submission systems, reference the Submission Systems page.

QHP Certification Issuer Toolkit

Issuers are strongly encouraged to download the QHP Certification Issuer Toolkit and reference the toolkit’s detailed checklists throughout application submission and plan certification. The plan year (PY) 2023 version of the toolkit includes:
  • Steps to take prior to the initial submission deadline to help your organization prepare for the certification process; 
  • Specific submission checklists for issuers to reference before each deadline (Early Bird, initial, secondary, and final) with differing SERFF and HIOS requirements delineated;
  • Detailed instructions on submitting application data within the correct submission system;
  • Actions to take when review results are released in the Plan Management (PM) Community; 
  • Guidance for completing certain certification activities, such as plan confirmation and agreement-signing; and
  • Additional tips specific to SERFF-submitting issuers for each step of the process.

Issuers with questions or issues related to application submission should contact CMS as soon as possible via the Marketplace Service Desk (MSD) or their Account Manager. 

QHP Certification State Toolkit

The QHP Certification State Toolkit is a series of consolidated resources that state regulators can use throughout QHP certification to assist with plan management functions on the Health Insurance Exchanges. The PY2023 QHP Certification State Toolkit includes: 

  • States’ roles and responsibilities throughout the QHP certification process;
  • Important dates and reminders;
  • QHP certification resources;
  • Information on the Plan Management (PM) Community; and,
  • A high-level summary of Key Updates from CMS guidance.

        This document is a supplemental resource and is not intended to replace official guidance or instructions.

        State regulators should send all questions regarding the QHP Certification State Toolkit to