TITLE 27
Insurance

CHAPTER 27-18.6
Large Group Health Insurance Coverage

SECTION 27-18.6-5


§ 27-18.6-5 Continuation of coverage – Renewability.

(a) Notwithstanding any of the provisions of this title to the contrary, a health insurance carrier that offers health insurance coverage in the large group market in this state in connection with a group health plan shall renew or continue in force that coverage at the option of the plan sponsor of the plan.

(b) A health insurance carrier may nonrenew or discontinue health insurance coverage offered in connection with a group health plan in the large group market based only on one or more of the following:

(1) The plan sponsor has failed to pay premiums or contributions in accordance with the terms of the health insurance coverage or the carrier has not received timely premium payments;

(2) The plan sponsor has performed an act or practice that constitutes fraud or made an intentional misrepresentation of material fact under the terms of the coverage;

(3) The plan sponsor has failed to comply with a material plan provision relating to employer contribution or group participation rules, as permitted by the director pursuant to rule or regulation;

(4) The carrier is ceasing to offer coverage in accordance with subsections (c) and (d) of this section;

(5) The director finds that the continuation of the coverage would:

(i) Not be in the best interests of the policyholders or certificate holders; or

(ii) Impair the carrier's ability to meet its contractual obligations;

(6) In the case of a health insurance carrier that offers health insurance coverage in the large group market through a network plan, there is no longer any enrollee in connection with that plan who resides, lives, or works in the service area of the carrier (or in an area for which the carrier is authorized to do business); and

(7) In the case of health insurance coverage that is made available in the large group market only through one or more bona fide associations, the membership of an employer in the association (on the basis of which the coverage is provided) ceases, but only if the coverage is terminated under this section uniformly without regard to any health status-related factor relating to any covered individual.

(c) In any case in which a carrier decides to discontinue offering a particular type of group health insurance coverage offered in the large group market, coverage of that type may be discontinued by the carrier only if:

(1) The carrier provides notice of the decision to all affected plan sponsors, participants, and beneficiaries at least ninety (90) days prior to the date of discontinuation of coverage;

(2) The carrier offers to each plan sponsor provided coverage of this type in the large group market the option to purchase any other health insurance coverage currently being offered by the carrier to a group health plan in the market; and

(3) In exercising this option to discontinue coverage of this type and in offering the option of coverage under subdivision (3) of this subsection, the carrier acts uniformly without regard to the claims experience of those plan sponsors or any health status-related factor relating to any participants or beneficiaries covered or new participants or beneficiaries who may become eligible for coverage.

(d) In any case in which a carrier elects to discontinue offering and to nonrenew all of its health insurance coverage in the large group market in this state, the carrier shall:

(1) Provide advance notice to the director, to the insurance commissioner in each state in which the carrier is licensed, and to each plan sponsor (and participants and beneficiaries covered under that coverage and to the insurance commissioner in each state in which an affected insured individual is known to reside) of the decision at least one hundred eighty (180) days prior to the date of the discontinuation of coverage. Notice to the insurance commissioner shall be provided at least three (3) working days prior to the notice to the affected plan sponsors, participants, and beneficiaries; and

(2) Discontinue all health insurance issued or delivered for issuance in this state's large group market and not renew coverage under any health insurance coverage issued to a large employer.

(e) In the case of a discontinuation under subsection (d) of this section, the carrier shall be prohibited from the issuance of any health insurance coverage in the large group market in this state for a period of five (5) years from the date of notice to the director.

(f) At the time of coverage renewal, a health insurance carrier may modify the health insurance coverage for a product offered to a group health plan in the large group market.

(g) In applying this section in the case of health insurance coverage that is made available by a carrier in the large group market to employers only through one or more associations, a reference to a "plan sponsor" is deemed, with respect to coverage provided to an employer member of the association, to include a reference to that employer.

History of Section.
(P.L. 2000, ch. 200, § 4; P.L. 2000, ch. 229, § 4; P.L. 2003, ch. 120, § 2; P.L. 2003, ch. 286, § 2.)