TITLE 27
Insurance

CHAPTER 27-74
Discount Medical Plan Organization Act

SECTION 27-74-5


§ 27-74-5 Registration requirements.

(a) Before doing business in or from this state as a discount medical plan organization, a person shall obtain a certificate of registration from the commissioner to operate as a discount medical plan organization.

(b) Each application for a certificate of registration to operate as a discount medical plan organization:

(1) Shall be in a form prescribed by the commissioner and verified by an officer or authorized representative of the applicant;

(2) Shall be accompanied by a fee of two hundred fifty dollars ($250) payable to the State of Rhode Island;

(3) Shall include information on whether:

(i) A previous application for a certificate of registration, license or permit to operate as a medical discount plan has been denied, revoked, suspended or terminated for cause in any jurisdiction (including Rhode Island); and

(ii) The applicant is under investigation for or the subject of any pending action or has been found in violation of a statue or regulation in any jurisdiction (including Rhode Island) within the previous five (5) years;

(4) Shall include information, as the commissioner may require, that permits the commissioner, after reviewing all of the information submitted pursuant to this subsection, to make a determination that the applicant:

(i) Is financially responsible;

(ii) Has adequate expertise or experience to operate a discount medical plan organization; and

(iii) Is of good character.

(c) After the receipt of an application filed pursuant to this section, the commissioner shall review the application and notify the applicant of any deficiencies in the application.

(d) Within ninety (90) days after the date of receipt of a completed application, the commissioner shall:

(1) Issue a certificate of registration if the commissioner is satisfied that the applicant has met the requirements of this chapter and any regulations promulgated thereunder or

(2) Disapprove the application and state the ground(s) for disapproval. The commissioner shall notify the applicant in writing specifically stating the ground(s) for the disapproval. Upon such notification, the applicant may, within thirty (30) days, request a hearing on the matter to be conducted in accordance with the "Administrative Procedures act," chapter 35 of title 42.

(e) Prior to issuance of a certificate of registration by the commissioner, each discount medical plan organization shall establish an Internet website in order to conform to the requirements of subsection 27-73-9(f).

(f) A registration is effective for two (2) years, unless prior to its expiration it is renewed in accordance with this section or suspended or revoked. At least ninety (90) days before a certificate of registration expires, the discount medical plan organization shall submit a renewal application form and the renewal fee. The commissioner shall renew the certificate of registration of each holder that meets the requirements of this chapter and any regulations promulgated thereunder and pays the renewal fee. The renewal application shall be substantially the same as an original application and the renewal fee shall be two hundred fifty dollars ($250) payable to the State of Rhode Island.

(g) The commissioner may suspend the authority of a discount medical plan organization to enroll new members or refuse to renew or revoke a discount medical plan organization's certificate of registration if the commissioner finds that any of the following conditions exist:

(1) The discount medical plan organization is not operating in compliance with this chapter and any regulations promulgated thereunder;

(2) The discount medical plan organization has advertised, merchandised or attempted to merchandise its services in such a manner as to misrepresent its services or capacity for service or has engaged in deceptive, misleading or unfair practices with respect to advertising or merchandising;

(3) The discount medical plan organization is not fulfilling its obligations as a discount medical plan organization; or

(4) The continued operation of the discount medical plan organization would be hazardous to its members.

(h) If the commissioner has cause to believe that grounds for the non-renewal, suspension or revocation of a certificate of registration exists, the commissioner shall notify the discount medical plan organization in writing specifically stating the ground(s) for the refusal to renew or suspension or revocation. Upon such notification, the discount medical plan may, within thirty (30) days, request a hearing on the matter to be conducted in accordance with the "Administrative Procedures act," chapter 35 of title 42.

(i) When the certificate of registration of a discount medical plan organization is non-renewed, surrendered or revoked, the discount medical plan organization shall proceed, immediately following the effective date of the order of revocation or, in the case of a non-renewal, the date of expiration of the certificate of registration, to wind up its affairs transacted under the certificate of registration. The discount medical plan organization shall not engage in any further advertising, solicitation, collecting of fees or renewal of contracts. The commissioner may, in his sole discretion and upon a showing of good cause, in the case of a registration of a discount medical plan organization that has been revoked or non-renewed by the commissioner, allow the discount medical plan organization to continue to operate under any conditions and restrictions established by the commissioner, pending the outcome of a hearing requested pursuant to subsection (h) of this section.

(j) The commissioner shall, in an order suspending the authority of the discount medical plan organization to enroll new members, specify the period during which the suspension is to be in effect and the conditions, if any, that must be met by the discount medical plan organization prior to reinstatement of its certificate of registration to enroll members. The commissioner may rescind or modify the order of suspension prior to the expiration of the suspension period. The certificate of registration of a discount medical plan organization shall not be reinstated unless requested by the discount medical plan organization. The commissioner shall not grant the request for reinstatement if the commissioner finds that the circumstances for which the suspension occurred still exist or are likely to recur.

(k) In lieu of suspending or revoking a discount medical plan organization's certificate of registration, whenever the discount medical plan organization has been found to have violated any provision of this chapter, the commissioner may:

(1) Issue and cause to be served upon the organization charged with the violation a copy of the findings and an order requiring the organization to immediately cease and desist from engaging in the act or practice that constitutes the violation; and

(2) Impose any penalty provided for under § 42-14-16.

(l) Each registered discount medical plan organization shall notify the commissioner immediately whenever the discount medical plan organization's certificate of registration, or other form of authority, to operate as a discount medical plan organization in another jurisdiction is suspended, revoked or non-renewed in that state.

(m) A provider who provides discounts to his or her own patients without any cost or fee of any kind to the patient is not required to obtain and maintain a certificate of registration under this chapter as a discount medical plan organization.

History of Section.
(P.L. 2010, ch. 156, § 1; P.L. 2010, ch. 158, § 1.)