GROUP AND BLANKET DISABILITY INSURANCE
41-2221. Crediting of preexisting condition waiting period. (1) Health benefit plans covering large employers shall comply with the following provisions:
(a) A health benefit plan shall not deny, exclude or limit benefits for a covered individual for covered expenses incurred more than twelve (12) months following the effective date of the individual’s coverage due to a preexisting condition. A health benefit plan shall not define a preexisting condition more restrictively than a condition, whether physical or mental, regardless of the cause of the condition, for which medical advice, diagnosis, care or treatment was recommended or received during the six (6) months immediately preceding the effective date of coverage.
(b) Genetic information shall not be considered as a condition described in subsection (1)(a) of this section in the absence of a diagnosis of the condition related to such information.
(c) A health benefit plan shall waive any time period applicable to a preexisting condition exclusion or limitation period with respect to particular services for the period of time an individual was previously covered by qualifying previous coverage that provided benefits with respect to such services, provided that the qualifying previous coverage was continuous to a date not more than sixty-three (63) days prior to the effective date of the new coverage. This paragraph does not preclude application of any waiting period applicable to all new enrollees under the health benefit plan.
(d) A health benefit plan may exclude coverage for late enrollees for the greater of twelve (12) months or for a twelve (12) month preexisting condition exclusion; provided that if both a period of exclusion from coverage and a preexisting condition exclusion are applicable to a late enrollee, the combined period shall not exceed twelve (12) months from the date the individual enrolls for coverage under the health benefit plan.
(2) As used in this section:
(a) "Health benefit plan" means any group hospital or medical policy or certificate, any group subscriber contract provided by a hospital or professional service corporation, or group health maintenance organization subscriber contract. Health benefit plan does not include policies or certificates of insurance for specific disease, hospital confinement indemnity, accident-only, credit, dental, vision, medicare supplement, long-term care, or disability income insurance, student health benefits-only coverage issued as a supplement to liability insurance, worker’s compensation or similar insurance, automobile medical payment insurance or nonrenewable short-term coverage issued for a period of twelve (12) months or less.
(b) "Large employer" means any person, firm, corporation, partnership or association that is actively engaged in business that, on at least fifty percent (50%) of its working days during the preceding calendar year, employed no less than fifty-one (51) eligible employees, the majority of whom were employed within this state. In determining the number of eligible employees, companies that are affiliated companies, or that are eligible to file a combined tax return for purposes of state taxation, shall be considered one (1) employer.
(c) "Late enrollee" means an eligible employee or dependent who requests enrollment in a health benefit plan of a large employer following the initial enrollment period during which the individual is entitled to enroll under the terms of the health benefit plan, provided that the initial enrollment period is a period of at least thirty (30) days. However, an eligible employee or dependent shall not be considered a late enrollee if:
(i) The individual meets each of the following:
a. The individual was covered under qualifying previous coverage at the time of the initial enrollment;
b. The individual lost coverage under qualifying previous coverage as a result of termination of employment or eligibility, the involuntary termination of the qualifying previous coverage; and
c. The individual requests enrollment within thirty (30) days after termination of the qualifying previous coverage.
(ii) The individual is employed by a large employer which offers multiple health benefit plans and the individual elects a different plan during an open enrollment period;
(iii) A court has ordered coverage be provided for a spouse or a minor or dependent child under a covered employee’s health benefit plan and request for enrollment is made within thirty (30) days after issuance of the court order; or
(iv) The individual first becomes eligible.
(d) "Qualifying previous coverage" and "qualifying existing coverage" means benefits or coverage provided under:
(i) Medicare or medicaid, civilian health and medical program for uniformed services (CHAMPUS), the Indian health service program, a state health benefits risk pool, or any other similar publicly sponsored program; or
(ii) Any other group or individual health insurance policy or health benefit arrangement whether or not subject to the state insurance laws, including coverage provided by a health maintenance organization, hospital or professional service corporation, or a fraternal benefit society.
(e) If an individual seeks to enroll a dependent during the first sixty (60) days of eligibility, the coverage of the dependent shall become effective:
(i) In the case of marriage, not later than the first day of the first month beginning after the date the completed request for enrollment is received;
(ii) In the case of a dependent’s birth, as of the date of such birth; or
(iii) In the case of a dependent’s adoption or placement for adoption, the date of such adoption or placement for adoption.
[41-2221, added 1996, ch. 145, sec. 1, p. 476; am. 1997, ch. 321, sec. 3, p. 952.]