SMALL EMPLOYER HEALTH INSURANCE AVAILABILITY ACT
41-4706. Restrictions relating to premium rates. (1) Premium rates for health benefit plans subject to the provisions of this chapter shall be subject to the following provisions:
(a) The index rate for a rating period for any class of business shall not exceed the index rate for any other class of business by more than twenty percent (20%).
(b) For a class of business, the premium rates charged during a rating period to small employers with similar case characteristics for the same or similar coverage, or the rates that could be charged to such employers under the rating system for that class of business, shall not vary from the index rate by more than fifty percent (50%) of the index rate.
(c) The percentage increase in the premium rate charged to a small employer for a new rating period may not exceed the sum of the following:
(i) The percentage change in the new business premium rate measured from the first day of the prior rating period to the first day of the new rating period. In the case of a health benefit plan into which the small employer carrier is no longer enrolling new small employers, the small employer carrier shall use the percentage change in the base premium rate, provided that such change does not exceed, on a percentage basis, the change in the new business premium rate for the most similar health benefit plan into which the small employer carrier is actively enrolling new small employers;
(ii) Any adjustment, not to exceed fifteen percent (15%) annually and adjusted pro rata for rating periods of less than one (1) year, due to the claim experience, health status or duration of coverage of the employees or dependents of the small employer as determined from the small employer carrier’s rate manual for the class of business; and
(iii) Any adjustment due to change in coverage or change in the case characteristics of the small employer as determined from the small employer carrier’s rate manual for the class of business.
(d) Adjustments in rates for claim experience, health status and duration of coverage shall not be charged to individual employees or dependents. Any such adjustment shall be applied uniformly to the rates charged for all employees and dependents of the small employer.
(e) Premium rates for health benefit plans shall comply with the requirements of this section notwithstanding any assessments paid or payable by small employer carriers pursuant to section 41-4711, Idaho Code, or chapter 55, title 41, Idaho Code.
(f) (i) Small employer carriers shall apply rating factors, including case characteristics, consistently with respect to all small employers in a class of business. Rating factors shall produce premiums for identical groups which differ only by the amounts attributable to plan design and do not reflect differences due to the nature of the groups assumed to select particular health benefit plans; and
(ii) A small employer carrier shall treat all health benefit plans issued or renewed in the same calendar month as having the same rating period.
(g) For the purposes of this subsection, a health benefit plan that utilizes a restricted provider network shall not be considered similar coverage to a health benefit plan that does not utilize such a network, provided that utilization of the restricted provider network results in substantial differences in claims costs.
(h) The small employer carrier shall not use case characteristics, other than age, individual tobacco use, geography, as defined by rule of the director, or gender, without prior approval of the director.
(i) A small employer carrier may utilize age as a case characteristic in establishing premium rates, provided that the same rating factor shall be applied to all dependents under twenty-five (25) years of age, and the same rating factor may be applied on an annual basis as to individuals or nondependents twenty (20) years of age or older.
(j) The director may establish rules to implement the provisions of this section and to assure that rating practices used by small employer carriers are consistent with the purposes of this chapter, including rules that:
(i) Assure that differences in rates charged for health benefit plans by small employer carriers are reasonable and reflect objective differences in plan design, not including differences due to the nature of the groups assumed to select particular health benefit plans;
(ii) Prescribe the manner in which case characteristics may be used by small employer carriers; and
(iii) Prescribe the manner in which a small employer carrier is to demonstrate compliance with the provisions of this section, including requirements that a small employer carrier provide the director with actuarial certification as to such compliance.
(2) A small employer carrier shall not transfer a small employer involuntarily into or out of a class of business. A small employer carrier shall not offer to transfer a small employer into or out of a class of business unless such offer is made to transfer all small employers in the class of business without regard to case characteristics, claim experience, health status or duration of coverage since issue.
(3) The director may suspend for a specified period the application of subsection (1)(a) of this section as to the premium rates applicable to one (1) or more small employers included within a class of business of a small employer carrier for one (1) or more rating periods upon a filing by the small employer carrier and a finding by the director either that the suspension is reasonable in light of the financial condition of the small employer carrier or that the suspension would enhance the efficiency and fairness of the marketplace for small employer health insurance.
(4) In connection with the offering for sale of any health benefit plan to a small employer, a small employer carrier shall make a reasonable disclosure, as part of its solicitation and sales materials, of all of the following:
(a) The extent to which premium rates for a specified small employer are established or adjusted based upon the actual or expected variation in claims costs or actual or expected variation in health status of the employees of the small employer and their dependents;
(b) The provisions of the health benefit plan concerning the small employer carrier’s right to change premium rates and the factors, other than claim experience, that affect changes in premium rates;
(c) The provisions relating to renewability of policies and contracts; and
(d) The provisions relating to any preexisting condition provision.
(5) (a) Each small employer carrier shall maintain at its principal place of business a complete and detailed description of its rating practices and renewal underwriting practices, including information and documentation that demonstrate that its rating methods and practices are based upon commonly accepted actuarial assumptions and are in accordance with sound actuarial principles.
(b) Each small employer carrier shall file with the director annually on or before March 15, an actuarial certification certifying that the carrier is in compliance with the provisions of this chapter and that the rating methods of the small employer carrier are actuarially sound. Such certification shall be in a form and manner, and shall contain such information, as specified by the director. A copy of the certification shall be retained by the small employer carrier at its principal place of business.
(c) A small employer carrier shall make the information and documentation described in subsection (4)(a) of this section available to the director upon request. Except in cases of violations of the provisions of this chapter, the information shall be considered proprietary and trade secret information and shall not be subject to disclosure by the director to persons outside of the department except as agreed to by the small employer carrier or as ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction.
[41-4706, added 1993, ch. 176, sec. 1, p. 439; am. 1994, ch. 427, sec. 4, p. 1353; am. 1995, ch. 360, sec. 4, p. 1240; am. 1997, ch. 232, sec. 1, p. 676; am. 2000, ch. 415, sec. 1, p. 1321; am. 2000, ch. 472, sec. 3, p. 1607; am. 2002, ch. 99, sec. 1, p. 269; am. 2004, ch. 360, sec. 1, p. 1076; am. 2007, ch. 148, sec. 3, p. 431.]