INDIVIDUAL HEALTH INSURANCE AVAILABILITY ACT
41-5208. Availability of coverage — Preexisting conditions — Portability.
(1) (a) Every individual carrier shall, as a condition of offering health benefit plans in this state to individuals, actively offer health benefit plans to individuals, including the individual basic health benefit plan, the individual standard health benefit plan, the individual catastrophic A health benefit plan, the individual catastrophic B health benefit plan and the individual HSA compatible health benefit plan.
(b) An individual carrier shall issue an individual basic, standard, catastrophic A, catastrophic B or HSA compatible health benefit plan to any eligible individual that applies for such plan and agrees to make the required premium payments and to satisfy the other reasonable provisions of the health benefit plan not inconsistent with the provisions of this chapter.
(2) (a) An individual carrier shall file with the director, in a format and manner prescribed by the director, the basic, standard, catastrophic, and HSA compatible health benefit plans to be used by the carrier. A health benefit plan filed pursuant to the provisions of this paragraph may be used by an individual carrier beginning thirty (30) days after it is filed unless the director disapproves its use.
(b) The director at any time may, after providing notice and an opportunity for a hearing to the individual carrier, disapprove the continued use by an individual carrier of a basic, standard, catastrophic, or HSA compatible health benefit plan on the grounds that the plan does not meet the requirements of this chapter.
(3) Health benefit plans covering eligible individuals 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:
(i) A condition that would have caused an ordinarily prudent person to seek medical advice, diagnosis, care or treatment during the six (6) months immediately preceding the effective date of coverage;
(ii) A 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; or
(iii) A pregnancy existing on the effective date of coverage.
(b) A health benefit plan shall waive any time period applicable to a preexisting condition exclusion or limitation period for the period of time an individual was previously covered by qualifying previous coverage, 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. As provided in section 2741(b) of the federal health insurance portability and accountability act of 1996 (42 U.S.C. 300gg-41(b)), with regard to federally eligible individuals under HIPAA, any limitation or exclusion of benefits relating to a condition based on the fact that the condition was present before the first day of coverage shall not apply, whether or not any medical advice, diagnosis, care or treatment was recommended or received before that day, and whether or not the condition would have caused an ordinarily prudent person to seek medical advice, diagnosis, care or treatment before that day.
(c) An individual carrier shall not modify a basic, standard, catastrophic A, catastrophic B or HSA compatible health benefit plan with respect to an individual or any dependent through riders, endorsements, or otherwise, to restrict or exclude coverage for certain diseases or medical conditions otherwise covered by the health benefit plan.
(d) In the case of an individual who is eligible for the credit for health insurance costs under section 35 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, the preexisting condition limitation shall not apply only if the individual maintained creditable health insurance coverage for an aggregate period of three (3) months as of the date on which the individual seeks to enroll in pool coverage, not counting any period prior to a sixty-three (63) day break in coverage.
(4) (a) An individual carrier shall not be required to offer coverage or accept applications pursuant to the provisions of subsection (1) of this section in the case of the following:
(i) To an individual, where the individual is not residing in the carrier’s established geographic service area;
(ii) Within an area where the individual carrier reasonably anticipates, and demonstrates to the satisfaction of the director, that it will not have the capacity within its established geographic service area to deliver service adequately to individuals because of its obligations to existing groups or individuals.
(b) An individual carrier that cannot offer coverage pursuant to the provisions of subsection (4)(a)(ii) of this section may not offer coverage in the applicable area to new employer groups with more than fifty (50) eligible employees or to any small employer groups or to any individuals until the later of one hundred eighty (180) days following each such refusal or the date on which the carrier notifies the director that it has regained capacity to deliver services to individuals and groups.
(5) An individual carrier shall not be required to provide coverage to individuals pursuant to the provisions of subsection (1) of this section for any period of time for which the director determines that requiring the acceptance of individuals in accordance with the provisions of subsection (1) of this section would place the individual carrier in a financially impaired condition.
[41-5208, added 1994, ch. 427, sec. 1, p. 1344; am. 1995, ch. 360, sec. 10, p. 1259; am. 1997, ch. 321, sec. 22, p. 984; am. 2000, ch. 472, sec. 15, p. 1630; am. 2004, ch. 285, sec. 2, p. 804; am. 2004, ch. 332, sec. 1, p. 988; am. 2005, ch. 353, sec. 2, p. 1113.]