(a) This section shall apply to individual health care service plan contracts and plan contracts sold to employer groups with fewer than two eligible employees as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 1357 covering hospital, medical, or surgical expenses, which is issued, amended, delivered, or renewed on or after January 1, 1994.
(b) As used in this section, “block of business” means individual plan contracts or plan contracts sold to employer groups with fewer than two eligible employees as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 1357, with distinct benefits, services, and terms. A “closed block of business” means a block of business for which a health care service plan ceases to actively offer or sell new plan contracts.
(c) No block of business shall be closed by a health care service plan unless (1) the plan permits an enrollee to receive health care services from any block of business that is not closed and that provides comparable benefits, services, and terms, with no additional underwriting requirement, or (2) the plan pools the experience of the closed block of business with all appropriate blocks of business that are not closed for the purpose of determining the premium rate of any plan contract within the closed block, with no rate penalty or surcharge beyond that which reflects the experience of the combined pool.
(d) A block of business shall be presumed closed if either of the following is applicable:
(1) There has been an overall reduction in that block of 12 percent in the number of in force plan contracts for a period of 12 months.
(2) That block has less than 1,000 enrollees in this state. This presumption shall not apply to a block of business initiated within the previous 24 months, but notification of that block shall be provided to the director pursuant to subdivision (e).
The fact that a block of business does not meet one of the presumptions set forth in this subdivision shall not preclude a determination that it is closed as defined in subdivision (b).
(e) A health care service plan shall notify the director in writing within 30 days of its decision to close a block of business or, in the absence of an actual decision to close a block of business, within 30 days of its determination that a block of business is within the presumption set forth in subdivision (d). When the plan decides to close a block, the written notice shall fully disclose all information necessary to demonstrate compliance with the requirements of subdivision (c). When the plan determines that a block is within the presumption, the written notice shall fully disclose all information necessary to demonstrate that the presumption is applicable. In the case of either notice, the plan shall provide additional information within 15 days after any request of the director.
(f) A health care service plan shall preserve for a period of not less than five years in an identified location and readily accessible for review by the director all books and records relating to any action taken by a plan pursuant to subdivision (c).
(g) No health care service plan shall offer or sell any contract, or provide misleading information about the active or closed status of a block of business, for the purpose of evading this section.
(h) A health care service plan shall bring any blocks of business closed prior to the effective date of this section into compliance with the terms of this section no later than December 31, 1994.
(i) This section shall not apply to health care service plan contracts providing small employer health coverage to individuals or employer groups with fewer than two eligible employees if that coverage is provided pursuant to Article 3.1 (commencing with Section 1357) and, with specific reference to coverage for individuals or employer groups with fewer than two eligible employees, is approved by the director pursuant to Section 1357.15, provided a plan electing to sell coverage pursuant to this subdivision shall do so until such time as the plan ceases to market coverage to small employers and complies with paragraph (5) of subdivision (a) of Section 1365.
(j) This section shall not apply to coverage of Medicare services pursuant to contracts with the United States government, Medicare supplement, dental, vision, or conversion coverage.
(Amended by Stats. 2010, Ch. 658, Sec. 6. (AB 2470) Effective January 1, 2011.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018