(a) A health insurer that issues, renews, or amends individual health insurance policies shall be subject to this section.
(b) An insurer subject to this section shall have written policies, procedures, or underwriting guidelines establishing the criteria and process whereby the insurer makes its decision to provide or to deny coverage to individuals applying for coverage and sets the rate for that coverage. These guidelines, policies, or procedures shall ensure that the plan rating and underwriting criteria comply with Sections 10140 and 10291.5 and all other applicable provisions.
(c) On or before June 1, 2006, and annually thereafter, every insurer shall file with the commissioner a general description of the criteria, policies, procedures, or guidelines that the insurer uses for rating and underwriting decisions related to individual health insurance policies, which means automatic declinable health conditions, health conditions that may lead to a coverage decline, height and weight standards, health history, health care utilization, lifestyle, or behavior that might result in a decline for coverage or severely limit the health insurance products for which individuals applying for coverage would be eligible. An insurer may comply with this section by submitting to the department underwriting materials or resource guides provided to agents and brokers, provided that those materials include the information required to be submitted by this section.
(d) Commencing January 1, 2011, the commissioner shall post on the department’s Internet Web site, in a manner accessible and understandable to consumers, general, noncompany specific information about rating and underwriting criteria and practices in the individual market and information about the California Major Risk Medical Insurance Program (Part 6.5 (commencing with Section 12700)) and the federal temporary high risk pool established pursuant to Part 6.6 (commencing with Section 12739.5). The commissioner shall develop the information for the Internet Web site in consultation with the Department of Managed Health Care to enhance the consistency of information provided to consumers. Information about individual health insurance shall also include the following notification:
“Please examine your options carefully before declining group coverage or continuation coverage, such as COBRA, that may be available to you. You should be aware that companies selling individual health insurance typically require a review of your medical history that could result in a higher premium or you could be denied coverage entirely.”
(e) Nothing in this section shall authorize public disclosure of company-specific rating and underwriting criteria and practices submitted to the commissioner.
(f) This section shall not apply to a closed block of business, as defined in Section 10176.10.
(g) (1) This section shall become inoperative on November 1, 2013, or the 91st calendar day following the adjournment of the 2013–14 First Extraordinary Session, whichever date is later.
(2) If Section 5000A of the Internal Revenue Code, as added by Section 1501 of PPACA, is repealed or amended to no longer apply to the individual market, as defined in Section 2791 of the federal Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 300gg-4), this section shall become operative 12 months after the date of that repeal or amendment.
(Amended by Stats. 2013, 1st Ex. Sess., Ch. 1, Sec. 1. (AB 2 1x) Effective September 30, 2013. Inoperative, by its own provisions, on November 1, 2013, subject to condition for resuming operation. See later operative version added by Sec. 2 of Ch. 1.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018