(1) In order to improve the availability and affordability of health benefit coverage for small employers, the Health Insurance Reform Advisory Committee created under ORS 743.745 shall submit to the Director of the Department of Consumer and Business Services two basic health benefit plans pursuant to ORS 743.745. One plan shall be in the form of insurance and the second plan shall be consistent with the requirements of the federal Health Maintenance Organization Act, 42 U.S.C. 300e et seq.
(2)(a) The director shall approve the basic health benefit plans following a determination that the plans provide for maximum accessibility and affordability of needed health care services and following a determination that the basic health benefit plans substantially meet the social values that underlie the ranking of benefits by the Health Services Commission and that the basic health benefit plans are substantially similar to the Medicaid reform program under chapter 836, Oregon Laws 1989, funded by the Legislative Assembly.
(b) The basic health benefit plans shall include benefits mandated under ORS 743A.168 until mental health, alcohol and chemical dependency services are fully integrated into the Health Services Commission’s priority list, and as funded by the Legislative Assembly, and chapter 836, Oregon Laws 1989, is implemented.
(c) The commission shall aid the director by reviewing the basic health benefit plans and commenting on the extent to which the plans meet these criteria.
(3) After the director’s approval of the basic health benefit plans submitted by the committee pursuant to subsection (1) of this section, each small employer carrier shall submit to the director the policy form or forms containing its basic health benefit plan. Each policy form must be submitted as prescribed by the director and is subject to review and approval pursuant to ORS 742.003.
(4)(a) As a condition of transacting business in the small employer health insurance market in this state, every small employer carrier shall offer small employers an approved basic health benefit plan and any other plans that have been submitted by the small employer carrier for use in the small employer market and approved by the director.
(b) Nothing in this subsection shall require a small employer carrier to resubmit small employer health benefit plans that were approved by the director prior to October 1, 1996, nor shall small employer carriers be required to reinitiate new plan selection procedures for currently enrolled small employers prior to the small employer’s next health benefit plan coverage anniversary date.
(c) A carrier that offers a health benefit plan in the small employer market only through one or more bona fide associations is not required to offer that health benefit plan to small employers that are not members of the bona fide association.
(5) A small employer carrier shall issue to a small employer any small employer health benefit plan offered by the carrier if the small employer applies for the plan and agrees to make the required premium payments and to satisfy the other provisions of the health benefit plan.
(6) A multiple employer welfare arrangement, professional or trade association or other similar arrangement established or maintained to provide benefits to a particular trade, business, profession or industry or their subsidiaries shall not issue coverage to a group or individual that is not in the same trade, business, profession or industry as that covered by the arrangement. The arrangement shall accept all groups and individuals in the same trade, business, profession or industry or their subsidiaries that apply for coverage under the arrangement and that meet the requirements for membership in the arrangement. For purposes of this subsection, the requirements for membership in an arrangement shall not include any requirements that relate to the actual or expected health status of the prospective enrollee.
(7) A small employer carrier shall, pursuant to subsections (4) and (5) of this section, offer coverage to or accept applications from a group covered under an existing small employer health benefit plan whether or not a prospective enrollee is excluded from coverage under the existing plan because of late enrollment. When a small employer carrier accepts an application for such a group, the carrier may continue to exclude the prospective enrollee excluded from coverage by the replaced plan until the prospective enrollee would have become eligible for coverage under that replaced plan.
(8) No small employer carrier shall be required to offer coverage or accept applications pursuant to subsections (4) and (5) of this section if the director finds that acceptance of an application or applications would endanger the carrier’s ability to fulfill its contractual obligations or result in financial impairment of the carrier.
(9) Every small employer carrier shall market fairly all small employer health benefit plans offered by the carrier to small employers in the geographical areas in which the carrier makes coverage available or provides benefits.
(10)(a) No small employer carrier shall be required to offer coverage or accept applications pursuant to subsections (4) and (5) of this section in the case of any of the following:
(A) To a small employer if the small employer is not physically located in the carrier’s approved service area;
(B) To an employee if the employee does not work or reside within the carrier’s approved service areas; or
(C) Within an area where the carrier reasonably anticipates, and demonstrates to the satisfaction of the director, that it will not have the capacity in its network of providers to deliver services adequately to the enrollees of those groups because of its obligations to existing group contract holders and enrollees.
(b) A carrier that does not offer coverage pursuant to paragraph (a)(C) of this subsection shall not offer coverage in the applicable service area to new employer groups other than small employers until the carrier resumes enrolling groups of new small employers in the applicable area.
(11) For purposes of ORS 743.733 to 743.737, except as provided in this subsection, carriers that are affiliated carriers or that are eligible to file a consolidated tax return pursuant to ORS 317.715 shall be treated as one carrier and any restrictions or limitations imposed by ORS 743.733 to 743.737 apply as if all health benefit plans delivered or issued for delivery to small employers in this state by the affiliated carriers were issued by one carrier. However, any insurance company or health maintenance organization that is an affiliate of a health care service contractor located in this state, or any health maintenance organization located in this state that is an affiliate of an insurance company or health care service contractor, may treat the health maintenance organization as a separate carrier and each health maintenance organization that operates only one health maintenance organization in a service area in this state may be considered a separate carrier.
(12) A small employer carrier that, after September 29, 1991, elects to discontinue offering all of its small employer health benefit plans under ORS 743.737 (5)(e), elects to discontinue renewing all such plans or elects to discontinue offering and renewing all such plans is prohibited from offering health benefit plans in the small employer market in this state for a period of five years from one of the following dates:
(a) The date of notice to the director pursuant to ORS 743.737 (5)(e); or
(b) If notice is not provided under paragraph (a) of this subsection, from the date on which the director provides notice to the carrier that the director has determined that the carrier has effectively discontinued offering small employer health benefit plans in this state. [1991 c.916 §6; 1993 c.649 §12; 1995 c.603 §5; 1997 c.716 §6; 1999 c.987 §9]Section: Previous 743.729 743.730 743.731 743.732 743.733 743.734 743.735 743.736 743.737 743.738 743.739 743.740 743.741 743.742 743.743 Next
Last modified: August 7, 2008