Today's Law As Amended

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SB-1375 Health insurance: small employer groups.(2017-2018)



SECTION 1.

 Section 1357 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

1357.
 As used in this article:
(a) “Dependent” means the spouse or child of an eligible employee, subject to applicable terms of the health care plan contract covering the employee, and includes dependents of guaranteed association members if the association elects to include dependents under its health coverage at the same time it determines its membership composition pursuant to subdivision (o).
(b) “Eligible employee” means either of the following:
(1) Any permanent employee who is actively engaged on a full-time basis in the conduct of the business of the small employer with a normal workweek of at least 30 hours, at the small employer’s regular places of business, who has met any statutorily authorized applicable waiting period requirements. The term includes  does not include  sole proprietors or the spouses of those sole proprietors,  partners of a partnership, if they are actively engaged on a full-time basis in the small employer’s business and included as employees under a health care plan contract of a small employer, but does not include  partnership or the spouses of those partners, or  employees who work on a part-time, temporary, or substitute basis. It includes any eligible employee, as defined in this paragraph, who obtains coverage through a guaranteed association. Employees of employers purchasing through a guaranteed association shall be deemed to be  are  eligible employees if they would otherwise meet the definition except for the number of persons employed by the employer. Permanent employees who work at least 20 hours but not more than 29 hours are deemed to be  eligible employees if all four of the following apply:
(A) They otherwise meet the definition of an eligible employee except for the number of hours worked.
(B) The employer offers the employees health coverage under a health benefit plan.
(C) All similarly situated individuals are offered coverage under the health benefit plan.
(D) The employee must shall  have worked at least 20 hours per normal workweek for at least 50 percent of the weeks in the previous calendar quarter. The health care service plan may request any necessary information to document the hours and time period in question, including, but not limited to, payroll records and employee wage and tax filings.
(2) Any member of a guaranteed association as defined in subdivision (o).
(c) “In force business” means an existing health benefit plan contract issued by the plan to a small employer.
(d) “Late enrollee” means an eligible employee or dependent who has declined enrollment in a health benefit plan offered by a small employer at the time of the initial enrollment period provided under the terms of the health benefit plan and who subsequently requests enrollment in a health benefit plan of that small employer, provided that the initial enrollment period shall be a period of at least 30 days. It also means any member of an association that is a guaranteed association as well as any other person eligible to purchase through the guaranteed association when that person has failed to purchase coverage during the initial enrollment period provided under the terms of the guaranteed association’s plan contract and who subsequently requests enrollment in the plan, provided that the initial enrollment period shall be a period of at least 30 days. However, an eligible employee, any other person eligible for coverage through a guaranteed association pursuant to subdivision (o), or an eligible dependent shall not be considered a late enrollee if any of the following is applicable:
(1) The individual meets all of the following requirements:
(A) He or she was covered under another employer health benefit plan, the Healthy Families Program, the Access for Infants and Mothers (AIM) Program, or the Medi-Cal program at the time the individual was eligible to enroll.
(B) He or she certified at the time of the initial enrollment that coverage under another employer health benefit plan, the Healthy Families Program, the AIM Program, or the Medi-Cal program was the reason for declining enrollment, provided that, if the individual was covered under another employer health plan, the individual was given the opportunity to make the certification required by this subdivision and was notified that failure to do so could result in later treatment as a late enrollee.
(C) He or she has lost or will lose coverage under another employer health benefit plan as a result of termination of employment of the individual or of a person through whom the individual was covered as a dependent, change in employment status of the individual or of a person through whom the individual was covered as a dependent, termination of the other plan’s coverage, cessation of an employer’s contribution toward an employee or dependent’s coverage, death of the person through whom the individual was covered as a dependent, legal separation, or divorce; or he or she has lost or will lose coverage under the Healthy Families Program, the AIM Program, or the Medi-Cal program.
(D) He or she requests enrollment within 30 days after termination of coverage or employer contribution toward coverage provided under another employer health benefit plan, or requests enrollment within 60 days after termination of Medi-Cal program coverage, AIM Program coverage, or Healthy Families Program coverage.
(2) The employer offers multiple health benefit plans and the employee elects a different plan during an open enrollment period.
(3) A court has ordered that coverage be provided for a spouse or minor child under a covered employee’s health benefit plan.
(4) (A) In the case of an eligible employee, as defined in paragraph (1) of subdivision (b), the plan cannot produce a written statement from the employer stating that the individual or the person through whom the individual was eligible to be covered as a dependent, prior to declining coverage, was provided with, and signed, acknowledgment of an explicit written notice in boldface type specifying that failure to elect coverage during the initial enrollment period permits the plan to impose, at the time of the individual’s later decision to elect coverage, an exclusion from coverage for a period of 12 months as well as a six-month preexisting condition exclusion, unless the individual meets the criteria specified in paragraph (1), (2), or (3).
(B) In the case of an association member who did not purchase coverage through a guaranteed association, the plan cannot produce a written statement from the association stating that the association sent a written notice in boldface type to all potentially eligible association members at their last known address prior to the initial enrollment period informing members that failure to elect coverage during the initial enrollment period permits the plan to impose, at the time of the member’s later decision to elect coverage, an exclusion from coverage for a period of 12 months as well as a six-month preexisting condition exclusion unless the member can demonstrate that he or she meets the requirements of subparagraphs (A), (C), and (D) of paragraph (1) or meets the requirements of paragraph (2) or (3).
(C) In the case of an employer or person who is not a member of an association, was eligible to purchase coverage through a guaranteed association, and did not do so, and would not be eligible to purchase guaranteed coverage unless purchased through a guaranteed association, the employer or person can demonstrate that he or she meets the requirements of subparagraphs (A), (C), and (D) of paragraph (1), or meets the requirements of paragraph (2) or (3), or that he or she recently had a change in status that would make him or her eligible and that application for enrollment was made within 30 days of the change.
(5) The individual is an employee or dependent who meets the criteria described in paragraph (1) and was under a COBRA continuation provision and the coverage under that provision has been exhausted. For purposes of this section, the definition of “COBRA” set forth in subdivision (e) of Section 1373.621 shall apply.
(6) The individual is a dependent of an enrolled eligible employee who has lost or will lose his or her coverage under the Healthy Families Program, the AIM Program, or the Medi-Cal program and requests enrollment within 60 days after termination of that coverage.
(7) The individual is an eligible employee who previously declined coverage under an employer health benefit plan and who has subsequently acquired a dependent who would be eligible for coverage as a dependent of the employee through marriage, birth, adoption, or placement for adoption, and who enrolls for coverage under that employer health benefit plan on his or her behalf and on behalf of his or her dependent within 30 days following the date of marriage, birth, adoption, or placement for adoption, in which case the effective date of coverage shall be the first day of the month following the date the completed request for enrollment is received in the case of marriage, or the date of birth, or the date of adoption or placement for adoption, whichever applies. Notice of the special enrollment rights contained in this paragraph shall be provided by the employer to an employee at or before the time the employee is offered an opportunity to enroll in plan coverage.
(8) The individual is an eligible employee who has declined coverage for himself or herself or his or her dependents during a previous enrollment period because his or her dependents were covered by another employer health benefit plan at the time of the previous enrollment period. That individual may enroll himself or herself or his or her dependents for plan coverage during a special open enrollment opportunity if his or her dependents have lost or will lose coverage under that other employer health benefit plan. The special open enrollment opportunity shall be requested by the employee not more than 30 days after the date that the other health coverage is exhausted or terminated. Upon enrollment, coverage shall be effective not later than the first day of the first calendar month beginning after the date the request for enrollment is received. Notice of the special enrollment rights contained in this paragraph shall be provided by the employer to an employee at or before the time the employee is offered an opportunity to enroll in plan coverage.
(e) “New business” means a health care service plan contract issued to a small employer that is not the plan’s in force business.
(f) “Preexisting condition provision” means a contract provision that excludes coverage for charges or expenses incurred during a specified period following the employee’s effective date of coverage, as to a condition for which medical advice, diagnosis, care, or treatment was recommended or received during a specified period immediately preceding the effective date of coverage.
(g) “Creditable coverage” means:
(1) Any individual or group policy, contract, or program that is written or administered by a disability insurer, health care service plan, fraternal benefits society, self-insured employer plan, or any other entity, in this state or elsewhere, and that arranges or provides medical, hospital, and surgical coverage not designed to supplement other private or governmental plans. The term includes continuation or conversion coverage but does not include accident only, credit, coverage for onsite medical clinics, disability income, Medicare supplement, long-term care, dental, vision, coverage issued as a supplement to liability insurance, insurance arising out of a workers’ compensation or similar law, automobile medical payment insurance, or insurance under which benefits are payable with or without regard to fault and that is statutorily required to be contained in any liability insurance policy or equivalent self-insurance.
(2) The Medicare Program pursuant to Title XVIII of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 1395 et seq.).
(3) The Medicaid Program program  pursuant to Title XIX of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 1396 et seq.).
(4) Any other publicly sponsored program, provided in this state or elsewhere, of medical, hospital, and surgical care.
(5) 10 U.S.C.  Chapter 55 (commencing with Section 1071) of Title 10 of the United States Code  (Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services (CHAMPUS)).
(6) A medical care program of the Indian Health Service or of a tribal organization.
(7) A state health benefits risk pool.
(8) A health plan offered under 5 U.S.C.  Chapter 89 (commencing with Section 8901) of Title 5 of the United States Code  (Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP)).
(9) A public health plan as defined in federal regulations authorized by Section 2701(c)(1)(I) of the federal  Public Health Service Act, as amended by Public Law 104-191, the federal  Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.
(10) A health benefit plan under Section 5(e) of the federal  Peace Corps Act (22 U.S.C. Sec. 2504(e)).
(11) Any other creditable coverage as defined by subdivision (c) of Section 2701 of Title XXVII of the federal Public Health Services Service  Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 300gg(c)). 300gg-3(c)). 
(h) “Rating period” means the period for which premium rates established by a plan are in effect and shall be no less than six months.
(i) “Risk adjusted employee risk rate” means the rate determined for an eligible employee of a small employer in a particular risk category after applying the risk adjustment factor.
(j) “Risk adjustment factor” means the percentage adjustment to be applied equally to each standard employee risk rate for a particular small employer, based upon any expected deviations from standard cost of services. This The  factor may not be more than 120 percent or less than 80 percent until July 1, 1996. Effective July 1, 1996, this factor may not be more than  110 percent or less than 90 percent.
(k) “Risk category” means the following characteristics of an eligible employee: age, geographic region, and family composition of the employee, plus the health benefit plan selected by the small employer.
(1) No more than the following age categories may be used in determining premium rates:
Under 30
30–39
40–49
50–54
55–59
60–64
65 and over over. 
However, for the 65 years of age  and over age  category, separate premium rates may be specified depending upon whether coverage under the plan contract will be primary or secondary to benefits provided by the Medicare Program pursuant to Title XVIII of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 1395 et seq.).
(2) Small employer health care service plans shall base rates to small employers using no more than the following family size categories:
(A) Single.
(B) Married couple.
(C) One adult and child or children.
(D) Married couple and child or children.
(3) (A) In determining rates for small employers, a plan that operates statewide shall use no more than nine geographic regions in the state, have no region smaller than an area in which the first three digits of all its ZIP Codes are in common within a county, and divide no county into more than two regions. Plans shall be deemed to be operating statewide if their coverage area includes 90 percent or more of the state’s population. Geographic regions established pursuant to this section shall, as a group, cover the entire state, and the area encompassed in a geographic region shall be separate and distinct from areas encompassed in other geographic regions. Geographic regions may be noncontiguous.
(B) (i) In determining rates for small employers, a plan that does not operate statewide shall use no more than the number of geographic regions in the state that is determined by the following formula: the population, as determined in the last federal census, of all counties that are included in their entirety in a plan’s service area divided by the total population of the state, as determined in the last federal census, multiplied by nine. The resulting number shall be rounded to the nearest whole integer. No region may be smaller than an area in which the first three digits of all its ZIP Codes are in common within a county and no county may be divided into more than two regions. The area encompassed in a geographic region shall be separate and distinct from areas encompassed in other geographic regions. Geographic regions may be noncontiguous. No A  plan shall not  have less than one geographic area.
(ii) If the formula in clause (i) results in a plan that operates in more than one county having only one geographic region, then the formula in clause (i) shall not apply and the plan may have two geographic regions, provided that no county is divided into more than one region.
Nothing in this section shall be construed to  This section does not  require a plan to establish a new service area or to offer health coverage on a statewide basis, outside of the plan’s existing service area.
(l) “Small employer” means either of the following:
(1) Any person, firm, proprietary or nonprofit corporation, partnership, public agency, or association that is actively engaged in business or service, that, on at least 50 percent of its working days during the preceding calendar quarter or preceding calendar year, employed at least two, but no more than 50, eligible employees, the majority of whom were employed within this state, that was not formed primarily for purposes of buying health care service plan contracts, and in which a bona fide employer-employee relationship exists. In determining whether to apply the calendar quarter or calendar year test, a health care service plan shall use the test that ensures eligibility if only one test would establish eligibility. However, for purposes of subdivisions (a), (b), and (c) of Section 1357.03, the definition shall include employers with at least three eligible employees until July 1, 1997, and two eligible employees thereafter.  two eligible employees.  In determining the number of eligible employees, companies that are affiliated companies and that are eligible to file a combined tax return for purposes of state taxation shall be considered one employer. Subsequent to the issuance of a health care service plan contract to a small employer pursuant to this article, and for the purpose of determining eligibility, the size of a small employer shall be determined annually. Except as otherwise specifically provided in this article, provisions of this article that apply to a small employer shall continue to apply until the plan contract anniversary following the date the employer no longer meets the requirements of this definition. It includes any small employer as defined in this paragraph who purchases coverage through a guaranteed association, and  any employer purchasing coverage for employees through a guaranteed association. association, and any small employer as defined in this paragraph who purchases coverage through any arrangement. 
(2) Any guaranteed association, as defined in subdivision (n), that purchases health coverage for members of the association.
(m) “Standard employee risk rate” means the rate applicable to an eligible employee in a particular risk category in a small employer group.
(n) “Guaranteed association” means a nonprofit organization comprised of a group of individuals or employers who associate based solely on participation in a specified profession or industry, accepting for membership any individual or employer meeting its membership criteria, and that (1) includes one or more small employers as defined in paragraph (1) of subdivision (l), (2) does not condition membership directly or indirectly on the health or claims history of any person, (3) uses membership dues solely for and in consideration of the membership and membership benefits, except that the amount of the dues shall not depend on whether the member applies for or purchases insurance offered to the association, (4) is organized and maintained in good faith for purposes unrelated to insurance, (5) has been in active existence on January 1, 1992, and for at least five years prior to that date, (6) has included health insurance as a membership benefit for at least five years prior to January 1, 1992, (7) has a constitution and bylaws, or other analogous governing documents that provide for election of the governing board of the association by its members, (8) offers any plan contract that is purchased to all individual members and employer members in this state, (9) includes any member choosing to enroll in the plan contracts offered to the association provided that the member has agreed to make the required premium payments, and (10) covers at least 1,000 persons with the health care service plan with which it contracts. The requirement of 1,000 persons may be met if component chapters of a statewide association contracting separately with the same carrier cover at least 1,000 persons in the aggregate.
This subdivision applies regardless of whether a contract issued by a plan is with an association, or a trust formed for or sponsored by an association, to administer benefits for association members.
For purposes of this subdivision, an association formed by a merger of two or more associations after January 1, 1992, and otherwise meeting the criteria of this subdivision shall be deemed to have been in active existence on January 1, 1992, if its predecessor organizations had been in active existence on January 1, 1992, and for at least five years prior to that date and otherwise met the criteria of this subdivision.
(o) “Members of a guaranteed association” means any individual or employer meeting the association’s membership criteria if that person is a member of the association and chooses to purchase health coverage through the association. At the association’s discretion, it also may include employees of association members, association staff, retired members, retired employees of members, and surviving spouses and dependents of deceased members. However, if an association chooses to include these persons as members of the guaranteed association, the association shall make that election in advance of purchasing a plan contract. Health care service plans may require an association to adhere to the membership composition it selects for up to 12 months.
(p) “Affiliation period” means a period that, under the terms of the health care service plan contract, must expire  is required to elapse  before health care services under the contract become effective.

SEC. 2.

 Section 1357.500 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

1357.500.
 As used in this article, the following definitions shall apply:
(a) “Child” means a child described in Section 22775 of the Government Code and subdivisions (n) to (p), inclusive, of Section 599.500 of Title 2 of the California Code of Regulations.
(b) “Dependent” means the spouse or registered domestic partner, or child, of an eligible employee, subject to applicable terms of the health care service plan contract covering the employee, and includes dependents of guaranteed association members if the association elects to include dependents under its health coverage at the same time it determines its membership composition pursuant to subdivision (m).
(c) “Eligible employee” means either of the following:
(1) Any permanent employee who is actively engaged on a full-time basis in the conduct of the business of the small employer with a normal workweek of an average of 30 hours per week over the course of a month, at the small employer’s regular places of business, who has met any statutorily authorized applicable waiting period requirements. The term includes  does not include  sole proprietors or the spouses of those sole proprietors,  partners of a partnership, if they are actively engaged on a full-time basis in the small employer’s business and included as employees under a health care service plan contract of a small employer, but does not include  partnership or the spouses of those partners, or  employees who work on a part-time, temporary, or substitute basis. It includes any eligible employee, as defined in this paragraph, who obtains coverage through a guaranteed association. Employees of employers purchasing through a guaranteed association shall be deemed to be  are  eligible employees if they would otherwise meet the definition except for the number of persons employed by the employer. Permanent employees who work at least 20 hours but not more than 29 hours are deemed to be  eligible employees if all four of the following apply:
(A) They otherwise meet the definition of an eligible employee except for the number of hours worked.
(B) The employer offers the employees health coverage under a health benefit plan.
(C) All similarly situated individuals are offered coverage under the health benefit plan.
(D) The employee must shall  have worked at least 20 hours per normal workweek for at least 50 percent of the weeks in the previous calendar quarter. The health care service plan may request any necessary information to document the hours and time period in question, including, but not limited to, payroll records and employee wage and tax filings.
(2) Any member of a guaranteed association as defined in subdivision (m).
(d) “Exchange” means the California Health Benefit Exchange created by Section 100500 of the Government Code.
(e) “In force business” means an existing health benefit plan contract issued by the plan to a small employer.
(f) “Late enrollee” means an eligible employee or dependent who has declined enrollment in a health benefit plan offered by a small employer at the time of the initial enrollment period provided under the terms of the health benefit plan consistent with the periods provided pursuant to Section 1357.503 and who subsequently requests enrollment in a health benefit plan of that small employer, except where the employee or dependent qualifies for a special enrollment period provided pursuant to Section 1357.503. It also means any member of an association that is a guaranteed association as well as any other person eligible to purchase through the guaranteed association when that person has failed to purchase coverage during the initial enrollment period provided under the terms of the guaranteed association’s plan contract consistent with the periods provided pursuant to Section 1357.503 and who subsequently requests enrollment in the plan, except where that member or person qualifies for a special enrollment period provided pursuant to Section 1357.503.
(g) “New business” means a health care service plan contract issued to a small employer that is not the plan’s in force business.
(h) “Preexisting condition provision” means a contract provision that excludes coverage for charges or expenses incurred during a specified period following the enrollee’s effective date of coverage, as to a condition for which medical advice, diagnosis, care, or treatment was recommended or received during a specified period immediately preceding the effective date of coverage. No health care service plan shall limit or exclude coverage for any individual based on a preexisting condition whether or not any medical advice, diagnosis, care, or treatment was recommended or received before that date.
(i) “Creditable coverage” means:
(1) Any individual or group policy, contract, or program that is written or administered by a disability insurer, health care service plan, fraternal benefits society, self-insured employer plan, or any other entity, in this state or elsewhere, and that arranges or provides medical, hospital, and surgical coverage not designed to supplement other private or governmental plans. The term includes continuation or conversion coverage but does not include accident only, credit, coverage for onsite medical clinics, disability income, Medicare supplement, long-term care, dental, vision, coverage issued as a supplement to liability insurance, insurance arising out of a workers’ compensation or similar law, automobile medical payment insurance, or insurance under which benefits are payable with or without regard to fault and that is statutorily required to be contained in any liability insurance policy or equivalent self-insurance.
(2) The Medicare Program pursuant to Title XVIII of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 1395 et seq.).
(3) The Medicaid program pursuant to Title XIX of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 1396 et seq.).
(4) Any other publicly sponsored program, provided in this state or elsewhere, of medical, hospital, and surgical care.
(5) Chapter 55 (commencing with Section 1071) of Title 10 of the United States Code (Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services (CHAMPUS)).
(6) A medical care program of the Indian Health Service or of a tribal organization.
(7) A health plan offered under Chapter 89 (commencing with Section 8901) of Title 5 of the United States Code (Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP)).
(8) A public health plan as defined in federal regulations authorized by Section 2701(c)(1)(I) of the federal  Public Health Service Act, as amended by Public Law 104-191, the federal  Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.
(9) A health benefit plan under Section 5(e) of the federal  Peace Corps Act (22 U.S.C. Sec. 2504(e)).
(10) Any other creditable coverage as defined by subsection (c) of Section 2704 of Title XXVII of the federal Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 300gg-3(c)).
(j) “Rating period” means the period for which premium rates established by a plan are in effect and shall be no less than 12 months from the date of issuance or renewal of the plan contract.
(k) (1) “Small employer” means any of the following:
(A) For plan years commencing on or after January 1, 2014, and on or before December 31, 2015, any person, firm, proprietary or nonprofit corporation, partnership, public agency, or association that is actively engaged in business or service, that, on at least 50 percent of its working days during the preceding calendar quarter or preceding calendar year, employed at least one, but no more than 50, eligible employees, the majority of whom were employed within this state, that was not formed primarily for purposes of buying health care service plan contracts, and in which a bona fide employer-employee relationship exists. For plan years commencing on or after January 1, 2016, any person, firm, proprietary or nonprofit corporation, partnership, public agency, or association that is actively engaged in business or service, that, on at least 50 percent of its working days during the preceding calendar quarter or preceding calendar year, employed at least one, but no more than 100, employees, the majority of whom were employed within this state, that was not formed primarily for purposes of buying health care service plan contracts, and in which a bona fide employer-employee relationship exists. In determining whether to apply the calendar quarter or calendar year test, a health care service plan shall use the test that ensures eligibility if only one test would establish eligibility. In determining the number of employees or eligible employees, companies that are affiliated companies and that are eligible to file a combined tax return for purposes of state taxation shall be considered one employer. Subsequent to the issuance of a health care service plan contract to a small employer pursuant to this article, and for the purpose of determining eligibility, the size of a small employer shall be determined annually. Except as otherwise specifically provided in this article, provisions of this article that apply to a small employer shall continue to apply until the plan contract anniversary following the date the employer no longer meets the requirements of this definition. It includes any small employer as defined in this paragraph who purchases coverage through a guaranteed association, and  any employer purchasing coverage for employees through a guaranteed association. This subparagraph shall be implemented to the extent consistent with PPACA, except that the minimum requirement of one employee shall be implemented only to the extent required by PPACA. association, and any small employer as defined in this paragraph who purchases coverage through any arrangement. 
(B) Any guaranteed association, as defined in subdivision (l), that purchases health coverage for members of the association.
(2) For plan years commencing on or after January 1, 2014, the definition of an employer,  2019,  for purposes of determining whether an employer with one employee shall include sole proprietors, certain owners of “S” corporations, or other individuals, shall be consistent with Section 1304 of PPACA. has one employee, sole proprietors and their spouses, and partners of a partnership and their spouses, are not employees. 
(3) For plan years commencing on or after January 1, 2016, the definition of small employer, for purposes of determining employer eligibility in the small employer market, shall be determined using the method for counting full-time employees and full-time equivalent employees set forth in Section 4980H(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code.
(l) “Guaranteed association” means a nonprofit organization comprised of a group of individuals or employers who associate based solely on participation in a specified profession or industry, accepting for membership any individual or employer meeting its membership criteria, and that (1) includes one or more small employers as defined in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (k), (2) does not condition membership directly or indirectly on the health or claims history of any person, (3) uses membership dues solely for and in consideration of the membership and membership benefits, except that the amount of the dues shall not depend on whether the member applies for or purchases insurance offered to the association, (4) is organized and maintained in good faith for purposes unrelated to insurance, (5) has been in active existence on January 1, 1992, and for at least five years prior to that date, (6) has included health insurance as a membership benefit for at least five years prior to January 1, 1992, (7) has a constitution and bylaws, or other analogous governing documents that provide for election of the governing board of the association by its members, (8) offers any plan contract that is purchased to all individual members and employer members in this state, (9) includes any member choosing to enroll in the plan contracts offered to the association provided that the member has agreed to make the required premium payments, and (10) covers at least 1,000 persons with the health care service plan with which it contracts. The requirement of 1,000 persons may be met if component chapters of a statewide association contracting separately with the same carrier cover at least 1,000 persons in the aggregate.
This subdivision applies regardless of whether a contract issued by a plan is with an association, or a trust formed for or sponsored by an association, to administer benefits for association members.
For purposes of this subdivision, an association formed by a merger of two or more associations after January 1, 1992, and otherwise meeting the criteria of this subdivision shall be deemed to have been in active existence on January 1, 1992, if its predecessor organizations had been in active existence on January 1, 1992, and for at least five years prior to that date and otherwise met the criteria of this subdivision.
(m) “Members of a guaranteed association” means any individual or employer meeting the association’s membership criteria if that person is a member of the association and chooses to purchase health coverage through the association. At the association’s discretion, it also may include employees of association members, association staff, retired members, retired employees of members, and surviving spouses and dependents of deceased members. However, if an association chooses to include these persons as members of the guaranteed association, the association shall make that election in advance of purchasing a plan contract. Health care service plans may require an association to adhere to the membership composition it selects for up to 12 months.
(n) “Affiliation period” means a period that, under the terms of the health care service plan contract, must expire before health care services under the contract become effective.
(o) “Grandfathered health plan” has the meaning set forth in Section 1251 of PPACA.
(p) “Nongrandfathered small employer health care service plan contract” means a small employer health care service plan contract that is not a grandfathered health plan.
(q) “Plan year” has the meaning set forth in Section 144.103 of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
(r) “PPACA” means the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Public Law 111-148), as amended by the federal Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-152), and any rules, regulations, or guidance issued thereunder.
(s) “Small employer health care service plan contract” means a health care service plan contract issued to a small employer.
(t) “Waiting period” means a period that is required to pass with respect to an employee before the employee is eligible to be covered for benefits under the terms of the contract.
(u) “Registered domestic partner” means a person who has established a domestic partnership as described in Section 297 of the Family Code.
(v) “Family” means the subscriber and his or her dependent or dependents.
(w) “Health benefit plan” means a health care service plan contract that provides medical, hospital, and surgical benefits for the covered eligible employees of a small employer and their dependents. The term does not include coverage of Medicare services pursuant to contracts with the United States government, Medicare supplement coverage, or coverage under a specialized health care service plan contract.

SEC. 3.

 Section 1357.503 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

1357.503.
 (a) (1) On and after October 1, 2013, a  Each  plan shall fairly and affirmatively offer, market, and sell all of the plan’s small employer health care service plan contracts for plan years on or after January 1, 2014,  to all small employers in each service area in which the plan provides or arranges for the provision of health care services.
(2) On and after October 1, 2013, a  Each  plan shall make available to each small employer all small employer health care service plan contracts that the plan offers and sells to small employers or to associations that include small employers in this state for plan years on or after January 1, 2014.  state.  Health coverage through an association that is not related to employment shall be considered individual coverage pursuant to Section 144.102(c) of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations. coverage. The status of each distinct member of an association shall determine whether that member’s association coverage is individual, small group, or large group health coverage. 
(3) A plan that offers qualified health plans through the Exchange shall be deemed to be in compliance with paragraphs (1) and (2) with respect to small employer health care service plan contracts offered through the Exchange in those geographic regions in which the plan offers plan contracts through the Exchange.
(b) A plan shall provide enrollment periods consistent with PPACA and described in Section 155.725 of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Commencing January 1, 2014, a  Each  plan shall provide special enrollment periods consistent with the special enrollment periods described in Section 1399.849, to the extent permitted by PPACA, except for both of the following:
(1) The special enrollment period described in paragraph (3) of subdivision (c) of Section 1399.849.
(2) The triggering events identified in paragraphs (d)(3) and (d)(6) of Section 155.420 of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations with respect to plan contracts offered through the Exchange.
(c) No plan or solicitor shall induce or otherwise encourage a small employer to separate or otherwise exclude an eligible employee from a health care service plan contract that is provided in connection with employee’s employment or membership in a guaranteed association.
(d) Every plan shall file with the director the reasonable employee participation requirements and employer contribution requirements that will be applied in offering its plan contracts. Participation requirements shall be applied uniformly among all small employer groups, except that a plan may vary application of minimum employee participation requirements by the size of the small employer group and whether the employer contributes 100 percent of the eligible employee’s premium. Employer contribution requirements shall not vary by employer size. A health care service plan shall not establish a participation requirement that (1) requires a person who meets the definition of a dependent in Section 1357.500 to enroll as a dependent if he or she is otherwise eligible for coverage and wishes to enroll as an eligible employee and (2) allows a plan to reject an otherwise eligible small employer because of the number of persons that waive coverage due to coverage through another employer. Members of an association eligible for health coverage under subdivision (m) of Section 1357.500, but not electing any health coverage through the association, shall not be counted as eligible employees for purposes of determining whether the guaranteed association meets a plan’s reasonable participation standards.
(e) The plan shall not reject an application from a small employer for a small employer health care service plan contract if all of the following conditions are met:
(1) The small employer offers health benefits to 100 percent of its eligible employees. Employees who waive coverage on the grounds that they have other group coverage shall not be counted as eligible employees.
(2) The small employer agrees to make the required premium payments.
(3) The small employer agrees to inform the small employer’s employees of the availability of coverage and the provision that those not electing coverage must wait until the next open enrollment or a special enrollment period to obtain coverage through the group if they later decide they would like to have coverage.
(4) The employees and their dependents who are to be covered by the plan contract work or reside in the service area in which the plan provides or otherwise arranges for the provision of health care services.
(f) No A  plan or solicitor shall,  shall not,  directly or indirectly, engage in the following activities:
(1) Encourage or direct small employers to refrain from filing an application for coverage with a plan because of the health status, claims experience, industry, occupation of the small employer, or geographic location provided that it is within the plan’s approved service area.
(2) Encourage or direct small employers to seek coverage from another plan because of the health status, claims experience, industry, occupation of the small employer, or geographic location provided that it is within the plan’s approved service area.
(3) Employ marketing practices or benefit designs that will have the effect of discouraging the enrollment of individuals with significant health needs or discriminate based on an individual’s race, color, national origin, present or predicted disability, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, expected length of life, degree of medical dependency, quality of life, or other health conditions.
(g) A plan shall not, directly or indirectly, enter into any contract, agreement, or arrangement with a solicitor that provides for or results in the compensation paid to a solicitor for the sale of a health care service plan contract to be varied because of the health status, claims experience, industry, occupation, or geographic location of the small employer. This subdivision does not apply to a compensation arrangement that provides compensation to a solicitor on the basis of percentage of premium, provided that the percentage shall not vary because of the health status, claims experience, industry, occupation, or geographic area of the small employer.
(h) (1) A policy or contract that covers a small employer, as defined in Section 1304(b) of PPACA and in Section 1357.500, shall not establish rules for eligibility, including continued eligibility, of an individual, or dependent of an individual, to enroll under the terms of the policy or contract based on any of the following health status-related factors:
(A) Health status.
(B) Medical condition, including physical and mental illnesses.
(C) Claims experience.
(D) Receipt of health care.
(E) Medical history.
(F) Genetic information.
(G) Evidence of insurability, including conditions arising out of acts of domestic violence.
(H) Disability.
(I) Any other health status-related factor as determined by any federal regulations, rules, or guidance issued pursuant to Section 2705 of the federal Public Health Service Act.
(2) Notwithstanding Section 1389.1, a health care service plan shall not require an eligible employee or dependent to fill out a health assessment or medical questionnaire prior to enrollment under a small employer health care service plan contract. A health care service plan shall not acquire or request information that relates to a health status-related factor from the applicant or his or her dependent or any other source prior to enrollment of the individual.
(i) (1) A health care service plan shall consider as a single risk pool for rating purposes in the small employer market the claims experience of all enrollees in all nongrandfathered small employer health benefit plans offered by the health care service plan in this state, whether offered as health care service plan contracts or health insurance policies, including those insureds and enrollees who enroll in coverage through the Exchange and insureds and enrollees covered by the health care service plan outside of the Exchange.
(2) At least each calendar year, and no more frequently than each calendar quarter, a health care service plan shall establish an index rate for the small employer market in the state based on the total combined claims costs for providing essential health benefits, as defined pursuant to Section 1302 of PPACA and Section 1367.005, within the single risk pool required under paragraph (1). The index rate shall be adjusted on a marketwide basis based on the total expected marketwide payments and charges under the risk adjustment program established for the state pursuant to Section 1343 of PPACA and Exchange user fees, as described in subdivision (d) of Section 156.80 of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations. The premium rate for all of the nongrandfathered small employer health benefit plans within the single risk pool required under paragraph (1) shall use the applicable marketwide adjusted index rate, subject only to the adjustments permitted under paragraph (3).
(3) A health care service plan may vary premium rates for a particular nongrandfathered small employer health care service plan contract from its index rate based only on the following actuarially justified plan-specific factors:
(A) The actuarial value and cost-sharing design of the plan contract.
(B) The plan contract’s provider network, delivery system characteristics, and utilization management practices.
(C) The benefits provided under the plan contract that are in addition to the essential health benefits, as defined pursuant to Section 1302 of PPACA. These additional benefits shall be pooled with similar benefits within the single risk pool required under paragraph (1) and the claims experience from those benefits shall be utilized to determine rate variations for plan contracts that offer those benefits in addition to essential health benefits.
(D) With respect to catastrophic plans, as described in subsection (e) of Section 1302 of PPACA, the expected impact of the specific eligibility categories for those plans.
(E) Administrative costs, excluding any user fees required by the Exchange.
(j) A plan shall comply with the requirements of Section 1374.3.
(k) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), if Section 2702 of the federal Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 300gg-1), as added by Section 1201 of PPACA, is repealed, this section shall become inoperative 12 months after the repeal date, in which case health care service plans subject to this section shall instead be governed by Section 1357.03 to the extent permitted by federal law, and all references in this article to this section shall instead refer to Section 1357.03 except for purposes of paragraph (2).
(2) Subdivision (b) shall remain operative with respect to health care service plan contracts offered through the Exchange.

SEC. 4.

 Section 1357.600 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

1357.600.
 As used in this article, the following definitions shall apply:
(a) “Dependent” means the spouse or registered domestic partner, or child, of an eligible employee, subject to applicable terms of the health care service plan contract covering the employee, and includes dependents of guaranteed association members if the association elects to include dependents under its health coverage at the same time it determines its membership composition pursuant to subdivision (n).
(b) “Eligible employee” means either of the following:
(1) Any permanent employee who is actively engaged on a full-time basis in the conduct of the business of the small employer with a normal workweek of an average of 30 hours per week over the course of a month, at the small employer’s regular places of business, who has met any statutorily authorized applicable waiting period requirements. The term includes  does not include  sole proprietors or the spouses of those sole proprietors,  partners of a partnership, if they are actively engaged on a full-time basis in the small employer’s business and included as employees under a health care service plan contract of a small employer, but does not include  partnership or the spouses of those partners, or  employees who work on a part-time, temporary, or substitute basis. It includes any eligible employee, as defined in this paragraph, who obtains coverage through a guaranteed association. Employees of employers purchasing through a guaranteed association shall be deemed to be  are  eligible employees if they would otherwise meet the definition except for the number of persons employed by the employer. Permanent employees who work at least 20 hours but not more than 29 hours are deemed to be  eligible employees if all four of the following apply:
(A) They otherwise meet the definition of an eligible employee except for the number of hours worked.
(B) The employer offers the employees health coverage under a health benefit plan.
(C) All similarly situated individuals are offered coverage under the health benefit plan.
(D) The employee must shall  have worked at least 20 hours per normal workweek for at least 50 percent of the weeks in the previous calendar quarter. The health care service plan may request any necessary information to document the hours and time period in question, including, but not limited to, payroll records and employee wage and tax filings.
(2) Any member of a guaranteed association as defined in subdivision (n).
(c) “In force business” means an existing health benefit plan contract issued by the plan to a small employer.
(d) “Late enrollee” means an eligible employee or dependent who has declined enrollment in a health benefit plan offered by a small employer at the time of the initial enrollment period provided under the terms of the health benefit plan and who subsequently requests enrollment in a health benefit plan of that small employer, provided that the initial enrollment period shall be a period of at least 30 days. It also means any member of an association that is a guaranteed association as well as any other person eligible to purchase through the guaranteed association when that person has failed to purchase coverage during the initial enrollment period provided under the terms of the guaranteed association’s plan contract and who subsequently requests enrollment in the plan, provided that the initial enrollment period shall be a period of at least 30 days. However, an eligible employee, any other person eligible for coverage through a guaranteed association pursuant to subdivision (n), or an eligible dependent shall not be considered a late enrollee if any of the following is applicable:
(1) The individual meets all of the following requirements:
(A) He or she was covered under another employer health benefit plan, the Healthy Families Program, the Access for Infants and Mothers (AIM) Program, the Medi-Cal program, or coverage through the California Health Benefit Exchange at the time the individual was eligible to enroll.
(B) He or she certified at the time of the initial enrollment that coverage under another employer health benefit plan, the Healthy Families Program, the AIM Program, the Medi-Cal program, or coverage through the California Health Benefit Exchange was the reason for declining enrollment, provided that, if the individual was covered under another employer health benefit plan, including a plan offered through the California Health Benefit Exchange, the individual was given the opportunity to make the certification required by this subdivision and was notified that failure to do so could result in later treatment as a late enrollee.
(C) He or she has lost or will lose coverage under another employer health benefit plan as a result of termination of employment of the individual or of a person through whom the individual was covered as a dependent, change in employment status of the individual or of a person through whom the individual was covered as a dependent, termination of the other plan’s coverage, cessation of an employer’s contribution toward an employee’s or dependent’s coverage, death of the person through whom the individual was covered as a dependent, legal separation, or divorce; or he or she has lost or will lose coverage under the Healthy Families Program, the AIM Program, the Medi-Cal program, or coverage through the California Health Benefit Exchange.
(D) He or she requests enrollment within 30 days after termination of coverage or employer contribution toward coverage provided under another employer health benefit plan, or requests enrollment within 60 days after termination of Medi-Cal program coverage, AIM Program coverage, Healthy Families Program coverage, or coverage through the California Health Benefit Exchange.
(2) The employer offers multiple health benefit plans and the employee elects a different plan during an open enrollment period.
(3) A court has ordered that coverage be provided for a spouse or minor child under a covered employee’s health benefit plan.
(4) (A) In the case of an eligible employee, as defined in paragraph (1) of subdivision (b), the plan cannot produce a written statement from the employer stating that the individual or the person through whom the individual was eligible to be covered as a dependent, prior to declining coverage, was provided with, and signed, acknowledgment of an explicit written notice in boldface type specifying that failure to elect coverage during the initial enrollment period permits the plan to impose, at the time of the individual’s later decision to elect coverage, an exclusion from eligibility for coverage until the next open enrollment period, unless the individual meets the criteria specified in paragraph (1), (2), or (3). This exclusion from eligibility for coverage shall not be considered a waiting period in violation of Section 1357.51 or 1357.607.
(B) In the case of an association member who did not purchase coverage through a guaranteed association, the plan cannot produce a written statement from the association stating that the association sent a written notice in boldface type to all potentially eligible association members at their last known address prior to the initial enrollment period informing members that failure to elect coverage during the initial enrollment period permits the plan to impose, at the time of the member’s later decision to elect coverage, an exclusion from eligibility for coverage until the next open enrollment period, unless the individual meets the requirements of subparagraphs (A), (C), and (D) of paragraph (1) or meets the requirements of paragraph (2) or (3). This exclusion from eligibility for coverage shall not be considered a waiting period in violation of Section 1357.51 or 1357.607.
(C) In the case of an employer or person who is not a member of an association, was eligible to purchase coverage through a guaranteed association, and did not do so, and would not be eligible to purchase guaranteed coverage unless purchased through a guaranteed association, the employer or person can demonstrate that he or she meets the requirements of subparagraphs (A), (C), and (D) of paragraph (1), or meets the requirements of paragraph (2) or (3), or that he or she recently had a change in status that would make him or her eligible and that application for enrollment was made within 30 days of the change.
(5) The individual is an employee or dependent who meets the criteria described in paragraph (1) and was under a COBRA continuation provision and the coverage under that provision has been exhausted. For purposes of this section, the definition of “COBRA” set forth in subdivision (e) of Section 1373.621 shall apply.
(6) The individual is a dependent of an enrolled eligible employee who has lost or will lose his or her coverage under the Healthy Families Program, the AIM Program, the Medi-Cal program, or a health benefit plan offered through the California Health Benefit Exchange and requests enrollment within 60 days after termination of that coverage.
(7) The individual is an eligible employee who previously declined coverage under an employer health benefit plan, including a plan offered through the California Health Benefit Exchange, and who has subsequently acquired a dependent who would be eligible for coverage as a dependent of the employee through marriage, birth, adoption, or placement for adoption, and who enrolls for coverage under that employer health benefit plan on his or her behalf and on behalf of his or her dependent within 30 days following the date of marriage, birth, adoption, or placement for adoption, in which case the effective date of coverage shall be the first day of the month following the date the completed request for enrollment is received in the case of marriage, or the date of birth, or the date of adoption or placement for adoption, whichever applies. Notice of the special enrollment rights contained in this paragraph shall be provided by the employer to an employee at or before the time the employee is offered an opportunity to enroll in plan coverage.
(8) The individual is an eligible employee who has declined coverage for himself or herself or his or her dependents during a previous enrollment period because his or her dependents were covered by another employer health benefit plan, including a plan offered through the California Health Benefit Exchange, at the time of the previous enrollment period. That individual may enroll himself or herself or his or her dependents for plan coverage during a special open enrollment opportunity if his or her dependents have lost or will lose coverage under that other employer health benefit plan. The special open enrollment opportunity shall be requested by the employee not more than 30 days after the date that the other health coverage is exhausted or terminated. Upon enrollment, coverage shall be effective not later than the first day of the first calendar month beginning after the date the request for enrollment is received. Notice of the special enrollment rights contained in this paragraph shall be provided by the employer to an employee at or before the time the employee is offered an opportunity to enroll in plan coverage.
(e) “Preexisting condition provision” means a contract provision that excludes coverage for charges or expenses incurred during a specified period following the enrollee’s effective date of coverage, as to a condition for which medical advice, diagnosis, care, or treatment was recommended or received during a specified period immediately preceding the effective date of coverage. No A  health care service plan shall not  limit or exclude coverage for any individual based on a preexisting condition whether or not any medical advice, diagnosis, care, or treatment was recommended or received before that date.
(f) “Creditable coverage” means:
(1) Any individual or group policy, contract, or program that is written or administered by a disability insurer, health care service plan, fraternal benefits society, self-insured employer plan, or any other entity, in this state or elsewhere, and that arranges or provides medical, hospital, and surgical coverage not designed to supplement other private or governmental plans. The term includes continuation or conversion coverage but does not include accident only, credit, coverage for onsite medical clinics, disability income, Medicare supplement, long-term care, dental, vision, coverage issued as a supplement to liability insurance, insurance arising out of a workers’ compensation or similar law, automobile medical payment insurance, or insurance under which benefits are payable with or without regard to fault and that is statutorily required to be contained in any liability insurance policy or equivalent self-insurance.
(2) The Medicare Program pursuant to Title XVIII of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 1395 et seq.).
(3) The Medicaid Program program  pursuant to Title XIX of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 1396 et seq.).
(4) Any other publicly sponsored program, provided in this state or elsewhere, of medical, hospital, and surgical care.
(5) 10 U.S.C.  Chapter 55 (commencing with Section 1071) of Title 10 of the United States Code  (Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services (CHAMPUS)).
(6) A medical care program of the Indian Health Service or of a tribal organization.
(7) A health plan offered under 5 U.S.C.  Chapter 89 (commencing with Section 8901) of Title 5 of the United States Code  (Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP)).
(8) A public health plan as defined in federal regulations authorized by Section 2701(c)(1)(I) of the federal  Public Health Service Act, as amended by Public Law 104-191, the federal  Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.
(9) A health benefit plan under Section 5(e) of the federal  Peace Corps Act (22 U.S.C. Sec. 2504(e)).
(10) Any other creditable coverage as defined by subsection (c) of Section 2704 of Title XXVII of the federal Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 300gg-3(c)).
(g) “Rating period” means the period for which premium rates established by a plan are in effect and shall be no less than 12 months from the date of issuance or renewal of the health care service plan contract.
(h) “Risk adjusted employee risk rate” means the rate determined for an eligible employee of a small employer in a particular risk category after applying the risk adjustment factor.
(i) “Risk adjustment factor” means the percentage adjustment to be applied equally to each standard employee risk rate for a particular small employer, based upon any expected deviations from standard cost of services. This factor may not be more than 110 percent or less than 90 percent.
(j) “Risk category” means the following characteristics of an eligible employee: age, geographic region, and family composition of the employee, plus the health benefit plan selected by the small employer.
(1) No more than the following age categories may be used in determining premium rates:
Under 30
30–39
40–49
50–54
55–59
60–64
65 and over over. 
However, for the 65 years of age  and over age  category, separate premium rates may be specified depending upon whether coverage under the plan contract will be primary or secondary to benefits provided by the Medicare Program pursuant to Title XVIII of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 1395 et seq.).
(2) Small employer health care service plans shall base rates to small employers using no more than the following family size categories:
(A) Single.
(B) Married couple or registered domestic partners.
(C) One adult and child or children.
(D) Married couple or registered domestic partners and child or children.
(3) (A) In determining rates for small employers, a plan that operates statewide shall use no more than nine geographic regions in the state, have no region smaller than an area in which the first three digits of all its ZIP Codes are in common within a county, and divide no county into more than two regions. Plans shall be deemed to be operating statewide if their coverage area includes 90 percent or more of the state’s population. Geographic regions established pursuant to this section shall, as a group, cover the entire state, and the area encompassed in a geographic region shall be separate and distinct from areas encompassed in other geographic regions. Geographic regions may be noncontiguous.
(B) (i) In determining rates for small employers, a plan that does not operate statewide shall use no more than the number of geographic regions in the state that is determined by the following formula: the population, as determined in the last federal census, of all counties that are included in their entirety in a plan’s service area divided by the total population of the state, as determined in the last federal census, multiplied by nine. The resulting number shall be rounded to the nearest whole integer. No A  region may  shall not  be smaller than an area in which the first three digits of all its ZIP Codes are in common within a county and no county may be divided into more than two regions. The area encompassed in a geographic region shall be separate and distinct from areas encompassed in other geographic regions. Geographic regions may be noncontiguous. No A  plan shall not  have less than one geographic area.
(ii) If the formula in clause (i) results in a plan that operates in more than one county having only one geographic region, then the formula in clause (i) shall not apply and the plan may have two geographic regions, provided that no county is divided into more than one region.
Nothing in this section shall be construed to  This section does not  require a plan to establish a new service area or to offer health coverage on a statewide basis, outside of the plan’s existing service area.
(k) (1) “Small employer” means any of the following:
(A) For plan years commencing on or after January 1, 2014, and on or before December 31, 2015, any person, firm, proprietary or nonprofit corporation, partnership, public agency, or association that is actively engaged in business or service, that, on at least 50 percent of its working days during the preceding calendar quarter or preceding calendar year, employed at least one, but no more than 50, eligible employees, the majority of whom were employed within this state, that was not formed primarily for purposes of buying health care service plan contracts, and in which a bona fide employer-employee relationship exists. For plan years commencing on or after January 1, 2016, any person, firm, proprietary or nonprofit corporation, partnership, public agency, or association that is actively engaged in business or service, that, on at least 50 percent of its working days during the preceding calendar quarter or preceding calendar year, employed at least one, but no more than 100, eligible employees, the majority of whom were employed within this state, that was not formed primarily for purposes of buying health care service plan contracts, and in which a bona fide employer-employee relationship exists. In determining whether to apply the calendar quarter or calendar year test, a health care service plan shall use the test that ensures eligibility if only one test would establish eligibility. In determining the number of eligible employees, companies that are affiliated companies and that are eligible to file a combined tax return for purposes of state taxation shall be considered one employer. Subsequent to the issuance of a health care service plan contract to a small employer pursuant to this article, and for the purpose of determining eligibility, the size of a small employer shall be determined annually. Except as otherwise specifically provided in this article, provisions of this article that apply to a small employer shall continue to apply until the plan contract anniversary following the date the employer no longer meets the requirements of this definition. It includes any small employer as defined in this subparagraph who purchases coverage through a guaranteed association, and  any employer purchasing coverage for employees through a guaranteed association. This subparagraph shall be implemented to the extent consistent with PPACA, except that the minimum requirement of one employee shall be implemented only to the extent required by PPACA. association, and any small employer as defined in this paragraph who purchases coverage through any arrangement. 
(B) Any guaranteed association, as defined in subdivision (m), that purchases health coverage for members of the association.
(2) For plan years commencing on or after January 1, 2014, the definition of an employer,  2019,  for purposes of determining whether an employer with one employee shall include sole proprietors, certain owners of “S” corporations, or other individuals, shall be consistent with Section 1304 of PPACA. has one employee, sole proprietors and their spouses, and partners of a partnership and their spouses, are not employees. 
(l) “Standard employee risk rate” means the rate applicable to an eligible employee in a particular risk category in a small employer group.
(m) “Guaranteed association” means a nonprofit organization comprised of a group of individuals or employers who associate based solely on participation in a specified profession or industry, accepting for membership any individual or employer meeting its membership criteria, and that (1) includes one or more small employers as defined in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (k), (2) does not condition membership directly or indirectly on the health or claims history of any person, (3) uses membership dues solely for and in consideration of the membership and membership benefits, except that the amount of the dues shall not depend on whether the member applies for or purchases insurance offered to the association, (4) is organized and maintained in good faith for purposes unrelated to insurance, (5) has been in active existence on January 1, 1992, and for at least five years prior to that date, (6) has included health insurance as a membership benefit for at least five years prior to January 1, 1992, (7) has a constitution and bylaws, or other analogous governing documents that provide for election of the governing board of the association by its members, (8) offers any plan contract that is purchased to all individual members and employer members in this state, (9) includes any member choosing to enroll in the plan contracts offered to the association provided that the member has agreed to make the required premium payments, and (10) covers at least 1,000 persons with the health care service plan with which it contracts. The requirement of 1,000 persons may be met if component chapters of a statewide association contracting separately with the same carrier cover at least 1,000 persons in the aggregate.
This subdivision applies regardless of whether a contract issued by a plan is with an association, or a trust formed for or sponsored by an association, to administer benefits for association members.
For purposes of this subdivision, an association formed by a merger of two or more associations after January 1, 1992, and otherwise meeting the criteria of this subdivision shall be deemed to have been in active existence on January 1, 1992, if its predecessor organizations had been in active existence on January 1, 1992, and for at least five years prior to that date and otherwise met the criteria of this subdivision.
(n) “Members of a guaranteed association” means any individual or employer meeting the association’s membership criteria if that person is a member of the association and chooses to purchase health coverage through the association. At the association’s discretion, it also may include employees of association members, association staff, retired members, retired employees of members, and surviving spouses and dependents of deceased members. However, if an association chooses to include these persons as members of the guaranteed association, the association shall make that election in advance of purchasing a plan contract. Health care service plans may require an association to adhere to the membership composition it selects for up to 12 months.
(o) “Affiliation period” means a period that, under the terms of the health care service plan contract, must expire before health care services under the contract become effective.
(p) “Grandfathered small employer health care service plan contract” means a small employer health care service plan contract that constitutes a grandfathered health plan.
(q) “Grandfathered health plan” has the meaning set forth in Section 1251 of PPACA.
(r) “Nongrandfathered small employer health care service plan contract” means a small employer health care service plan contract that is not a grandfathered health plan.
(s) “Plan year” has the meaning set forth in Section 144.103 of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
(t) “PPACA” means the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Public Law 111-148), as amended by the federal Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-152), and any rules, regulations, or guidance issued thereunder.
(u) “Registered domestic partner” means a person who has established a domestic partnership as described in Section 297 of the Family Code.
(v) “Small employer health care service plan contract” means a health care service plan contract issued to a small employer.
(w) “Waiting period” means a period that is required to pass with respect to an employee before the employee is eligible to be covered for benefits under the terms of the contract.

SEC. 5.

 Section 1399.802 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

1399.802.
 (a)  Every health care service plan offering plan contracts to individuals shall, in addition to complying with the provisions of this chapter and the rules adopted thereunder, comply with the provisions of this article.
(b) For the purposes of determining eligibility for small employer coverage, a sole proprietor and the sole proprietor’s spouse are not employees with respect to a sole proprietorship that consists only of the sole proprietor and the sole proprietor’s spouse. A partner and a partner’s spouse are not employees of a partnership that consists solely of partners and their spouses. Employer group health care service plans shall not be issued, marketed, or sold to a sole proprietorship or partnership without employees directly or indirectly through any arrangement. Only individual health care service plans shall be sold to any entity without employees.

SEC. 6.

 Section 1399.846 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:

1399.846.
 For the purposes of determining eligibility for small employer coverage, a sole proprietor and the sole proprietor’s spouse are not employees with respect to a sole proprietorship that consists only of the sole proprietor and the sole proprietor’s spouse. A partner and a partner’s spouse are not employees of a partnership that consists solely of partners and their spouses. Employer group health care service plans shall not be issued, marketed, or sold to a sole proprietorship or partnership without employees directly or indirectly through any arrangement. Only individual health care service plans shall be sold to any entity without employees.

SEC. 7.

 Section 10700 of the Insurance Code is amended to read:

10700.
 As used in this chapter:
(a) “Agent or broker” means a person or entity licensed under Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 1621) of Part 2 of Division 1.
(b) “Benefit plan design” means a specific health coverage product issued by a carrier to small employers, to trustees of associations that include small employers, or to individuals if the coverage is offered through employment or sponsored by an employer. It includes services covered and the levels of copayment and deductibles, and it may include the professional providers who are to provide those services and the sites where those services are to be provided. A benefit plan design may also be an integrated system for the financing and delivery of quality health care services which has significant incentives for the covered individuals to use the system.
(c) “Board” means the Major Risk Medical Insurance Board.
(d) “Carrier” means any disability insurance company or any other entity that writes, issues, or administers health benefit plans that cover the employees of small employers, regardless of the situs of the contract or master policyholder. For the purposes of Articles 3 (commencing with Section 10719) and 4 (commencing with Section 10730), “carrier” also includes health care service plans.
(e) “Dependent” means the spouse or child of an eligible employee, subject to applicable terms of the health benefit plan covering the employee, and includes dependents of guaranteed association members if the association elects to include dependents under its health coverage at the same time it determines its membership composition pursuant to subdivision (z).
(f) “Eligible employee” means either of the following:
(1) Any permanent employee who is actively engaged on a full-time basis in the conduct of the business of the small employer with a normal workweek of at least 30 hours, in the small employer’s regular place of business, who has met any statutorily authorized applicable waiting period requirements. The term includes  does not include  sole proprietors or the spouses of those sole proprietors,  partners of a partnership, if they are actively engaged on a full-time basis in the small employer’s business, and they are included as employees under a health benefit plan of a small employer, but does not include  partnership or the spouses of those partners, or  employees who work on a part-time, temporary, or substitute basis. It includes any eligible employee, as defined in this paragraph, who obtains coverage through a guaranteed association. Employees of employers purchasing through a guaranteed association shall be deemed to be  are  eligible employees if they would otherwise meet the definition except for the number of persons employed by the employer. A permanent employee who works at least 20 hours but not more than 29 hours is deemed to be  an eligible employee if all four of the following apply:
(A) The employee otherwise meets the definition of an eligible employee except for the number of hours worked.
(B) The employer offers the employee health coverage under a health benefit plan.
(C) All similarly situated individuals are offered coverage under the health benefit plan.
(D) The employee must shall  have worked at least 20 hours per normal workweek for at least 50 percent of the weeks in the previous calendar quarter. The insurer may request any necessary information to document the hours and time period in question, including, but not limited to, payroll records and employee wage and tax filings.
(2) Any member of a guaranteed association as defined in subdivision (z).
(g) “Enrollee” means an eligible employee or dependent who receives health coverage through the program from a participating carrier.
(h) “Financially impaired” means, for the purposes of this chapter, a carrier that, on or after the effective date of this chapter, is not insolvent and is either:
(1) Deemed by the commissioner to be potentially unable to fulfill its contractual obligations.
(2) Placed under an order of rehabilitation or conservation by a court of competent jurisdiction.
(i) “Fund” means the California Small Group Reinsurance Fund.
(j) “Health benefit plan” means a policy or contract written or administered by a carrier that arranges or provides health care benefits for the covered eligible employees of a small employer and their dependents. The term does not include accident only, credit, disability income, coverage of Medicare services pursuant to contracts with the United States government, Medicare supplement, long-term care insurance, dental, vision, coverage issued as a supplement to liability insurance, automobile medical payment insurance, or insurance under which benefits are payable with or without regard to fault and that is statutorily required to be contained in any liability insurance policy or equivalent self-insurance.
(k) “In force business” means an existing health benefit plan issued by the carrier to a small employer.
(l) “Late enrollee” means an eligible employee or dependent who has declined health coverage under a health benefit plan offered by a small employer at the time of the initial enrollment period provided under the terms of the health benefit plan and who subsequently requests enrollment in a health benefit plan of that small employer, provided that the initial enrollment period shall be a period of at least 30 days. It also means any member of an association that is a guaranteed association as well as any other person eligible to purchase through the guaranteed association when that person has failed to purchase coverage during the initial enrollment period provided under the terms of the guaranteed association’s health benefit plan and who subsequently requests enrollment in the plan, provided that the initial enrollment period shall be a period of at least 30 days. However, an eligible employee, another person eligible for coverage through a guaranteed association pursuant to subdivision (z), or an eligible dependent shall not be considered a late enrollee if any of the following is applicable:
(1) The individual meets all of the following requirements:
(A) He or she was covered under another employer health benefit plan, the Healthy Families Program, the Access for Infants and Mothers (AIM) Program, or the Medi-Cal program at the time the individual was eligible to enroll.
(B) He or she certified at the time of the initial enrollment that coverage under another employer health benefit plan, the Healthy Families Program, the AIM Program, or the Medi-Cal program was the reason for declining enrollment provided that, if the individual was covered under another employer health plan, the individual was given the opportunity to make the certification required by this subdivision and was notified that failure to do so could result in later treatment as a late enrollee.
(C) He or she has lost or will lose coverage under another employer health benefit plan as a result of termination of employment of the individual or of a person through whom the individual was covered as a dependent, change in employment status of the individual, or of a person through whom the individual was covered as a dependent, the termination of the other plan’s coverage, cessation of an employer’s contribution toward an employee or dependent’s coverage, death of the person through whom the individual was covered as a dependent, legal separation, or divorce; or he or she has lost or will lose coverage under the Healthy Families Program, the AIM Program, or the Medi-Cal program.
(D) He or she requests enrollment within 30 days after termination of coverage or employer contribution toward coverage provided under another employer health benefit plan, or requests enrollment within 60 days after termination of Medi-Cal program coverage, AIM Program coverage, or Healthy Families Program coverage.
(2) The individual is employed by an employer who offers multiple health benefit plans and the individual elects a different plan during an open enrollment period.
(3) A court has ordered that coverage be provided for a spouse or minor child under a covered employee’s health benefit plan.
(4) (A) In the case of an eligible employee as defined in paragraph (1) of subdivision (f), the carrier cannot produce a written statement from the employer stating that the individual or the person through whom an individual was eligible to be covered as a dependent, prior to declining coverage, was provided with, and signed acknowledgment of, an explicit written notice in boldface type specifying that failure to elect coverage during the initial enrollment period permits the carrier to impose, at the time of the individual’s later decision to elect coverage, an exclusion from coverage for a period of 12 months as well as a six-month preexisting condition exclusion unless the individual meets the criteria specified in paragraph (1), (2), or (3).
(B) In the case of an eligible employee who is a guaranteed association member, the plan cannot produce a written statement from the guaranteed association stating that the association sent a written notice in boldface type to all potentially eligible association members at their last known address prior to the initial enrollment period informing members that failure to elect coverage during the initial enrollment period permits the plan to impose, at the time of the member’s later decision to elect coverage, an exclusion from coverage for a period of 12 months as well as a six-month preexisting condition exclusion unless the member can demonstrate that he or she meets the requirements of subparagraphs (A), (C), and (D) of paragraph (1) or meets the requirements of paragraph (2) or (3).
(C) In the case of an employer or person who is not a member of an association, was eligible to purchase coverage through a guaranteed association, and did not do so, and would not be eligible to purchase guaranteed coverage unless purchased through a guaranteed association, the employer or person can demonstrate that he or she meets the requirements of subparagraphs (A), (C), and (D) of paragraph (1), or meets the requirements of paragraph (2) or (3), or that he or she recently had a change in status that would make him or her eligible and that application for coverage was made within 30 days of the change.
(5) The individual is an employee or dependent who meets the criteria described in paragraph (1) and was under a COBRA continuation provision and the coverage under that provision has been exhausted. For purposes of this section, the definition of “COBRA” set forth in subdivision (e) of Section 10116.5 shall apply.
(6) The individual is a dependent of an enrolled eligible employee who has lost or will lose his or her coverage under the Healthy Families Program, the AIM Program, or the Medi-Cal program and requests enrollment within 60 days after termination of that coverage.
(7) The individual is an eligible employee who previously declined coverage under an employer health benefit plan and who has subsequently acquired a dependent who would be eligible for coverage as a dependent of the employee through marriage, birth, adoption, or placement for adoption, and who enrolls for coverage under that employer health benefit plan on his or her behalf and on behalf of his or her dependent within 30 days following the date of marriage, birth, adoption, or placement for adoption, in which case the effective date of coverage shall be the first day of the month following the date the completed request for enrollment is received in the case of marriage, or the date of birth, or the date of adoption or placement for adoption, whichever applies. Notice of the special enrollment rights contained in this paragraph shall be provided by the employer to an employee at or before the time the employee is offered an opportunity to enroll in plan coverage.
(8) The individual is an eligible employee who has declined coverage for himself or herself or his or her dependents during a previous enrollment period because his or her dependents were covered by another employer health benefit plan at the time of the previous enrollment period. That individual may enroll himself or herself or his or her dependents for plan coverage during a special open enrollment opportunity if his or her dependents have lost or will lose coverage under that other employer health benefit plan. The special open enrollment opportunity shall be requested by the employee not more than 30 days after the date that the other health coverage is exhausted or terminated. Upon enrollment, coverage shall be effective not later than the first day of the first calendar month beginning after the date the request for enrollment is received. Notice of the special enrollment rights contained in this paragraph shall be provided by the employer to an employee at or before the time the employee is offered an opportunity to enroll in plan coverage.
(m) “New business” means a health benefit plan issued to a small employer that is not the carrier’s in force business.
(n) “Participating carrier” means a carrier that has entered into a contract with the program to provide health benefits coverage under this part.
(o) “Plan of operation” means the plan of operation of the fund, including articles, bylaws, and operating rules adopted by the fund pursuant to Article 3 (commencing with Section 10719).
(p) “Program” means the Health Insurance Plan of California.
(q) “Preexisting condition provision” means a policy provision that excludes coverage for charges or expenses incurred during a specified period following the insured’s effective date of coverage, as to a condition for which medical advice, diagnosis, care, or treatment was recommended or received during a specified period immediately preceding the effective date of coverage.
(r) “Creditable coverage” means:
(1) Any individual or group policy, contract, or program, that is written or administered by a disability insurer, health care service plan, fraternal benefits society, self-insured employer plan, or any other entity, in this state or elsewhere, and that arranges or provides medical, hospital, and surgical coverage not designed to supplement other private or governmental plans. The term includes continuation or conversion coverage but does not include accident only, credit, coverage for onsite medical clinics, disability income, Medicare supplement, long-term care, dental, vision, coverage issued as a supplement to liability insurance, insurance arising out of a workers’ compensation or similar law, automobile medical payment insurance, or insurance under which benefits are payable with or without regard to fault and that is statutorily required to be contained in any liability insurance policy or equivalent self-insurance.
(2) The federal Medicare Program pursuant to Title XVIII of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 1395 et seq.).
(3) The Medicaid Program program  pursuant to Title XIX of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 1396 et seq.).
(4) Any other publicly sponsored program, provided in this state or elsewhere, of medical, hospital, and surgical care.
(5) 10 U.S.C.  Chapter 55 (commencing with Section 1071) of Title 10 of the United States Code  (Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services (CHAMPUS)).
(6) A medical care program of the Indian Health Service or of a tribal organization.
(7) A state health benefits risk pool.
(8) A health plan offered under 5 U.S.C.  Chapter 89 (commencing with Section 8901) of Title 5 of the United States Code  (Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP)).
(9) A public health plan as defined in federal regulations authorized by Section 2701(c)(1)(I) of the federal Public Health Service Act, as amended by Public Law 104-191, the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.
(10) A health benefit plan under Section 5(e) of the federal Peace Corps Act (22 U.S.C. Sec. 2504(e)).
(11) Any other creditable coverage as defined by subdivision (c) of Section 2701 of Title XXVII of the federal Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 300gg(c)).
(s) “Rating period” means the period for which premium rates established by a carrier are in effect and shall be no less than six months.
(t) “Risk adjusted employee risk rate” means the rate determined for an eligible employee of a small employer in a particular risk category after applying the risk adjustment factor.
(u) “Risk adjustment factor” means the percent adjustment to be applied equally to each standard employee risk rate for a particular small employer, based upon any expected deviations from standard claims. This The  factor may not be more than 120 percent or less than 80 percent until July 1, 1996. Effective July 1, 1996, this factor may not be more than  110 percent or less than 90 percent.
(v) “Risk category” means the following characteristics of an eligible employee: age, geographic region, and family size of the employee, plus the benefit plan design selected by the small employer.
(1) No more than the following age categories may be used in determining premium rates:
Under 30
30–39
40–49
50–54
55–59
60–64
65 and over over. 
However, for the 65 years of age  and over age  category, separate premium rates may be specified depending upon whether coverage under the health benefit plan will be primary or secondary to benefits provided by the federal Medicare Program pursuant to Title XVIII of the federal Social Security Act.
(2) Small employer carriers shall base rates to small employers using no more than the following family size categories:
(A) Single.
(B) Married couple.
(C) One adult and child or children.
(D) Married couple and child or children.
(3) (A) In determining rates for small employers, a carrier that operates statewide shall use no more than nine geographic regions in the state, have no region smaller than an area in which the first three digits of all its ZIP Codes are in common within a county, and shall divide no county into more than two regions. Carriers shall be deemed to be operating statewide if their coverage area includes 90 percent or more of the state’s population. Geographic regions established pursuant to this section shall, as a group, cover the entire state, and the area encompassed in a geographic region shall be separate and distinct from areas encompassed in other geographic regions. Geographic regions may be noncontiguous.
(B) In determining rates for small employers, a carrier that does not operate statewide shall use no more than the number of geographic regions in the state than is determined by the following formula: the population, as determined in the last federal census, of all counties which that  are included in their entirety in a carrier’s service area divided by the total population of the state, as determined in the last federal census, multiplied by nine. The resulting number shall be rounded to the nearest whole integer. No A  region may  shall not  be smaller than an area in which the first three digits of all its ZIP Codes are in common within a county and no a  county may  shall not  be divided into more than two regions. The area encompassed in a geographic region shall be separate and distinct from areas encompassed in other geographic regions. Geographic regions may be noncontiguous. No A  carrier shall not  have less than one geographic area.
(w) “Small employer” means either of the following:
(1) Any person, proprietary or nonprofit firm, corporation, partnership, public agency, or association that is actively engaged in business or service that, on at least 50 percent of its working days during the preceding calendar quarter, or preceding calendar year, employed at least 2, but not more than 50, eligible employees, the majority of whom were employed within this state, that was not formed primarily for purposes of buying health insurance and in which a bona fide employer-employee relationship exists. In determining whether to apply the calendar quarter or calendar year test, the insurer shall use the test that ensures eligibility if only one test would establish eligibility. However, for purposes of subdivisions (b) and (h) of Section 10705, the definition shall include employers with at least three eligible employees until July 1, 1997, and two eligible employees thereafter.  two eligible employees.  In determining the number of eligible employees, companies that are affiliated companies and that are eligible to file a combined income tax return for purposes of state taxation shall be considered one employer. Subsequent to the issuance of a health benefit plan to a small employer pursuant to this chapter, and for the purpose of determining eligibility, the size of a small employer shall be determined annually. Except as otherwise specifically provided, provisions of this chapter that apply to a small employer shall continue to apply until the health benefit plan anniversary following the date the employer no longer meets the requirements of this definition. It includes any small employer as defined in this paragraph who purchases coverage through a guaranteed association, and  any employer purchasing coverage for employees through a guaranteed association. association, and any small employer as defined in this paragraph who purchases coverage through any arrangement, but does not include multiple employer welfare arrangements regulated pursuant to Article 4.7 (commencing with Section 742.20) of Chapter 1 of Part 2 of Division 1 that provide health care benefits to their members on a self-funded or partially self-funded basis and that comply with small group health reforms. 
(2) Any guaranteed association, as defined in subdivision (y), that purchases health coverage for members of the association.
(x) “Standard employee risk rate” means the rate applicable to an eligible employee in a particular risk category in a small employer group.
(y) “Guaranteed association” means a nonprofit organization comprised of a group of individuals or employers who associate based solely on participation in a specified profession or industry, accepting for membership any individual or employer meeting its membership criteria which (1) includes one or more small employers as defined in paragraph (1) of subdivision (w), (2) does not condition membership directly or indirectly on the health or claims history of any person, (3) uses membership dues solely for and in consideration of the membership and membership benefits, except that the amount of the dues shall not depend on whether the member applies for or purchases insurance offered by the association, (4) is organized and maintained in good faith for purposes unrelated to insurance, (5) has been in active existence on January 1, 1992, and for at least five years prior to that date, (6) has been offering health insurance to its members for at least five years prior to January 1, 1992, (7) has a constitution and bylaws, or other analogous governing documents that provide for election of the governing board of the association by its members, (8) offers any benefit plan design that is purchased to all individual members and employer members in this state, (9) includes any member choosing to enroll in the benefit plan design offered to the association provided that the member has agreed to make the required premium payments, and (10) covers at least 1,000 persons with the carrier with which it contracts. The requirement of 1,000 persons may be met if component chapters of a statewide association contracting separately with the same carrier cover at least 1,000 persons in the aggregate.
This subdivision applies regardless of whether a master policy by an admitted insurer is delivered directly to the association or a trust formed for or sponsored by an association to administer benefits for association members.
For purposes of this subdivision, an association formed by a merger of two or more associations after January 1, 1992, and otherwise meeting the criteria of this subdivision shall be deemed to have been in active existence on January 1, 1992, if its predecessor organizations had been in active existence on January 1, 1992, and for at least five years prior to that date and otherwise met the criteria of this subdivision.
(z) “Members of a guaranteed association” means any individual or employer meeting the association’s membership criteria if that person is a member of the association and chooses to purchase health coverage through the association. At the association’s discretion, it may also include employees of association members, association staff, retired members, retired employees of members, and surviving spouses and dependents of deceased members. However, if an association chooses to include those persons as members of the guaranteed association, the association must so elect in advance of purchasing coverage from a plan. Health plans may require an association to adhere to the membership composition it selects for up to 12 months.
(aa) “Affiliation period” means a period that, under the terms of the health benefit plan, must expire shall elapse  before health care services under the plan become effective.

SEC. 8.

 Section 10753 of the Insurance Code is amended to read:

10753.
 (a) “Agent or broker” means a person or entity licensed under Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 1621) of Part 2 of Division 1.
(b) “Benefit plan design” means a specific health coverage product issued by a carrier to small employers, to trustees of associations that include small employers, or to individuals if the coverage is offered through employment or sponsored by an employer. It includes services covered and the levels of copayment and deductibles, and it may include the professional providers who are to provide those services and the sites where those services are to be provided. A benefit plan design may also be an integrated system for the financing and delivery of quality health care services which has significant incentives for the covered individuals to use the system.
(c) “Carrier” means a health insurer or any other entity that writes, issues, or administers health benefit plans that cover the employees of small employers, regardless of the situs of the contract or master policyholder.
(d) “Child” means a child described in Section 22775 of the Government Code and subdivisions (n) to (p), inclusive, of Section 599.500 of Title 2 of the California Code of Regulations.
(e) “Dependent” means the spouse or registered domestic partner, or child, of an eligible employee, subject to applicable terms of the health benefit plan covering the employee, and includes dependents of guaranteed association members if the association elects to include dependents under its health coverage at the same time it determines its membership composition pursuant to subdivision (s).
(f) “Eligible employee” means either of the following:
(1) Any permanent employee who is actively engaged on a full-time basis in the conduct of the business of the small employer with a normal workweek of an average of 30 hours per week over the course of a month, in the small employer’s regular place of business, who has met any statutorily authorized applicable waiting period requirements. The term includes  does not include  sole proprietors or the spouses of those sole proprietors,  partners of a partnership, if they are actively engaged on a full-time basis in the small employer’s business, and they are included as employees under a health benefit plan of a small employer, but does not include  partnership or the spouses of those partners, or  employees who work on a part-time, temporary, or substitute basis. It includes any eligible employee, as defined in this paragraph, who obtains coverage through a guaranteed association. Employees of employers purchasing through a guaranteed association shall be deemed to be  are  eligible employees if they would otherwise meet the definition except for the number of persons employed by the employer. A permanent employee who works at least 20 hours but not more than 29 hours is deemed to be  an eligible employee if all four of the following apply:
(A) The employee otherwise meets the definition of an eligible employee except for the number of hours worked.
(B) The employer offers the employee health coverage under a health benefit plan.
(C) All similarly situated individuals are offered coverage under the health benefit plan.
(D) The employee must shall  have worked at least 20 hours per normal workweek for at least 50 percent of the weeks in the previous calendar quarter. The insurer may request any necessary information to document the hours and time period in question, including, but not limited to, payroll records and employee wage and tax filings.
(2) Any member of a guaranteed association as defined in subdivision (s).
(g) “Enrollee” means an eligible employee or dependent who receives health coverage through the program from a participating carrier.
(h) “Exchange” means the California Health Benefit Exchange created by Section 100500 of the Government Code.
(i) “Financially impaired” means, for the purposes of this chapter, a carrier that, on or after the effective date of this chapter, is not insolvent and is either:
(1) Deemed by the commissioner to be potentially unable to fulfill its contractual obligations.
(2) Placed under an order of rehabilitation or conservation by a court of competent jurisdiction.
(j) “Health benefit plan” means a policy of health insurance, as defined in Section 106, for the covered eligible employees of a small employer and their dependents. The term does not include coverage of Medicare services pursuant to contracts with the United States government, or coverage that provides excepted benefits, as described in Sections 2722 and 2791 of the federal Public Health Service Act, subject to Section 10701.
(k) “In force business” means an existing health benefit plan issued by the carrier to a small employer.
(l) “Late enrollee” means an eligible employee or dependent who has declined health coverage under a health benefit plan offered by a small employer at the time of the initial enrollment period provided under the terms of the health benefit plan consistent with the periods provided pursuant to Section 10753.05 and who subsequently requests enrollment in a health benefit plan of that small employer, except where the employee or dependent qualifies for a special enrollment period provided pursuant to Section 10753.05. It also means any member of an association that is a guaranteed association as well as any other person eligible to purchase through the guaranteed association when that person has failed to purchase coverage during the initial enrollment period provided under the terms of the guaranteed association’s health benefit plan consistent with the periods provided pursuant to Section 10753.05 and who subsequently requests enrollment in the plan, except where the employee or dependent qualifies for a special enrollment period provided pursuant to Section 10753.05.
(m) “New business” means a health benefit plan issued to a small employer that is not the carrier’s in force business.
(n) “Preexisting condition provision” means a policy provision that excludes coverage for charges or expenses incurred during a specified period following the insured’s effective date of coverage, as to a condition for which medical advice, diagnosis, care, or treatment was recommended or received during a specified period immediately preceding the effective date of coverage.
(o) “Creditable coverage” means:
(1) Any individual or group policy, contract, or program, that is written or administered by a health insurer, health care service plan, fraternal benefits society, self-insured employer plan, or any other entity, in this state or elsewhere, and that arranges or provides medical, hospital, and surgical coverage not designed to supplement other private or governmental plans. The term includes continuation or conversion coverage but does not include accident only, credit, coverage for onsite medical clinics, disability income, Medicare supplement, long-term care, dental, vision, coverage issued as a supplement to liability insurance, insurance arising out of a workers’ compensation or similar law, automobile medical payment insurance, or insurance under which benefits are payable with or without regard to fault and that is statutorily required to be contained in any liability insurance policy or equivalent self-insurance.
(2) The federal Medicare Program pursuant to Title XVIII of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 1395 et seq.).
(3) The Medicaid program pursuant to Title XIX of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 1396 et seq.).
(4) Any other publicly sponsored program, provided in this state or elsewhere, of medical, hospital, and surgical care.
(5) Chapter 55 (commencing with Section 1071) of Title 10 of the United States Code (Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services (CHAMPUS)).
(6) A medical care program of the Indian Health Service or of a tribal organization.
(7) A health plan offered under Chapter 89 (commencing with Section 8901) of Title 5 of the United States Code (Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP)).
(8) A public health plan as defined in federal regulations authorized by Section 2701(c)(1)(I) of the federal Public Health Service Act, as amended by Public Law 104-191, the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.
(9) A health benefit plan under Section 5(e) of the federal Peace Corps Act (22 U.S.C. Sec. 2504(e)).
(10) Any other creditable coverage as defined by subdivision (c) of Section 2704 of Title XXVII of the federal Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 300gg-3(c)).
(p) “Rating period” means the period for which premium rates established by a carrier are in effect and shall be no less than 12 months from the date of issuance or renewal of the health benefit plan.
(q) (1) “Small employer” means either of the following:
(A) For plan years commencing on or after January 1, 2014, and on or before December 31, 2015, any person, firm, proprietary or nonprofit corporation, partnership, public agency, or association that is actively engaged in business or service, that, on at least 50 percent of its working days during the preceding calendar quarter or preceding calendar year, employed at least one, but no more than 50, eligible employees, the majority of whom were employed within this state, that was not formed primarily for purposes of buying health benefit plans, and in which a bona fide employer-employee relationship exists. For plan years commencing on or after January 1, 2016, any person, firm, proprietary or nonprofit corporation, partnership, public agency, or association that is actively engaged in business or service, that, on at least 50 percent of its working days during the preceding calendar quarter or preceding calendar year, employed at least one, but no more than 100, employees, the majority of whom were employed within this state, that was not formed primarily for purposes of buying health benefit plans, and in which a bona fide employer-employee relationship exists. In determining whether to apply the calendar quarter or calendar year test, a carrier shall use the test that ensures eligibility if only one test would establish eligibility. In determining the number of employees or eligible employees, companies that are affiliated companies and that are eligible to file a combined tax return for purposes of state taxation shall be considered one employer. Subsequent to the issuance of a health benefit plan to a small employer pursuant to this chapter, and for the purpose of determining eligibility, the size of a small employer shall be determined annually. Except as otherwise specifically provided in this chapter, provisions of this chapter that apply to a small employer shall continue to apply until the plan contract anniversary following the date the employer no longer meets the requirements of this definition. It includes any small employer as defined in this subparagraph who purchases coverage through a guaranteed association, and  any employer purchasing coverage for employees through a guaranteed association. This subparagraph shall be implemented to the extent consistent with PPACA, except that the minimum requirement of one employee shall be implemented only to the extent required by PPACA. association, and any small employer as defined in this paragraph who purchases coverage through any arrangement, but does not include multiple employer welfare arrangements regulated pursuant to Article 4.7 (commencing with Section 742.20) of Chapter 1 of Part 2 of Division 1 that provide health care benefits to their members on a self-funded or partially self-funded basis and that comply with small group health reforms. 
(B) Any guaranteed association, as defined in subdivision (r), that purchases health coverage for members of the association.
(2) For plan years commencing on or after January 1, 2014, the definition of an employer,  2019,  for purposes of determining whether an employer with one employee shall include sole proprietors, certain owners of “S” corporations, or other individuals, shall be consistent with Section 1304 of PPACA. has one employee, sole proprietors and their spouses, and partners of a partnership and their spouses, are not employees. 
(3) For plan years commencing on or after January 1, 2016, the definition of small employer, for purposes of determining employer eligibility in the small employer market, shall be determined using the method for counting full-time employees and full-time equivalent employees set forth in Section 4980H(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code.
(r) “Guaranteed association” means a nonprofit organization comprised of a group of individuals or employers who associate based solely on participation in a specified profession or industry, accepting for membership any individual or employer meeting its membership criteria which (1) includes one or more small employers as defined in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (q), (2) does not condition membership directly or indirectly on the health or claims history of any person, (3) uses membership dues solely for and in consideration of the membership and membership benefits, except that the amount of the dues shall not depend on whether the member applies for or purchases insurance offered by the association, (4) is organized and maintained in good faith for purposes unrelated to insurance, (5) has been in active existence on January 1, 1992, and for at least five years prior to that date, (6) has been offering health insurance to its members for at least five years prior to January 1, 1992, (7) has a constitution and bylaws, or other analogous governing documents that provide for election of the governing board of the association by its members, (8) offers any benefit plan design that is purchased to all individual members and employer members in this state, (9) includes any member choosing to enroll in the benefit plan design offered to the association provided that the member has agreed to make the required premium payments, and (10) covers at least 1,000 persons with the carrier with which it contracts. The requirement of 1,000 persons may be met if component chapters of a statewide association contracting separately with the same carrier cover at least 1,000 persons in the aggregate.
This subdivision applies regardless of whether a master policy by an admitted insurer is delivered directly to the association or a trust formed for or sponsored by an association to administer benefits for association members.
For purposes of this subdivision, an association formed by a merger of two or more associations after January 1, 1992, and otherwise meeting the criteria of this subdivision shall be deemed to have been in active existence on January 1, 1992, if its predecessor organizations had been in active existence on January 1, 1992, and for at least five years prior to that date and otherwise met the criteria of this subdivision.
(s) “Members of a guaranteed association” means any individual or employer meeting the association’s membership criteria if that person is a member of the association and chooses to purchase health coverage through the association. At the association’s discretion, it may also include employees of association members, association staff, retired members, retired employees of members, and surviving spouses and dependents of deceased members. However, if an association chooses to include those persons as members of the guaranteed association, the association must so elect in advance of purchasing coverage from a plan. Health plans may require an association to adhere to the membership composition it selects for up to 12 months.
(t) “Grandfathered health plan” has the meaning set forth in Section 1251 of PPACA.
(u) “Nongrandfathered health benefit plan” means a health benefit plan that is not a grandfathered health plan.
(v) “Plan year” has the meaning set forth in Section 144.103 of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
(w) “PPACA” means the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Public Law 111-148), as amended by the federal Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-152), and any rules, regulations, or guidance issued thereunder.
(x) “Waiting period” means a period that is required to pass with respect to the employee before the employee is eligible to be covered for benefits under the terms of the contract.
(y) “Registered domestic partner” means a person who has established a domestic partnership as described in Section 297 of the Family Code.
(z) “Family” means the policyholder and his or her dependents.

SEC. 9.

 Section 10753.05 of the Insurance Code is amended to read:

10753.05.
 (a) No group or individual policy or contract or certificate of group insurance or statement of group coverage providing benefits to employees of small employers as defined in this chapter shall be issued or delivered by a carrier subject to the jurisdiction of the commissioner regardless of the situs of the contract or master policyholder or of the domicile of the carrier nor, except as otherwise provided in Sections 10270.91 and 10270.92, shall a carrier provide coverage subject to this chapter until a copy of the form of the policy, contract, certificate, or statement of coverage is filed with and approved by the commissioner in accordance with Sections 10290 and 10291, and the carrier has complied with the requirements of Section 10753.17.
(b) (1) On and after October 1, 2013, each  Each  carrier shall fairly and affirmatively offer, market, and sell all of the carrier’s health benefit plans that are sold to, offered through, or sponsored by, small employers or associations that include small employers for plan years on or after January 1, 2014, to all small employers in each geographic region in which the carrier makes coverage available or provides benefits.
(2) A carrier that offers qualified health plans through the Exchange shall be deemed to be in compliance with paragraph (1) with respect to health benefit plans offered through the Exchange in those geographic regions in which the carrier offers plans through the Exchange.
(3) A carrier shall provide enrollment periods consistent with PPACA and described in Section 155.725 of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Commencing January 1, 2014, a carrier shall provide special enrollment periods consistent with the special enrollment periods described in Section 10965.3, to the extent permitted by PPACA, except for both of the following:
(A) The special enrollment period described in paragraph (3) of subdivision (c) of Section 10965.3.
(B) The triggering events identified in paragraphs (d)(3) and (d)(6) of Section 155.420 of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations with respect to health benefit plans offered through the Exchange.
(4) Nothing in this section shall be construed to  This section does not  require an association, or a trust established and maintained by an association to receive a master insurance policy issued by an admitted insurer and to administer the benefits thereof solely for association members, to offer, market, or sell a benefit plan design to those who are not members of the association. However, if the association markets, offers, or sells a benefit plan design to those who are not members of the association it is subject to the requirements of this section. This shall apply section applies  to an association that otherwise meets the requirements of paragraph (8) formed by merger of two or more associations after January 1, 1992, if the predecessor organizations had been in active existence on January 1, 1992, and for at least five years prior to that date and met the requirements of paragraph (5).
(5) A carrier which (A) effective January 1, 1992, and at least 20 years prior to that date, markets, offers, or sells benefit plan designs only to all members of one association and (B) does not market, offer, or sell any other individual, selected group, or group policy or contract providing medical, hospital, and surgical benefits shall not be required to market, offer, or sell to those who are not members of the association. However, if the carrier markets, offers, or sells any benefit plan design or any other individual, selected group, or group policy or contract providing medical, hospital, and surgical benefits to those who are not members of the association it is subject to the requirements of this section.
(6) Each carrier that sells health benefit plans to members of one association pursuant to paragraph (5) shall submit an annual statement to the commissioner which states that the carrier is selling health benefit plans pursuant to paragraph (5) and which, for the one association, lists all the information required by paragraph (7).
(7) Each carrier that sells health benefit plans to members of any association shall submit an annual statement to the commissioner which lists each association to which the carrier sells health benefit plans, the industry or profession which is served by the association, the association’s membership criteria, a list of officers, the state in which the association is organized, and the site of its principal office.
(8) For purposes of paragraphs (4) and (6), an association is a nonprofit organization comprised of a group of individuals or employers who associate based solely on participation in a specified profession or industry, accepting for membership any individual or small employer meeting its membership criteria, which do not condition membership directly or indirectly on the health or claims history of any person, which uses membership dues solely for and in consideration of the membership and membership benefits, except that the amount of the dues shall not depend on whether the member applies for or purchases insurance offered by the association, which is organized and maintained in good faith for purposes unrelated to insurance, which has been in active existence on January 1, 1992, and at least five years prior to that date, which has a constitution and bylaws, or other analogous governing documents which provide for election of the governing board of the association by its members, which has contracted with one or more carriers to offer one or more health benefit plans to all individual members and small employer members in this state. Health coverage through an association that is not related to employment shall be considered individual coverage pursuant to Section 144.102(c) of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations. coverage. The status of each distinct member of an association shall determine whether that member’s association coverage is individual, small group, or large group health insurance coverage. 
(c) On and after October 1, 2013, each  Each  carrier shall make available to each small employer all health benefit plans that the carrier offers or sells to small employers or to associations that include small employers for plan years on or after January 1, 2014. Notwithstanding subdivision (c) of Section 10753, for purposes of this subdivision, companies that are affiliated companies or that are eligible to file a consolidated income tax return shall be treated as one carrier.
(d) Each carrier shall do all of the following:
(1) Prepare a brochure that summarizes all of its health benefit plans and make this summary available to small employers, agents, and brokers upon request. The summary shall include for each plan information on benefits provided, a generic description of the manner in which services are provided, such as how access to providers is limited, benefit limitations, required copayments and deductibles, and a telephone number that can be called for more detailed benefit information. Carriers are required to keep the information contained in the brochure accurate and up to date, and, upon updating the brochure, send copies to agents and brokers representing the carrier. Any entity that provides administrative services only with regard to a health benefit plan written or issued by another carrier shall not be required to prepare a summary brochure which includes that benefit plan.
(2) For each health benefit plan, prepare a more detailed evidence of coverage and make it available to small employers, agents, and brokers upon request. The evidence of coverage shall contain all information that a prudent buyer would need to be aware of in making selections of benefit plan designs. An entity that provides administrative services only with regard to a health benefit plan written or issued by another carrier shall not be required to prepare an evidence of coverage for that health benefit plan.
(3) Provide copies of the current summary brochure to all agents or brokers who represent the carrier and, upon updating the brochure, send copies of the updated brochure to agents and brokers representing the carrier for the purpose of selling health benefit plans.
(4) Notwithstanding subdivision (c) of Section 10753, for purposes of this subdivision, companies that are affiliated companies or that are eligible to file a consolidated income tax return shall be treated as one carrier.
(e) Every agent or broker representing one or more carriers for the purpose of selling health benefit plans to small employers shall do all of the following:
(1) When providing information on a health benefit plan to a small employer but making no specific recommendations on particular benefit plan designs:
(A) Advise the small employer of the carrier’s obligation to sell to any small employer any of the health benefit plans it offers to small employers, consistent with PPACA, and provide them, upon request, with the actual rates that would be charged to that employer for a given health benefit plan.
(B) Notify the small employer that the agent or broker will procure rate and benefit information for the small employer on any health benefit plan offered by a carrier for whom the agent or broker sells health benefit plans.
(C) Notify the small employer that, upon request, the agent or broker will provide the small employer with the summary brochure required in paragraph (1) of subdivision (d) for any benefit plan design offered by a carrier whom the agent or broker represents.
(D) Notify the small employer of the availability of coverage and the availability of tax credits for certain employers consistent with PPACA and state law, including any rules, regulations, or guidance issued in connection therewith.
(2) When recommending a particular benefit plan design or designs, advise the small employer that, upon request, the agent will provide the small employer with the brochure required by paragraph (1) of subdivision (d) containing the benefit plan design or designs being recommended by the agent or broker.
(3) Prior to filing an application for a small employer for a particular health benefit plan:
(A) For each of the health benefit plans offered by the carrier whose health benefit plan the agent or broker is presenting, provide the small employer with the benefit summary required in paragraph (1) of subdivision (d) and the premium for that particular employer.
(B) Notify the small employer that, upon request, the agent or broker will provide the small employer with an evidence of coverage brochure for each health benefit plan the carrier offers.
(C) Obtain a signed statement from the small employer acknowledging that the small employer has received the disclosures required by this paragraph and Section 10753.16.
(f) No A  carrier, agent, or broker shall not  induce or otherwise encourage a small employer to separate or otherwise exclude an eligible employee from a health benefit plan which, in the case of an eligible employee meeting the definition in paragraph (1) of subdivision (f) of Section 10753, is provided in connection with the employee’s employment or which, in the case of an eligible employee as defined in paragraph (2) of subdivision (f) of Section 10753, is provided in connection with a guaranteed association.
(g) No A  carrier shall not  reject an application from a small employer for a health benefit plan provided:
(1) The small employer as defined by subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (q) of Section 10753 offers health benefits to 100 percent of its eligible employees as defined in paragraph (1) of subdivision (f) of Section 10753. Employees who waive coverage on the grounds that they have other group coverage shall not be counted as eligible employees.
(2) The small employer agrees to make the required premium payments.
(h) No A  carrier or agent or broker shall,  shall not,  directly or indirectly, engage in the following activities:
(1) Encourage or direct small employers to refrain from filing an application for coverage with a carrier because of the health status, claims experience, industry, occupation, or geographic location within the carrier’s approved service area of the small employer or the small employer’s employees.
(2) Encourage or direct small employers to seek coverage from another carrier because of the health status, claims experience, industry, occupation, or geographic location within the carrier’s approved service area of the small employer or the small employer’s employees.
(3) Employ marketing practices or benefit designs that will have the effect of discouraging the enrollment of individuals with significant health needs or discriminate based on the individual’s race, color, national origin, present or predicted disability, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, expected length of life, degree of medical dependency, quality of life, or other health conditions.
This subdivision shall be enforced in the same manner as Section 790.03, including through Sections 790.035 and 790.05.
(i) No A  carrier shall,  shall not,  directly or indirectly, enter into any contract, agreement, or arrangement with an agent or broker that provides for or results in the compensation paid to an agent or broker for a health benefit plan to be varied because of the health status, claims experience, industry, occupation, or geographic location of the small employer or the small employer’s employees. This subdivision shall not apply with respect to a compensation arrangement that provides compensation to an agent or broker on the basis of percentage of premium, provided that the percentage shall not vary because of the health status, claims experience, industry, occupation, or geographic area of the small employer.
(j) (1) A health benefit plan offered to a small employer, as defined in Section 1304(b) of PPACA and in Section 10753, shall not establish rules for eligibility, including continued eligibility, of an individual, or dependent of an individual, to enroll under the terms of the plan based on any of the following health status-related factors:
(A) Health status.
(B) Medical condition, including physical and mental illnesses.
(C) Claims experience.
(D) Receipt of health care.
(E) Medical history.
(F) Genetic information.
(G) Evidence of insurability, including conditions arising out of acts of domestic violence.
(H) Disability.
(I) Any other health status-related factor as determined by any federal regulations, rules, or guidance issued pursuant to Section 2705 of the federal Public Health Service Act.
(2) Notwithstanding Section 10291.5, a carrier shall not require an eligible employee or dependent to fill out a health assessment or medical questionnaire prior to enrollment under a health benefit plan. A carrier shall not acquire or request information that relates to a health status-related factor from the applicant or his or her dependent or any other source prior to enrollment of the individual.
(k) (1) A carrier shall consider as a single risk pool for rating purposes in the small employer market the claims experience of all insureds in all nongrandfathered small employer health benefit plans offered by the carrier in this state, whether offered as health care service plan contracts or health insurance policies, including those insureds and enrollees who enroll in coverage through the Exchange and insureds and enrollees covered by the carrier outside of the Exchange.
(2) At least each calendar year, and no more frequently than each calendar quarter, a carrier shall establish an index rate for the small employer market in the state based on the total combined claims costs for providing essential health benefits, as defined pursuant to Section 1302 of PPACA and Section 10112.27, within the single risk pool required under paragraph (1). The index rate shall be adjusted on a marketwide basis based on the total expected marketwide payments and charges under the risk adjustment program established for the state pursuant to Section 1343 of PPACA and Exchange user fees, as described in subdivision (d) of Section 156.80 of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations. The premium rate for all of the nongrandfathered health benefit plans within the single risk pool required under paragraph (1) shall use the applicable marketwide adjusted index rate, subject only to the adjustments permitted under paragraph (3).
(3) A carrier may vary premium rates for a particular nongrandfathered health benefit plan from its index rate based only on the following actuarially justified plan-specific factors:
(A) The actuarial value and cost-sharing design of the health benefit plan.
(B) The health benefit plan’s provider network, delivery system characteristics, and utilization management practices.
(C) The benefits provided under the health benefit plan that are in addition to the essential health benefits, as defined pursuant to Section 1302 of PPACA. These additional benefits shall be pooled with similar benefits within the single risk pool required under paragraph (1) and the claims experience from those benefits shall be utilized to determine rate variations for health benefit plans that offer those benefits in addition to essential health benefits.
(D) Administrative costs, excluding any user fees required by the Exchange.
(E) With respect to catastrophic plans, as described in subsection (e) of Section 1302 of PPACA, the expected impact of the specific eligibility categories for those plans.
(l) If a carrier enters into a contract, agreement, or other arrangement with a third-party administrator or other entity to provide administrative, marketing, or other services related to the offering of health benefit plans to small employers in this state, the third-party administrator shall be subject to this chapter.
(m) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), this section shall become inoperative if Section 2702 of the federal Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 300gg-1), as added by Section 1201 of PPACA, is repealed, in which case, 12 months after the repeal, carriers subject to this section shall instead be governed by Section 10705 to the extent permitted by federal law, and all references in this chapter to this section shall instead refer to Section 10705, except for purposes of paragraph (2).
(2) Paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of this section shall remain operative as it relates to health benefit plans offered through the Exchange.

SEC. 10.

 Section 10755 of the Insurance Code is amended to read:

10755.
 As used in this chapter, the following definitions shall apply:
(a) “Agent or broker” means a person or entity licensed under Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 1621) of Part 2 of Division 1.
(b) “Benefit plan design” means a specific health coverage product issued by a carrier to small employers, to trustees of associations that include small employers, or to individuals if the coverage is offered through employment or sponsored by an employer. It includes services covered and the levels of copayment and deductibles, and it may include the professional providers who are to provide those services and the sites where those services are to be provided. A benefit plan design may also be an integrated system for the financing and delivery of quality health care services which has significant incentives for the covered individuals to use the system.
(c) “Carrier” means any disability insurance company or any other entity that writes, issues, or administers health benefit plans that cover the employees of small employers, regardless of the situs of the contract or master policyholder.
(d) “Dependent” means the spouse or registered domestic partner, or child, of an eligible employee, subject to applicable terms of the health benefit plan covering the employee, and includes dependents of guaranteed association members if the association elects to include dependents under its health coverage at the same time it determines its membership composition pursuant to subdivision (t).
(e) “Eligible employee” means either of the following:
(1) Any permanent employee who is actively engaged on a full-time basis in the conduct of the business of the small employer with a normal workweek of an average of 30 hours per week over the course of a month, in the small employer’s regular place of business, who has met any statutorily authorized applicable waiting period requirements. The term includes  does not include  sole proprietors or the spouses of those sole proprietors,  partners of a partnership, if they are actively engaged on a full-time basis in the small employer’s business, and they are included as employees under a health benefit plan of a small employer, but does not include  partnership or the spouses of those partners, or  employees who work on a part-time, temporary, or substitute basis. It includes any eligible employee, as defined in this paragraph, who obtains coverage through a guaranteed association. Employees of employers purchasing through a guaranteed association shall be deemed to be  are  eligible employees if they would otherwise meet the definition except for the number of persons employed by the employer. A permanent employee who works at least 20 hours but not more than 29 hours is deemed to be  an eligible employee if all four of the following apply:
(A) The employee otherwise meets the definition of an eligible employee except for the number of hours worked.
(B) The employer offers the employee health coverage under a health benefit plan.
(C) All similarly situated individuals are offered coverage under the health benefit plan.
(D) The employee must shall  have worked at least 20 hours per normal workweek for at least 50 percent of the weeks in the previous calendar quarter. The insurer may request any necessary information to document the hours and time period in question, including, but not limited to, payroll records and employee wage and tax filings.
(2) Any member of a guaranteed association as defined in subdivision (t).
(f) “Enrollee” means an eligible employee or dependent who receives health coverage through the program from a participating carrier.
(g) “Financially impaired” means, for the purposes of this chapter, a carrier that, on or after the effective date of this chapter, is not insolvent and is either:
(1) Deemed by the commissioner to be potentially unable to fulfill its contractual obligations.
(2) Placed under an order of rehabilitation or conservation by a court of competent jurisdiction.
(h) “Health benefit plan” means a policy or contract written or administered by a carrier that arranges or provides health care benefits for the covered eligible employees of a small employer and their dependents. The term does not include accident only, credit, disability income, coverage of Medicare services pursuant to contracts with the United States government, Medicare supplement, long-term care insurance, dental, vision, coverage issued as a supplement to liability insurance, automobile medical payment insurance, or insurance under which benefits are payable with or without regard to fault and that is statutorily required to be contained in any liability insurance policy or equivalent self-insurance.
(i) “In force business” means an existing health benefit plan issued by the carrier to a small employer.
(j) “Late enrollee” means an eligible employee or dependent who has declined health coverage under a health benefit plan offered by a small employer at the time of the initial enrollment period provided under the terms of the health benefit plan and who subsequently requests enrollment in a health benefit plan of that small employer, provided that the initial enrollment period shall be a period of at least 30 days. It also means any member of an association that is a guaranteed association as well as any other person eligible to purchase through the guaranteed association when that person has failed to purchase coverage during the initial enrollment period provided under the terms of the guaranteed association’s health benefit plan and who subsequently requests enrollment in the plan, provided that the initial enrollment period shall be a period of at least 30 days. However, an eligible employee, another person eligible for coverage through a guaranteed association pursuant to subdivision (t), or an eligible dependent shall not be considered a late enrollee if any of the following is applicable:
(1) The individual meets all of the following requirements:
(A) He or she was covered under another employer health benefit plan, the Healthy Families Program, the Access for Infants and Mothers (AIM) Program, the Medi-Cal program, or coverage through the California Health Benefit Exchange at the time the individual was eligible to enroll.
(B) He or she certified at the time of the initial enrollment that coverage under another employer health benefit plan, the Healthy Families Program, the AIM Program, the Medi-Cal program, or the California Health Benefit Exchange was the reason for declining enrollment provided that, if the individual was covered under another employer health plan, the individual was given the opportunity to make the certification required by this subdivision and was notified that failure to do so could result in later treatment as a late enrollee.
(C) He or she has lost or will lose coverage under another employer health benefit plan as a result of termination of employment of the individual or of a person through whom the individual was covered as a dependent, change in employment status of the individual, or of a person through whom the individual was covered as a dependent, the termination of the other plan’s coverage, cessation of an employer’s contribution toward an employee or dependent’s coverage, death of the person through whom the individual was covered as a dependent, legal separation, or divorce; or he or she has lost or will lose coverage under the Healthy Families Program, the AIM Program, the Medi-Cal program, or the California Health Benefit Exchange.
(D) He or she requests enrollment within 30 days after termination of coverage or employer contribution toward coverage provided under another employer health benefit plan, or requests enrollment within 60 days after termination of Medi-Cal program coverage, AIM Program coverage, Healthy Families Program coverage, or coverage offered through the California Health Benefit Exchange.
(2) The individual is employed by an employer who offers multiple health benefit plans and the individual elects a different plan during an open enrollment period.
(3) A court has ordered that coverage be provided for a spouse or minor child under a covered employee’s health benefit plan.
(4) (A) In the case of an eligible employee as defined in paragraph (1) of subdivision (e), the carrier cannot produce a written statement from the employer stating that the individual or the person through whom an individual was eligible to be covered as a dependent, prior to declining coverage, was provided with, and signed acknowledgment of, an explicit written notice in boldface type specifying that failure to elect coverage during the initial enrollment period permits the carrier to impose, at the time of the individual’s later decision to elect coverage, an exclusion from eligibility for coverage until the next open enrollment period, unless the individual meets the criteria specified in paragraph (1), (2), or (3). This exclusion from eligibility for coverage shall not be considered a waiting period in violation of Section 10198.7 or 10755.08.
(B) In the case of an eligible employee who is a guaranteed association member, the plan cannot produce a written statement from the guaranteed association stating that the association sent a written notice in boldface type to all potentially eligible association members at their last known address prior to the initial enrollment period informing members that failure to elect coverage during the initial enrollment period permits the plan to impose, at the time of the member’s later decision to elect coverage, an exclusion from eligibility for coverage until the next open enrollment period, unless the member can demonstrate that he or she meets the requirements of subparagraphs (A), (C), and (D) of paragraph (1) or meets the requirements of paragraph (2) or (3). This exclusion from eligibility for coverage shall not be considered a waiting period in violation of Section 10198.7 or 10755.08.
(C) In the case of an employer or person who is not a member of an association, was eligible to purchase coverage through a guaranteed association, and did not do so, and would not be eligible to purchase guaranteed coverage unless purchased through a guaranteed association, the employer or person can demonstrate that he or she meets the requirements of subparagraphs (A), (C), and (D) of paragraph (1), or meets the requirements of paragraph (2) or (3), or that he or she recently had a change in status that would make him or her eligible and that application for coverage was made within 30 days of the change.
(5) The individual is an employee or dependent who meets the criteria described in paragraph (1) and was under a COBRA continuation provision and the coverage under that provision has been exhausted. For purposes of this section, the definition of “COBRA” set forth in subdivision (e) of Section 10116.5 shall apply.
(6) The individual is a dependent of an enrolled eligible employee who has lost or will lose his or her coverage under the Healthy Families Program, the AIM Program, the Medi-Cal program, or the California Health Benefit Exchange and requests enrollment within 60 days after termination of that coverage.
(7) The individual is an eligible employee who previously declined coverage under an employer health benefit plan, including a plan offered through the California Health Benefit Exchange, and who has subsequently acquired a dependent who would be eligible for coverage as a dependent of the employee through marriage, birth, adoption, or placement for adoption, and who enrolls for coverage under that employer health benefit plan on his or her behalf and on behalf of his or her dependent within 30 days following the date of marriage, birth, adoption, or placement for adoption, in which case the effective date of coverage shall be the first day of the month following the date the completed request for enrollment is received in the case of marriage, or the date of birth, or the date of adoption or placement for adoption, whichever applies. Notice of the special enrollment rights contained in this paragraph shall be provided by the employer to an employee at or before the time the employee is offered an opportunity to enroll in plan coverage.
(8) The individual is an eligible employee who has declined coverage for himself or herself or his or her dependents during a previous enrollment period because his or her dependents were covered by another employer health benefit plan, including a plan offered through the California Health Benefit Exchange, at the time of the previous enrollment period. That individual may enroll himself or herself or his or her dependents for plan coverage during a special open enrollment opportunity if his or her dependents have lost or will lose coverage under that other employer health benefit plan. The special open enrollment opportunity shall be requested by the employee not more than 30 days after the date that the other health coverage is exhausted or terminated. Upon enrollment, coverage shall be effective not later than the first day of the first calendar month beginning after the date the request for enrollment is received. Notice of the special enrollment rights contained in this paragraph shall be provided by the employer to an employee at or before the time the employee is offered an opportunity to enroll in plan coverage.
(k) “Preexisting condition provision” means a policy provision that excludes coverage for charges or expenses incurred during a specified period following the insured’s effective date of coverage, as to a condition for which medical advice, diagnosis, care, or treatment was recommended or received during a specified period immediately preceding the effective date of coverage.
(l) “Creditable coverage” means:
(1) Any individual or group policy, contract, or program, that is written or administered by a disability insurer, health care service plan, fraternal benefits society, self-insured employer plan, or any other entity, in this state or elsewhere, and that arranges or provides medical, hospital, and surgical coverage not designed to supplement other private or governmental plans. The term includes continuation or conversion coverage but does not include accident only, credit, coverage for onsite medical clinics, disability income, Medicare supplement, long-term care, dental, vision, coverage issued as a supplement to liability insurance, insurance arising out of a workers’ compensation or similar law, automobile medical payment insurance, or insurance under which benefits are payable with or without regard to fault and that is statutorily required to be contained in any liability insurance policy or equivalent self-insurance.
(2) The federal Medicare Program pursuant to Title XVIII of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 1395 et seq.).
(3) The Medicaid Program program  pursuant to Title XIX of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 1396 et seq.).
(4) Any other publicly sponsored program, provided in this state or elsewhere, of medical, hospital, and surgical care.
(5) 10 U.S.C.  Chapter 55 (commencing with Section 1071) of Title 10 of the United States Code  (Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services (CHAMPUS)).
(6) A medical care program of the Indian Health Service or of a tribal organization.
(7) A health plan offered under 5 U.S.C.  Chapter 89 (commencing with Section 8901) of Title 5 of the United States Code  (Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP)).
(8) A public health plan as defined in federal regulations authorized by Section 2701(c)(1)(I) of the federal Public Health Service Act, as amended by Public Law 104-191, the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.
(9) A health benefit plan under Section 5(e) of the federal Peace Corps Act (22 U.S.C. Sec. 2504(e)).
(10) Any other creditable coverage as defined by subdivision (c) of Section 2704 of Title XXVII of the federal Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 300gg-3(c)).
(m) “Rating period” means the period for which premium rates established by a carrier are in effect and shall be no less than 12 months from the date of issuance or renewal of the health benefit plan.
(n) “Risk adjusted employee risk rate” means the rate determined for an eligible employee of a small employer in a particular risk category after applying the risk adjustment factor.
(o) “Risk adjustment factor” means the percent adjustment to be applied equally to each standard employee risk rate for a particular small employer, based upon any expected deviations from standard claims. This factor may not be more than 110 percent or less than 90 percent.
(p) “Risk category” means the following characteristics of an eligible employee: age, geographic region, and family size of the employee, plus the benefit plan design selected by the small employer.
(1) No more than the following age categories may be used in determining premium rates:
Under 30
30–39
40–49
50–54
55–59
60–64
65 and over over. 
However, for the 65 years of age  and over age  category, separate premium rates may be specified depending upon whether coverage under the health benefit plan will be primary or secondary to benefits provided by the federal Medicare Program pursuant to Title XVIII of the federal Social Security Act.
(2) Small employer carriers shall base rates to small employers using no more than the following family size categories:
(A) Single.
(B) Married couple or registered domestic partners.
(C) One adult and child or children.
(D) Married couple or registered domestic partners and child or children.
(3) (A) In determining rates for small employers, a carrier that operates statewide shall use no more than nine geographic regions in the state, have no region smaller than an area in which the first three digits of all its ZIP Codes are in common within a county, and shall divide no county into more than two regions. Carriers shall be deemed to be operating statewide if their coverage area includes 90 percent or more of the state’s population. Geographic regions established pursuant to this section shall, as a group, cover the entire state, and the area encompassed in a geographic region shall be separate and distinct from areas encompassed in other geographic regions. Geographic regions may be noncontiguous.
(B) In determining rates for small employers, a carrier that does not operate statewide shall use no more than the number of geographic regions in the state than is determined by the following formula: the population, as determined in the last federal census, of all counties which are included in their entirety in a carrier’s service area divided by the total population of the state, as determined in the last federal census, multiplied by nine. The resulting number shall be rounded to the nearest whole integer. No region may be smaller than an area in which the first three digits of all its ZIP Codes are in common within a county and no county may be divided into more than two regions. The area encompassed in a geographic region shall be separate and distinct from areas encompassed in other geographic regions. Geographic regions may be noncontiguous. No A  carrier shall not  have less than one geographic area.
(q) (1) “Small employer” means either of the following:
(A) For plan years commencing on or after January 1, 2014, and on or before December 31, 2015, any person, firm, proprietary or nonprofit corporation, partnership, public agency, or association that is actively engaged in business or service, that, on at least 50 percent of its working days during the preceding calendar quarter or preceding calendar year, employed at least one, but no more than 50, eligible employees, the majority of whom were employed within this state, that was not formed primarily for purposes of buying health benefit plans, and in which a bona fide employer-employee relationship exists. For plan years commencing on or after January 1, 2016, any person, firm, proprietary or nonprofit corporation, partnership, public agency, or association that is actively engaged in business or service, that, on at least 50 percent of its working days during the preceding calendar quarter or preceding calendar year, employed at least one, but no more than 100, eligible employees, the majority of whom were employed within this state, that was not formed primarily for purposes of buying health benefit plans, and in which a bona fide employer-employee relationship exists. In determining whether to apply the calendar quarter or calendar year test, a carrier shall use the test that ensures eligibility if only one test would establish eligibility. In determining the number of eligible employees, companies that are affiliated companies and that are eligible to file a combined tax return for purposes of state taxation shall be considered one employer. Subsequent to the issuance of a health benefit plan to a small employer pursuant to this chapter, and for the purpose of determining eligibility, the size of a small employer shall be determined annually. Except as otherwise specifically provided in this chapter, provisions of this chapter that apply to a small employer shall continue to apply until the plan contract anniversary following the date the employer no longer meets the requirements of this definition. It includes any small employer as defined in this subparagraph who purchases coverage through a guaranteed association, and  any employer purchasing coverage for employees through a guaranteed association. This subparagraph shall be implemented to the extent consistent with PPACA, except that the minimum requirement of one employee shall be implemented only to the extent required by PPACA. association, and any small employer as defined in this paragraph who purchases coverage through any arrangement, but does not include multiple employer welfare arrangements regulated pursuant to Article 4.7 (commencing with Section 742.20) of Chapter 1 of Part 2 of Division 1 that provide health care benefits to their members on a self-funded or partially self-funded basis and that comply with small group health reforms. 
(B) Any guaranteed association, as defined in subdivision (s), that purchases health coverage for members of the association.
(2) For plan years commencing on or after January 1, 2014, the definition of an employer,  2019,  for purposes of determining whether an employer with one employee shall include sole proprietors, certain owners of “S” corporations, or other individuals, shall be consistent with Section 1304 of PPACA. has one employee, sole proprietors and their spouses, and partners of a partnership and their spouses, are not considered employees. 
(r) “Standard employee risk rate” means the rate applicable to an eligible employee in a particular risk category in a small employer group.
(s) “Guaranteed association” means a nonprofit organization comprised of a group of individuals or employers who associate based solely on participation in a specified profession or industry, accepting for membership any individual or employer meeting its membership criteria which (1) includes one or more small employers as defined in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (q), (2) does not condition membership directly or indirectly on the health or claims history of any person, (3) uses membership dues solely for and in consideration of the membership and membership benefits, except that the amount of the dues shall not depend on whether the member applies for or purchases insurance offered by the association, (4) is organized and maintained in good faith for purposes unrelated to insurance, (5) has been in active existence on January 1, 1992, and for at least five years prior to that date, (6) has been offering health insurance to its members for at least five years prior to January 1, 1992, (7) has a constitution and bylaws, or other analogous governing documents that provide for election of the governing board of the association by its members, (8) offers any benefit plan design that is purchased to all individual members and employer members in this state, (9) includes any member choosing to enroll in the benefit plan design offered to the association provided that the member has agreed to make the required premium payments, and (10) covers at least 1,000 persons with the carrier with which it contracts. The requirement of 1,000 persons may be met if component chapters of a statewide association contracting separately with the same carrier cover at least 1,000 persons in the aggregate.
This subdivision applies regardless of whether a master policy by an admitted insurer is delivered directly to the association or a trust formed for or sponsored by an association to administer benefits for association members.
For purposes of this subdivision, an association formed by a merger of two or more associations after January 1, 1992, and otherwise meeting the criteria of this subdivision shall be deemed to have been in active existence on January 1, 1992, if its predecessor organizations had been in active existence on January 1, 1992, and for at least five years prior to that date and otherwise met the criteria of this subdivision.
(t) “Members of a guaranteed association” means any individual or employer meeting the association’s membership criteria if that person is a member of the association and chooses to purchase health coverage through the association. At the association’s discretion, it may also include employees of association members, association staff, retired members, retired employees of members, and surviving spouses and dependents of deceased members. However, if an association chooses to include those persons as members of the guaranteed association, the association must so elect in advance of purchasing coverage from a plan. Health plans may require an association to adhere to the membership composition it selects for up to 12 months.
(u) “Grandfathered health benefit plan” means a health benefit plan that constitutes a grandfathered health plan.
(v) “Grandfathered health plan” has the meaning set forth in Section 1251 of PPACA.
(w) “Nongrandfathered health benefit plan” means a health benefit plan that is not a grandfathered health plan.
(x) “Plan year” has the meaning set forth in Section 144.103 of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
(y) “PPACA” means the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Public Law 111-148), as amended by the federal Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-152), and any rules, regulations, or guidance issued thereunder.
(z) “Waiting period” means a period that is required to pass with respect to the employee before the employee is eligible to be covered for benefits under the terms of the contract.
(aa) “Registered domestic partner” means a person who has established a domestic partnership as described in Section 297 of the Family Code.

SEC. 11.

 Section 10965.02 is added to the Insurance Code, to read:

10965.02.
 For the purposes of determining eligibility for small employer coverage, a sole proprietor and the sole proprietor’s spouse are not considered employees with respect to a sole proprietorship that consists only of the sole proprietor and the sole proprietor’s spouse. A partner and a partner’s spouse are not employees of a partnership that consists solely of partners and their spouses. Employer group health benefit plans shall not be issued, marketed, or sold to a sole proprietorship or partnership without employees directly or indirectly through any arrangement. Only individual health benefit plans shall be sold to any entity without employees.
SEC. 12.
 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.