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AB-157 Small group market: single risk pool: index rate.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 01/12/2017 08:55 PM
AB157:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 157


Introduced by Assembly Member Wood

January 12, 2017


An act to amend Section 10753.05 of the Insurance Code, relating to health care coverage.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 157, as introduced, Wood. Small group market: single risk pool: index rate.
Existing federal law, the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, creates various premium stabilization programs, such as the transitional reinsurance program and the risk adjustment program, to stabilize premiums in the individual market inside and outside of the Exchanges. Under the transitional reinsurance program, contributions are collected from contributing entities to fund reinsurance payments to issuers of nongrandfathered reinsurance-eligible individual and small group market plans and the administrative costs of operating the reinsurance program for the 2014, 2015, and 2016 benefit years.
Existing law establishes the California Health Benefit Exchange within state government for the purpose of facilitating the purchase of qualified health plans through the Exchange by qualified individuals and small employers.
Existing law provides for the regulation of health insurers by the Department of Insurance. Existing law requires a health insurer, on and after October 1, 2013, to fairly and affirmatively offer, market, and sell all of the insurer’s small employer health insurance policies 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. Existing law requires an insurer to consider the claims experience of all insureds in all nongrandfathered small employer health benefit plans offered by that insurer in this state as a single risk pool for rating purposes in the small employer market. Existing law requires an insurer to establish, at least each calendar year, and no more frequently than each calendar quarter, an index rate for the small employer market based on the total combined claims costs for providing essential health benefits, as defined, within the single risk pool and requires the index rate to be adjusted on a marketwide basis based on the total expected marketwide payments and charges under the risk adjustment and reinsurance programs established for the state under the federal provisions described above and the Exchange user fees. Existing law requires the premium rate for all of the nongrandfathered small employer health benefit plans within the single risk pool to use the applicable marketwide adjusted index rate, as specified.
This bill would delete the reference to the federal transitional reinsurance program in these provisions.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 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 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 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 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 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.
(c) On and after October 1, 2013, 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 carrier, agent, or broker shall 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 carrier shall 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 carrier or agent or broker shall, 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 carrier shall, 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 and reinsurance programs program established for the state pursuant to Sections 1343 and 1341 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.