Code Section

Insurance Code - INS

DIVISION 2. CLASSES OF INSURANCE [1880 - 12880.5]

  ( Division 2 enacted by Stats. 1935, Ch. 145. )
  

PART 2. LIFE AND DISABILITY INSURANCE [10110 - 11549]

  ( Part 2 enacted by Stats. 1935, Ch. 145. )
  

CHAPTER 2.6. Long-Term Care Insurance [10231 - 10237.6]

  ( Chapter 2.6 added by Stats. 1988, Ch. 1342, Sec. 1. )
  

ARTICLE 3.7. Consumer Protection [10234.8 - 10234.97]
  ( Article 3.7 added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 631, Sec. 1. )

  
10234.95.  

(a) Every insurer or other entity marketing long-term care insurance shall:

(1) Develop and use suitability standards to determine whether the purchase or replacement of long-term care insurance is appropriate for the needs of the applicant.

(2) Train its agents in the use of its suitability standards.

(3) Maintain a copy of its suitability standards and make them available for inspection upon request by the commissioner.

(b) The agent and insurer shall develop procedures that take into consideration, when determining whether the applicant meets the standards developed by the insurer, the following:

(1) The ability to pay for the proposed coverage and other pertinent financial information related to the purchase of the coverage.

(2) The applicant’s goals or needs with respect to long-term care and the advantages and disadvantages of insurance to meet these goals or needs.

(3) The value, benefits, and costs of the applicant’s existing insurance, if any, when compared to the values, benefits, and costs of the recommended purchase or replacement.

(c) (1) The issuer, and where an agent is involved, the agent, shall make reasonable efforts to obtain the information set out in subdivision (b). The efforts shall include presentation to the applicant, at or prior to application, of the “Long-Term Care Insurance Personal Worksheet,” contained in the Long-Term Care Insurance Model Regulations of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. The personal worksheet used by the insurer shall contain, at a minimum, the information in the NAIC worksheet in not less than 12-point type. The insurer may request the applicant to provide additional information to comply with its suitability standards.

(2) In the premium section of the personal worksheet, the insurer shall disclose all rate increases and rate increase requests for all policies, whether issued by the insurer or purchased or acquired from another insurer, in the United States for the current year and for nine preceding years.

(3) The premium section shall include a statement that reads as follows: “A rate guide is available that compares the policies sold by different insurers, the benefits provided in those policies, and sample premiums. The rate guide also provides a history of the rate increases, if any, for the policies issued by different insurers in each state in which they do business, for the current year and for the nine preceding years. You can obtain a copy of this rate guide by calling the Department of Insurance’s consumer toll-free telephone number (1-800-927-HELP), by calling the Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP) toll-free telephone number (1-800-434-0222), or by accessing the Department of Insurance’s Internet Web site (www.insurance.ca.gov).” If the personal worksheet is approved prior to the availability of the rate guide, the worksheet shall indicate that the rate guide will be available beginning December 1, 2000.

(4) A copy of the issuer’s personal worksheet shall be filed and approved by the commissioner. A new personal worksheet shall be filed and approved by the commissioner each time a rate is increased in California and each time a new policy is filed for approval by the commissioner. The new personal worksheet shall disclose the amount of the rate increase in California and all prior rate increases for the nine preceding years in California as well as all prior rate increases and rate increase requests or filings in any other state for the nine preceding years. The new personal worksheet shall be used by the insurer within 60 days of approval by the commissioner in place of the previously approved personal worksheet.

(d) A completed personal worksheet shall be returned to the issuer prior to the issuer’s consideration of the applicant for coverage, except the personal worksheet need not be returned for sale of employer group long-term care insurance to employees and their spouses and dependents.

(e) The sale or dissemination outside the company or agency by the issuer or agent of information obtained through the personal worksheet is prohibited.

(f) The issuer shall use the suitability standards it has developed pursuant to this section in determining whether issuing long-term care insurance coverage to an applicant is appropriate.

(g) Agents shall use the suitability standards developed by the insurer in marketing long-term care insurance.

(h) If the issuer determines that the applicant does not meet its financial suitability standards, or if the applicant has declined to provide the information, the issuer may reject the application. Alternatively, the issuers shall send the applicant a letter similar to the “Long-Term Care Insurance Suitability Letter” contained in the Long-Term Care Model Regulations of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. However, if the applicant has declined to provide financial information, the issuer may use some other method to verify the applicant’s intent. Either the applicant’s returned letter or a record of the alternative method of verification shall be made part of the applicant’s file.

(i) The insurer shall report annually to the commissioner the total number of applications received from residents of this state, the number of those who declined to provide information on the personal worksheet, the number of applicants who did not meet the suitability standards, and the number who chose to conform after receiving a suitability letter.

(j) This section shall not apply to life insurance policies that accelerate benefits for long-term care.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 304, Sec. 13. (AB 2884) Effective January 1, 2017.)