Code Section Group

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 9.7. Child Access to Health Insurance [10950 - 10960.5]
  ( Heading of Chapter 9.7 amended by Stats. 2013, 1st Ex. Sess., Ch. 1, Sec. 16. )

10950.
  

As used in this chapter:

(a) “Child” means any individual under 19 years of age.

(b) “Individual grandfathered plan coverage” means health care coverage in which an individual was enrolled on March 23, 2010, consistent with Section 1251 of PPACA and any rules or regulations adopted pursuant to that law.

(c) “Initial open enrollment period” means the open enrollment period beginning on January 1, 2011, and ending 60 days thereafter.

(d) “Late enrollee” means a child without coverage who did not enroll in a health benefit plan during an open enrollment period because of any of the following:

(1) The child lost dependent coverage due to termination or change in employment status of the child or the person through whom the child was covered; cessation of an employer’s contribution toward an employee or dependent’s coverage; death of the person through whom the child was covered as a dependent; legal separation; divorce; loss of coverage under the Healthy Families Program, the Access for Infants and Mothers Program, or the Medi-Cal program; or adoption of the child.

(2) The child became a resident of California during a month that was not the child’s birth month.

(3) The child is born as a resident of California and did not enroll in the month of birth.

(4) The child is mandated to be covered pursuant to a valid state or federal court order.

(e) “Open enrollment period” means the annual open enrollment period subsequent to the initial open enrollment period, applicable to each individual child that is the month of the child’s birth date.

(f) “PPACA” means the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Public Law 111-148), as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-152), and any subsequent rules or regulations issued pursuant to that law.

(g) “Preexisting condition exclusion” means, with respect to coverage, a limitation or exclusion of benefits relating to a condition based on the fact that the condition was present before the date of enrollment of the coverage, whether or not any medical advice, diagnosis, care, or treatment was recommended or received before that date.

(h) “Responsible party for a child” means an adult having custody of the child or with responsibility for the financial needs of the child, including the responsibility to provide health care coverage.

(i) “Standard risk rate” means the lowest rate that can be offered for a child with the same benefit plan, effective date, age, geographic region, and family status.

(Added by Stats. 2010, Ch. 656, Sec. 6. (AB 2244) Effective January 1, 2011. Inoperative, pursuant to Section 10960.5, on January 1, 2014, subject to condition for resuming operation.)

10951.
  

(a) (1) During each open enrollment period, every carrier offering health benefit plans in the individual market, other than individual grandfathered plan coverage, shall offer to the responsible party for a child coverage for the child that does not exclude or limit coverage due to any preexisting condition of the child.

(b) A carrier offering coverage in the individual market shall not reject an application for a health benefit plan from a child or filed on behalf of a child by the responsible party during an open enrollment period or from a late enrollee during a period no longer than 63 days from the qualifying event listed in subdivision (d) of Section 10950.

(c) Except to the extent permitted by federal law, rules, regulations, or guidance issued by the relevant federal agency, a carrier shall not condition the issuance or offering of individual coverage on any of the following factors:

(1) Health status.

(2) Medical condition, including physical and mental illnesses.

(3) Claims experience.

(4) Receipt of health care.

(5) Medical history.

(6) Genetic information.

(7) Evidence of insurability, including conditions arising out of acts of domestic violence.

(8) Disability.

(9) Any other health status-related factor as determined by department.

This subdivision shall not apply to a health benefit plan providing individual grandfathered plan coverage.

(d) When a responsible party for a child submits a premium payment, based on the quoted premium charges, and that payment is delivered or postmarked, whichever occurs earlier, within the first 15 days of the month, coverage under the health benefit plan shall become effective no later than the first day of the following month. When that payment is neither delivered nor postmarked until after the 15th day of the month, coverage shall become effective no later than the first day of the second month following delivery or postmark of the payment.

(e) A carrier offering coverage in the individual market shall not reject the request of a responsible party for a child to include that child as a dependent on an existing health benefit plan that includes dependent coverage during an open enrollment period.

(f) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prohibit a carrier offering coverage in the individual market from establishing rules for eligibility for coverage and offering coverage pursuant to those rules for children and individuals based on factors otherwise authorized under federal and state law for health benefit plans in addition to those offered on a guaranteed issue basis during an open enrollment period to children or late enrollees pursuant to this chapter. However, a carrier, other than a carrier providing individual grandfathered plan coverage, shall not impose a preexisting condition provision on coverage, including dependent coverage, offered to a child.

(g) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to require a carrier to establish a new service area or to offer health care coverage on a statewide basis, outside of the carrier’s existing service area.

(h) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent a carrier from offering coverage to a family member of an enrollee in grandfathered health plan coverage consistent with Section 1251 of PPACA.

(Added by Stats. 2010, Ch. 656, Sec. 6. (AB 2244) Effective January 1, 2011. Inoperative, pursuant to Section 10960.5, on January 1, 2014, subject to condition for resuming operation.)

10952.
  

This chapter shall not apply to health benefit plans for coverage of Medicare services pursuant to contracts with the United States government, Medicare supplement policies, Medi-Cal contracts with the State Department of Health Care Services, policies offered under the Healthy Families Program, long-term care coverage, or specialized health benefit plans.

(Added by Stats. 2010, Ch. 656, Sec. 6. (AB 2244) Effective January 1, 2011. Inoperative, pursuant to Section 10960.5, on January 1, 2014, subject to condition for resuming operation.)

10953.
  

(a) Upon the effective date of this chapter, a carrier shall fairly and affirmatively offer, market, and sell all of the carrier’s health benefit plans that are offered and sold to a child or the responsible party for a child in each service area in which the plan provides or arranges for health care coverage during any open enrollment period, to late enrollees, and during any other period in which state or federal law, rules, regulations, or guidance expressly provide that a carrier shall not condition offer or acceptance of coverage on any preexisting condition.

(b) No carrier or solicitor shall, directly or indirectly, engage in the following activities:

(1) Encourage or direct a child or responsible party for a child to refrain from filing an application for coverage with a carrier because of the health status, claims experience, industry, occupation, or geographic location, provided that the location is within the carrier’s approved service area, of the child.

(2) Encourage or direct a child or responsible party for a child to seek coverage from another carrier because of the health status, claims experience, industry, occupation, or geographic location, provided that the location is within the carrier’s approved service area, of the child.

(c) A carrier 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 benefit plan to be varied because of the health status, claims experience, industry, occupation, or geographic location of the child. 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 child.

(Added by Stats. 2010, Ch. 656, Sec. 6. (AB 2244) Effective January 1, 2011. Inoperative, pursuant to Section 10960.5, on January 1, 2014, subject to condition for resuming operation.)

10954.
  

(a) A carrier may use the following characteristics of an eligible child for purposes of establishing the rate of the health benefit plan for that child, where consistent with federal regulations under PPACA: age, geographic region, and family composition, plus the health benefit plan selected by the child or the responsible party for a child.

(b) From the effective date of this chapter to December 31, 2013, inclusive, rates for a child applying for coverage shall be subject to the following limitations:

(1) During any open enrollment period or for late enrollees, the rate for any child due to health status shall not be more than two times the standard risk rate for a child.

(2) The rate for a child shall be subject to a 20-percent surcharge above the highest allowable rate on a child applying for coverage who is not a late enrollee and who failed to maintain coverage with any carrier or health care service plan for the 90-day period prior to the date of the child’s application. The surcharge shall apply for the 12-month period following the effective date of the child’s coverage.

(3) If expressly permitted under PPACA and any rules, regulations, or guidance issued pursuant to that act, a carrier may rate a child based on health status during any period other than an open enrollment period if the child is not a late enrollee.

(4) If expressly permitted under PPACA and any rules, regulations, or guidance issued pursuant to that act, a carrier may condition an offer or acceptance of coverage on any preexisting condition or other health status-related factor for a period other than an open enrollment period and for a child who is not a late enrollee.

(c) For any individual health benefit plan issued, sold, or renewed prior to December 31, 2013, the carrier shall provide to a child or responsible party for a child a notice that states the following:


“Please consider your options carefully before failing to maintain or renewing coverage for a child for whom you are responsible. If you attempt to obtain new individual coverage for that child, the premium for the same coverage may be higher than the premium you pay now.”


(d) A child who applied for coverage between September 23, 2010, and the end of the initial enrollment period shall be deemed to have maintained coverage during that period.

(e) Effective January 1, 2014, except for individual grandfathered health plan coverage, the rate for any child shall be identical to the standard risk rate.

(f) Carriers shall not require documentation from applicants relating to their coverage history.

(g) (1) On and after the operative date of the act adding this subdivision, and until January 1, 2014, a carrier shall provide the model notice, as provided in paragraph (3), to all applicants for coverage under this chapter and to all insureds, or the responsible party for an insured, renewing coverage under this chapter that contains the following information:

(A) Information about the open enrollment period provided under Section 10965.3.

(B) An explanation that obtaining coverage during the open enrollment period described in Section 10965.3 will not affect the effective dates of coverage for coverage purchased pursuant to this chapter unless the applicant cancels that coverage.

(C) An explanation that coverage purchased pursuant to this chapter shall be effective as required under subdivision (d) of Section 10951 and that such coverage shall not prevent an applicant from obtaining new coverage during the open enrollment period described in Section 10965.3.

(D) Information about the Medi-Cal program, information about the Healthy Families Program if the Healthy Families Program is accepting enrollment, and information about subsidies available through the California Health Benefit Exchange.

(2) The notice described in paragraph (1) shall be in plain language and 14-point type.

(3) The department shall adopt a uniform model notice to be used by carriers in order to comply with this subdivision, and shall consult with the Department of Managed Health Care in adopting that uniform model notice. Use of the model notice shall not require prior approval of the department. The adoption of the model notice by the department for purposes of this section shall not be subject to the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code).

(Amended by Stats. 2013, 1st Ex. Sess., Ch. 1, Sec. 17. (AB 2 1x) Effective September 30, 2013. Inoperative, pursuant to Section 10960.5, on January 1, 2014, subject to condition for resuming operation.)

10957.
  

No carrier shall be required to offer a health benefit plan or accept applications for the contract pursuant to this chapter in the case of any of the following:

(a) To a child, if the child who is to be covered by the health benefit plan does not work or reside within the carrier’s approved service areas.

(b) (1) Within a specific service area or portion of a service area, if the carrier reasonably anticipates and demonstrates to the satisfaction of the commissioner that it will not have sufficient health care delivery resources to ensure that health care services will be available and accessible to the child because of its obligations to existing insureds.

(2) A carrier that cannot offer a health benefit plan to individuals or children because it is lacking in sufficient health care delivery resources within a service area or a portion of a service area may not offer a contract in the area in which the carrier is not offering coverage to individuals to new employer groups until the carrier notifies the commissioner that it has the ability to deliver services to individuals, and certifies to the commissioner that from the date of the notice it will enroll all individuals requesting coverage in that area from the carrier.

(3) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to limit the commissioner’s authority to develop and implement a plan of rehabilitation for a carrier whose financial viability or organizational and administrative capacity has become impaired.

(Added by Stats. 2010, Ch. 656, Sec. 6. (AB 2244) Effective January 1, 2011. Inoperative, pursuant to Section 10960.5, on January 1, 2014, subject to condition for resuming operation.)

10958.
  

The commissioner may require a carrier to discontinue the offering of contracts or acceptance of applications from any individual or child or responsible party for a child upon a determination by the commissioner that the carrier does not have sufficient financial viability or organizational and administrative capacity to ensure the delivery of health care services to its insureds. In determining whether the conditions of this section have been met, the commissioner shall consider, but not be limited to, the carrier’s compliance with the requirements of this part and the rules adopted under those provisions.

(Added by Stats. 2010, Ch. 656, Sec. 6. (AB 2244) Effective January 1, 2011. Inoperative, pursuant to Section 10960.5, on January 1, 2014, subject to condition for resuming operation.)

10959.
  

(a) All health benefit plans offered to a child or on behalf of a child to a responsible party for a child shall conform to the requirements of Section 10127.18, 10273.4, and 12682.1, and shall be renewable at the option of the child or responsible party for a child on behalf of the child except as permitted to be canceled, rescinded, or not renewed pursuant to Section 10273.4.

(b) Any carrier that ceases to offer for sale new individual health benefit plans pursuant to Section 10273.4 shall continue to be governed by this chapter with respect to business conducted under this chapter.

(c) Except as authorized under Section 10958, a carrier that as of the effective date of this chapter does not write new health benefit plans for children in this state or that after the effective date of this chapter ceases to write new health benefit plans for children in this state shall be prohibited from offering for sale new individual health benefit plans or in this state for a period of five years from the date of notice to the commissioner.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 296, Sec. 191. (AB 1023) Effective January 1, 2012. Inoperative, pursuant to Section 10960.5, on January 1, 2014, subject to condition for resuming operation.)

10960.
  

On or before July 1, 2011, the commissioner may issue guidance to health plans regarding compliance with this chapter and such guidance shall not be subject to the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code). The guidance shall only be effective until the commissioner and the Director of the Department of Managed Health Care adopt joint regulations pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 296, Sec. 192. (AB 1023) Effective January 1, 2012. Inoperative, pursuant to Section 10960.5, on January 1, 2014, subject to condition for resuming operation.)

10960.5.
  

(a) This chapter shall become inoperative on January 1, 2014, or the 91st calendar day following the adjournment of the 2013–14 First Extraordinary Session, whichever date is later.

(b) If Section 5000A of the Internal Revenue Code, as added by Section 1501 of PPACA, is repealed or amended to no longer apply to the individual market, as defined in Section 2791 of the federal Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 300gg-4), this chapter shall become operative 12 months after the date of that repeal or amendment.

(Added by Stats. 2013, 1st Ex. Sess., Ch. 1, Sec. 18. (AB 2 1x) Effective September 30, 2013. Note: This section provides for Chapter 9.7 (commencing with Section 10950) to become inoperative on January 1, 2014, and, under certain conditions, to resume operation later.)

INSInsurance Code - INS