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Legal Resources | Health and Safety Code |  HS  1365  

Cancellations or nonrenewals   

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(a) An enrollment or a subscription shall not be canceled or not renewed except for the following reasons:

(1) (A) For nonpayment of the required premiums by the individual, employer, or contractholder if the individual, employer, or contractholder has been duly notified and billed for the charge and at least a 30-day grace period has elapsed since the date of notification or, if longer, the period of time required for notice and any other requirements pursuant to Section 2703, 2712, or 2742 of the federal Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. Secs. 300gg-2, 300gg-12, and 300gg-42) and any subsequent rules or regulations has elapsed.

(B) Pursuant to subparagraph (A), a health care service plan shall continue to provide coverage as required by the individual's, employer's, or contractholder's health care service plan contract during the period described in subparagraph (A).

(2) The plan demonstrates fraud or an intentional misrepresentation of material fact under the terms of the health care service plan contract by the individual contractholder or employer.

(3) In the case of an individual health care service plan contract, the individual subscriber no longer resides, lives, or works in the plan's service area, but only if the coverage is terminated uniformly without regard to any health status-related factor of covered individuals.

(4) In the case of a group health care service plan contract, violation of a material contract provision relating to employer contribution or group participation rates by the, contractholder, or employer.

(5) If the plan ceases to provide or arrange for the provision of health benefit for new health care service plan contracts in the individual or group market, or all markets, in this state, provided, however, that the following conditions are satisfied:

(A) Notice of the decision to cease new or existing health benefit plans in the state is provided to the director and to the individual or group contractholder or employer, and the enrollees covered under those contracts, at least 180 days prior to discontinuation of those contracts.

(B) Health benefit plans shall not be canceled for 180 days after the date of the notice required under subparagraph (A) and for that business of a plan that remains in force, any plan that ceases to offer for sale new health benefit plans shall continue to be governed by this section with respect to business conducted under this section.

(C) Except as authorized under subdivision (b) of Section 1357.09 and Section 1357.10, a plan that ceases to write new health benefit plans in the individual or group market, or all markets, in this state shall be prohibited from offering for sale health benefit plans in that market or markets in this state for a period of five years from the date of the discontinuation of the last coverage not so renewed.

(6) If the plan withdraws a health benefit plan from the market, provided that all of the following conditions are satisfied:

(A) The plan notifies all affected subscribers, contractholders, employers, and enrollees and the director at least 90 days prior to the discontinuation of the plan.

(B) The plan makes available to the individual or group contractholder or employer all health benefit plans that it makes available to new individual or group business, respectively.

(C) In exercising the option to discontinue a health benefit plan under this paragraph and in offering the option of coverage under subparagraph (B), the plan acts uniformly without regard to the claims experience of the individual or contractholder or employer, or any health-status related factor relating to enrollees or potential enrollees.

(D) For small employer health care service plan contracts offered under Article 3.1 (commencing with Section 1357), the premium for the new plan contract complies with the renewal increase requirements set forth in Section 1357.12. This subparagraph shall not apply after December 31, 2013.

(7) In the case of a group health benefit plan, if an individual or employer ceases to be a member of a guaranteed association, as defined in subdivision (n) of Section 1357, but only if that coverage is terminated under this paragraph uniformly without regard to any health status-related factor relating to any enrollee.

(b) (1) An enrollee or subscriber who alleges that an enrollment or subscription has been or will be improperly canceled, rescinded, or not renewed may request a review by the director pursuant to Section 1368.

(2) If the director determines that a proper complaint exists, the director shall notify the plan and the enrollee or subscriber who requested the review.

(3) If, after review, the director determines that the cancellation, rescission, or failure to renew is contrary to existing law, the director shall order the plan to reinstate the enrollee or subscriber. Within 15 days after receipt of that order, the health care service plan shall request a hearing or reinstate the enrollee or subscriber.

(4) If an enrollee or subscriber requests a review of the health care service plan's determination to cancel or rescind or failure to renew the enrollee's or subscriber's health care service plan contract pursuant to this section, the health care service plan shall continue to provide coverage to the enrollee or subscriber under the terms of the contract until a final determination of the enrollee's or subscriber's request for review has been made by the director. This paragraph shall not apply if the health care service plan cancels or does not renew the enrollee's or subscriber's health care service plan contract for nonpayment of premiums pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (a).

(5) A reinstatement pursuant to this subdivision shall be retroactive to the time of cancellation, rescission, or failure to renew and the plan shall be liable for the expenses incurred by the subscriber or enrollee for covered health care services from the date of cancellation, rescission, or nonrenewal to and including the date of reinstatement. The health care service plan shall reimburse the enrollee or subscriber for any expenses incurred pursuant to this paragraph within 30 days of receipt of the completed claim.

(c) This section shall not abrogate any preexisting contracts entered into prior to the effective date of this chapter between a subscriber or enrollee and a health care service plan or a specialized health care service plan including, but not limited to, the financial liability of the plan, except that each plan shall, if directed to do so by the director, exercise its authority, if any, under those preexisting contracts to conform them to the provisions of existing law.

(d) As used in this section, "health benefit plan" means any individual or group insurance policy or health care service plan contract that provides medical, hospital, and surgical benefits. The term does not include accident only, credit, or disability income coverage, coverage of Medicare services pursuant to contracts with the United States government, Medicare supplement insurance, long-term care insurance, dental or vision coverage, coverage issued as a supplement to liability insurance, insurance arising out of workers' compensation law 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.

(e) On or before July 1, 2011, the director may issue guidance to health care service plans regarding compliance with this section and that 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). Any guidance issued pursuant to this subdivision shall only be effective through December 31, 2013, or until the director adopts and effects regulations pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act, whichever occurs first.

(Amended by Stats. 2010, Ch. 658, Sec. 4.)