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Article 11.7. Individual Access to Health Care Coverage   

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

(b) From the effective date of this article 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 health care service plan or health insurer 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 health care service plan 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 health care service plan 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 care service plan contract issued, sold, or renewed prior to December 31, 2013, the health plan 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 renew 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 open 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) Health care service plans may require documentation from applicants relating to their coverage history.

(Added by Stats. 2010, Ch. 656, Sec. 3.)