Health Care Coverage; Notice of Timely Access to Care
(a) A health insurance policy that is issued, renewed, or amended on or after July 1, 2017, that provides benefits through contracts with providers for alternative rates pursuant to Section 10133 shall provide information to an insured regarding the standards for timely access to care adopted pursuant to Section 10133.5 and the information required by this section, including information related to receipt of interpreter services in a timely manner, no less than annually.
(b) A health insurer that contracts with providers for alternative rates of payment pursuant to Section 10133 shall, at a minimum, provide information regarding appointment wait times for urgent care, nonurgent primary care, nonurgent specialty care, and telephone screening established pursuant to Section 10133.5 to insureds and contracting providers. The information shall also include notice of the availability of interpreter services at the time of the appointment pursuant to Section 10133.8. A health insurer may indicate that exceptions to appointment wait times may apply if the department has found exceptions to be permissible.
(c) The information required to be provided pursuant to this section shall be provided to an insured with individual coverage upon initial enrollment and annually thereafter upon renewal, and to insureds and group policyholders with group coverage upon initial enrollment and annually thereafter upon renewal. An insurer may include this information with other materials sent to the insured. The information shall also be provided in the following manner:
(1) In a separate section of the evidence of coverage titled "Timely Access to Care."
(2) At least annually, in or with newsletters, outreach, or other materials that are routinely disseminated to the policy's insureds.
(3) Commencing January 1, 2018, in a separate section of the provider directory published and maintained by the insurer pursuant to Section 10133.15. The separate section shall be titled "Timely Access to Care."
(4) On the Internet Web site published and maintained by the insurer, in a manner that allows insureds and prospective insureds to easily locate the information.
(d) (1) A health insurer shall provide the information required by this section to contracting providers on no less than an annual basis.
(2) A health insurer shall also inform a contracting provider of all of the following:
(A) Information about a health insurer's obligation under California law to provide or arrange for timely access to care.
(B) How a contracting provider or insured can contact the health insurer to obtain assistance if a patient is unable to obtain a timely referral to an appropriate provider.
(C) The toll-free telephone number for the Department of Insurance where providers and insureds can file a complaint if they are unable to obtain a timely referral to an appropriate provider.
(3) A health insurer may comply with this subdivision by including the information with an existing communication with a contracting provider.
(Added by Stats. 2016, Ch. 500, Sec. 2.)