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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of December 18, 2014

Title 45Subtitle ASubchapter BPart 148Subpart B → §148.122


Title 45: Public Welfare
PART 148—REQUIREMENTS FOR THE INDIVIDUAL HEALTH INSURANCE MARKET
Subpart B—Requirements Relating to Access and Renewability of Coverage


§148.122   Guaranteed renewability of individual health insurance coverage.

(a) Applicability. This section applies to non-grandfathered and grandfathered health plans (within the meaning of §147.140 of this subchapter) that are individual health insurance coverage. See also §147.106 of this subchapter for requirements relating to guaranteed renewability of coverage with respect to non-grandfathered health plans.

(b) General rules. (1) Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section, an issuer must renew or continue in force the coverage at the option of the individual.

(2) Medicare eligibility or entitlement is not a basis for nonrenewal or termination of an individual's health insurance coverage in the individual market.

(c) Exceptions to renewing coverage. An issuer may nonrenew or discontinue health insurance coverage of an individual in the individual market based only on one or more of the following:

(1) Nonpayment of premiums. The individual has failed to pay premiums or contributions in accordance with the terms of the health insurance coverage, including any timeliness requirements.

(2) Fraud. The individual has performed an act or practice that constitutes fraud or made an intentional misrepresentation of material fact under the terms of the coverage.

(3) Termination of product. The issuer is ceasing to offer coverage in the market in accordance with paragraph (d) or (e) of this section and applicable State law.

(4) Movement outside the service area. For network plans, the individual no longer resides, lives, or works in the service area of the issuer, or area for which the issuer is authorized to do business, but only if coverage is terminated uniformly without regard to any health status-related factor of covered individuals; provided the issuer provides notice in accordance with the requirements of paragraph (d)(1) of this section.

(5) Association membership ceases. For coverage made available in the individual market only through one or more bona fide associations, the individual's membership in the association ceases, but only if the coverage is terminated uniformly without regard to any health status-related factor of covered individuals.

(d) Discontinuing a particular type of coverage. An issuer may discontinue offering a particular type of health insurance coverage offered in the individual market only if it meets the following requirements:

(1) Provides notice in writing, in a form and manner specified by the Secretary, to each individual provided coverage of that type of health insurance at least 90 calendar days before the date the coverage will be discontinued.

(2) Offers to each covered individual, on a guaranteed issue basis, the option to purchase any other individual health insurance coverage currently being offered by the issuer for individuals in that market.

(3) Acts uniformly without regard to any health status-related factor of covered individuals or dependents of covered individuals who may become eligible for coverage.

(e) Discontinuing all coverage. An issuer may discontinue offering all health insurance coverage in the individual market in a State only if it meets the following requirements.

(1) Provides notice in writing to the applicable State authority and to each individual of the discontinuation at least 180 days before the date the coverage will expire.

(2) Discontinues and does not renew all health insurance policies it issues or delivers for issuance in the State in the individual market.

(3) Acts uniformly without regard to any health status-related factor of covered individuals or dependents of covered individuals who may become eligible for coverage.

(f) Prohibition on market reentry. An issuer who elects to discontinue offering all health insurance coverage under paragraph (e) of this section may not issue coverage in the market and State involved during the 5-year period beginning on the date of discontinuation of the last coverage not renewed.

(g) Exception for uniform modification of coverage. (1) An issuer may, only at the time of coverage renewal, modify the health insurance coverage for a product offered in the individual market if the modification is consistent with State law and is effective uniformly for all individuals with that product.

(2) For purposes of paragraph (g) of this section, modifications made uniformly and solely pursuant to applicable Federal or State requirements are considered a uniform modification of coverage if:

(i) The modification is made within a reasonable time period after the imposition or modification of the Federal or State requirement; and

(ii) The modification is directly related to the imposition or modification of the Federal or State requirement.

(3) For purposes of paragraph (g) of this section, other types of modifications made uniformly are considered a uniform modification of coverage if the health insurance coverage for the product meets all of the following criteria:

(i) The product is offered by the same health insurance issuer (within the meaning of section 2791(b)(2) of the PHS Act);

(ii) The product is offered as the same product network type (for example, health maintenance organization, preferred provider organization, exclusive provider organization, point of service, or indemnity);

(iii) The product continues to cover at least a majority of the same service area;

(iv) Within the product, each plan has the same cost-sharing structure as before the modification, except for any variation in cost sharing solely related to changes in cost and utilization of medical care, or to maintain the same metal tier level described in sections 1302(d) and (e) of the Affordable Care Act; and

(v) The product provides the same covered benefits, except for any changes in benefits that cumulatively impact the rate for any plan within the product within an allowable variation of ± 2 percentage points (not including changes pursuant to applicable Federal or State requirements).

(4) A State may only broaden the standards in paragraphs (g)(3)(iii) and (iv) of this section.

(h) Application to coverage offered only through associations. In the case of health insurance coverage that is made available by a health insurance issuer in the individual market only through one or more associations, any reference in this section to an “individual” is deemed to include a reference to the association of which the individual is a member.

(i) Notice of renewal of coverage. If an issuer is renewing grandfathered coverage as described in paragraph (b) of this section, or uniformly modifying grandfathered coverage as described in paragraph (g) of this section, the issuer must provide to each individual written notice of the renewal at least 60 calendar days before the date the coverage will be renewed in a form and manner specified by the Secretary.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 0938-0703)

[62 FR 16998, Apr. 8, 1997; 62 FR 31696, June 10, 1997, as amended at 62 FR 35906, July 2, 1997; 79 FR 30340, May 27, 2014; 79 FR 42986, July 24, 2014; 79 FR 53004, Sept. 5, 2014]



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