WSR 08-22-096

PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY

OFFICE OF

INSURANCE COMMISSIONER

[ Insurance Commissioner Matter No. R 2008-27 -- Filed November 5, 2008, 10:06 a.m. ]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: Chemical dependency benefits in healthy insurance policies and contracts.

Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 48.02.060, 48.21.197.

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: The commissioner will review the standards for coverage of chemical dependency for small groups (two - fifty). Periodic review of benefit adjustments is required by WAC 284-53-010 (4)(b) to determine if future benefit increases might be reasonable and to consider establishing future minimum benefits.

The "Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008" imposes new federal requirements for health benefit plans for groups of over fifty-one enrollees. It requires parity in treatment of substance abuse and mental health disorders to medical and surgical benefits in health insurance policies and contracts. The office of insurance commissioner may need to clarify requirements between state and federal law.

Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: None.

Process for Developing New Rule: Send written comments by December 19, 2008, to Kacy Scott, P.O. Box 40255, Olympia, WA 98504-0255, fax (360) 586-3109, e-mail KacyS@oic.wa.gov.

Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Kacy Scott, P.O. Box 40258, Olympia, WA 98504-0258, fax (360) 586-3109, e-mail KacyS@oic.wa.gov.

November 5, 2008

Mike Kreidler

Insurance Commissioner

Washington State Code Reviser's Office