(1) For all nongrandfathered individual health benefit plans issued and in effect prior to January 1, 2014, during 2014 issuers must replace the plans with health benefit plans approved by the commissioner as follows:
(a) An issuer may elect to withdraw a product, pursuant to RCW 48.43.038
, and discontinue each health benefit plan in force under that product on the same date, requiring selection of a replacement plan to be effective on the date of discontinuation; or
(b) An issuer may discontinue an individual's coverage and offer the full range of plans the issuer offers in the individual market as replacement options. The replacement coverage must take effect on the individual's renewal date.
(c) If an issuer does not have a replacement plan approved by the commissioner to offer in place of the discontinued plan, the issuer must assist each enrollee in identifying a replacement option offered by another issuer.
(2) If an issuer selects the replacement option described in subsection (1)(b) of this section, not fewer than ninety days before the renewal date for the coverage, the issuer must provide the individual and each enrollee under the health benefit plan with written notice of the discontinuation and replacement options. The commissioner may, for good cause shown, permit a shorter notice period for providing the replacement option information to a group. The written notice must contain the following information:
(a) Specific descriptions of the replacement plans for which the enrollees are eligible, both on or off the health benefit exchange;
(b) Electronic link information to the summary of benefits and explanation of coverage for each replacement plan option;
(c) Contact information for assistance from the issuer in selecting the replacement plan option or answering enrollee questions about the replacement plans;
(d) If a renewal date is later than January 1, 2014, the issuer's ninety day discontinuation and replacement notice must notify the individual and any other enrollees on the plan of the shortened plan year for 2014 under the replacement coverage.
(3) For either replacement option set forth in subsection (1) of this section, the issuer must provide a separate written notice to each enrollee notifying the enrollee that their existing coverage will be discontinued and replaced. The notice must be provided not later than ninety days prior to the discontinuation and replacement date.
(4) If an issuer has electronic mail contact information for the enrollees, the notice may be provided electronically. The issuer must be able to document to the commissioner's satisfaction both the content and timing of transmission. The issuer must send written notice by U.S. mail to an enrollee for whom the electronic mail message was rejected.
(5) This section applies to each health benefit plan that provides coverage based on receipt of claims for services, even if the coverage falls under one of the categories excepted from the definition of "health plan" as set forth in RCW 48.43.005
(26)(i) and (l). This section does not apply to a health benefit plan that provides per diem or single payment coverage based on a triggering event or diagnosis regardless of the medical necessity of the type or range of services received by an enrollee.
(6) Between September 1st and September 30th of each year, an issuer must provide written notice to each enrollee under an individual health benefit plan of the availability of health benefit exchange coverage, and contact information for the health benefit exchange.
[WSR 16-01-081, recodified as § 284-43-0350, filed 12/14/15, effective 12/14/15. Statutory Authority: RCW 48.02.060
, and 45 C.F.R. 150.101(2). WSR 14-01-039 (Matter No. R 2013-13), § 284-170-959, filed 12/11/13, effective 1/11/14.]