A carrier must clearly communicate in writing the right to request a review of an adverse benefit determination.
(1) At a minimum, the notice must be sent at the following times:
(a) Upon request;
(b) As part of the notice of adverse benefit determination;
(c) To new enrollees at the time of enrollment; and
(d) Annually thereafter to enrollees, group administrators, and subcontractors of the carrier.
(e) The notice requirement is satisfied if the description of the internal and external review process is included in or attached to the summary health plan descriptions, policy, certificate, membership booklet, outline of coverage or other evidence of coverage provided to participants, beneficiaries, or enrollees.
(2) Each carrier and health plan must ensure that its network providers receive a written explanation of the manner in which adverse benefit determinations may be reviewed on both an expedited and nonexpedited basis.
(3) Any written explanation of the review process must include information about the availability of Washington's designated ombudsman's office, the services it offers, and contact information. A carrier's notice must also specifically direct appellants to the office of the insurance commissioner's consumer protection division for assistance with questions and complaints.
(4) The review process must be accessible to persons who are limited-English speakers, who have literacy problems, or who have physical or mental disabilities that impede their ability to request review or participate in the review process.
(a) Carriers must conform to federal rules and guidance in effect on January 1, 2017, to provide notice of the process in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner to those seeking review.
(b) In counties where ten percent or more of the population is literate in a specific non-English language, carriers must include in notices a prominently displayed statement in the relevant language or languages, explaining that oral assistance and a written notice in the non-English language are available upon request. Carriers may rely on the most recent data published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health to determine which counties and which languages require such notices.
(c) This requirement is satisfied if the National Commission on Quality Assurance certifies the carrier is in compliance with this standard as part of the accreditation process.
(5) Each carrier must consistently assist appellants with understanding the review process. Carriers may not use and health plans may not contain procedures or practices that the commissioner determines discourage an appellant from any type of adverse benefit determination review.
(6) If a carrier reverses its initial adverse benefit determination, which it may at any time during the review process, the carrier or health plan must provide appellant with written or electronic notification of the decision immediately, but in no event more than two business days of making the decision.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 48.02.060
, and 48.43.715
. WSR 20-03-114 (Matter No. R 2019-10), § 284-43-3050, filed 1/16/20, effective 2/16/20. WSR 16-01-081, recodified as § 284-43-3050, filed 12/14/15, effective 12/14/15. Statutory Authority: RCW 48.02.060
, and The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, P.L. 111-148, as amended (2010). WSR 12-23-005 (Matter No. R 2011-11), § 284-43-511, filed 11/7/12, effective 11/20/12.]