(1) No issuer may offer a long-term care insurance policy in this state unless the issuer also offers to the policyholder, in addition to any other inflation protection, the option to purchase a policy that provides for benefit levels to increase with benefit maximums or reasonable durations which are meaningful to account for reasonably anticipated increases in the costs of long-term care services covered by the policy. Issuers must offer to each policyholder, at the time of purchase, the option to purchase a policy with an inflation protection feature no less favorable than one of the following:
(a) Increases benefit levels annually in a manner so that the increases are compounded annually at a rate of not less than five percent.
(b) Guarantees the insured individual the right to periodically increase benefit levels without providing evidence of insurability or health status so long as the option for the previous period has not been declined. The amount of the additional benefit must be no less than the difference between the existing policy benefit and that benefit compounded annually at a rate of at least five percent for the period beginning with the purchase of the existing benefit and extending until the year in which the offer is made.
(c) Covers a specified percentage of actual or reasonable charges and does not include a maximum specified indemnity amount or limit.
(2) If the policy is issued to a group, the required offer in subsection (1) of this section must be made to the group policyholder; however, if the policy is issued to a group defined in RCW 48.83.020
(6)(d), other than to a continuing care retirement community, the offering must be made to each proposed certificate holder.
(3) The offer in subsection (1) of this section is not required of life insurance policies or riders containing accelerated long-term care benefits.
(4)(a) Issuers must include the following information in or with the outline of coverage:
(i) A graphic comparison of the benefit levels of a policy that increases benefits over the policy period with a policy that does not increase benefits. The graphic comparison must show benefit levels over at least a twenty-year period; and
(ii) Any expected premium increases or additional premiums to pay for automatic or optional benefit increases.
(b) The issuer may use a reasonable hypothetical or a graphic demonstration for the purposes of this disclosure. For example, meaningful benefit minimums or durations could be demonstrated by showing increases to attained age, for a period such as at least twenty years, for some multiple of the policy's maximum benefit, or throughout the period of coverage.
(5) Inflation protection benefit increases under a policy that includes these benefits must continue without regard to the insured's age, claim status or claim history, or the length of time the person has been insured under the policy.
(6) An offer of inflation protection that provides for automatic benefit increases must include an offer of a premium which the issuer expects to remain constant. Unless the premium is guaranteed to remain constant, the offer must disclose in a conspicuous manner that the premium may change in the future.
(7)(a) Inflation protection as provided in subsection (1)(a) of this section must be included in any long-term care insurance policy unless the issuer obtains a rejection of inflation protection signed by the policyholder. The rejection may be either part of the application or on a separate form.
(b) The rejection is considered a part of the application.
(c) The following language, or language substantially similar to the following, must be set out conspicuously on the rejection:
"I have reviewed the outline of coverage and the graphs that compare the benefits and premiums of this policy with and without inflation protection. Specifically, I have reviewed Plans ______, and I reject inflation protection."