WSR 02-15-176



(Basic Health)

[ Order 01-08 -- Filed July 24, 2002, 11:05 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 02-01-116.

Title of Rule: Revising rules to clarify the timeline for notifying enrollees of program changes that will affect their premiums. Also revising rules regarding circumstances when a check cannot be processed.

Purpose: To clarify the intent of current rules.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 70.47.050.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 70.47.060 and 70.47.090.

Summary: These draft rules are intended to clarify current rules regarding notice of program changes that will affect premiums and circumstances when a check cannot be processed, to avoid confusion or misinterpretation.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: Current rules could be misinterpreted.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Rosanne Reynolds, Lacey, Washington, (360) 923-2948; Implementation and Enforcement: Becky Loomis, Lacey, Washington, (360) 923-2996.

Name of Proponent: Washington State Health Care Authority, governmental.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: Rules are revised to clarify the intent of current rules for notification of program changes that will affect premiums and circumstances when payment by check cannot be processed.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: Revises rules regarding notice of program changes that will affect premiums and adds language to clarify circumstances when payment cannot be applied to an enrollee's account because the check cannot be processed.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. The Health Care Authority is not required by chapter 19.85 RCW to prepare a small business economic impact statement. There will be little, if any, cost to small business.

RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to this rule adoption. RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to the Health Care Authority rules unless requested by the Joint Administrative Rules Review Committee or applied voluntarily.

Hearing Location: Health Care Authority, 676 Woodland Square Loop S.E., Building B, Second Floor Conference Room, Lacey, WA, on August 28, 2002, at 1:30 p.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Nikki Johnson by August 26, 2002, TDD (888) 923-5622, or (360) 923-2805.

Submit Written Comments to: Rosanne Reynolds, P.O. Box 42686, Olympia, WA 98504-2686, e-mail, fax (360) 412-4276, by August 28, 2002.

Date of Intended Adoption: September 12, 2002.

July 24, 2002

Melodie Bankers

Rules Coordinator


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 00-23-037, filed 11/9/00, effective 1/1/01)

WAC 182-25-020   BHP benefits.   (1) The administrator shall design and from time to time may revise BHP benefits, according to the requirements of chapter 70.47 RCW, as amended. These benefits will include physician services, prescription drugs and medications, and inpatient and outpatient hospital services, limited mental health care services, limited chemical dependency services, limited organ transplant services, and all services necessary for prenatal, postnatal and well-child care, and will emphasize proven preventive and primary care services. The Medicaid scope of benefits may be provided by BHP as the BHP plus program through coordination with DSHS for children under the age of nineteen, who are found to be Medicaid eligible. BHP benefits may include co-payments, waiting periods, limitations and exclusions which the administrator determines are appropriate and consistent with the goals and objectives of the plan. BHP benefits will be subject to a nine-month waiting period for preexisting conditions. Exceptions (for example, maternity, prescription drugs, services for a newborn or newly adopted child) are outlined in the schedule of benefits. Credit toward the waiting period will be given for any continuous period of time for which an enrollee was covered under similar health coverage if that coverage was in effect at any time during the three-month period immediately preceding the date of reservation or application for coverage under BHP. Similar coverage includes BHP; all DSHS programs administered by the medical assistance administration which have the Medicaid scope of benefits; the DSHS program for the medically indigent; Indian health services; most coverages offered by health carriers; and most self-insured health plans. A list of BHP benefits, including co-payments, waiting periods, limitations and exclusions, will be provided to the subscriber.

(2) In designing and revising BHP benefits, the administrator will consider the effects of particular benefits, co-payments, limitations and exclusions on access to necessary health care services, as well as the cost to the enrollees and to the state, and will also consider generally accepted practices of the health insurance and managed health care industries.

(3) Prior to enrolling in BHP, each applicant will be given a written description of covered benefits, including all co-payments, waiting periods, limitations and exclusions, and be advised how to access information on the services, providers, facilities, hours of operation, and other information descriptive of the managed health care system(s) available to enrollees in a given service area.

(4) BHP will mail to all subscribers written notice of any changes in the ((amount and)) scope of benefits provided under BHP, or ((policy)) program changes ((regarding)) that will affect premiums and co-payments at least thirty days prior to the due date of the premium payment for the month in which such revisions are to take effect. This subsection does not apply to premium changes that are the result of changes in income or family size. The administrator may make available a separate schedule of benefits for children, eighteen years of age and younger, for those dependent children in the plan.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 70.47.050 and RCW 70.47.060. WSR 00-23-037, 182-25-020, filed 11/9/00, effective 1/1/01. Statutory Authority: RCW 70.47.050. 98-07-002, 182-25-020, filed 3/5/98, effective 4/5/98; 97-15-003, 182-25-020, filed 7/3/97, effective 8/3/97; 96-15-024, 182-25-020, filed 7/9/96, effective 8/9/96.]

AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 98-07-002, filed 3/5/98, effective 4/5/98)

WAC 182-25-080   Premiums and co-payments.   (1) Subscribers or their employer or financial sponsor shall be responsible for paying the full monthly premium to BHP, on behalf of the subscriber and all enrolled dependents, according to the most current premium schedule. A third party may, with the approval of the administrator, become a financial sponsor and pay all or a designated portion of the premium on behalf of a subscriber and dependents, if any.

(2) The amount of premium due from or on behalf of a subscriber will be based upon the subscriber's gross family income, the managed health care system selected by the subscriber, rates payable to managed health care systems, and the number and ages of individuals in the subscriber's family.

(3) Once BHP has determined that an applicant and his/her dependents (if any) are eligible for enrollment, the applicant or employer or financial sponsor will be informed of the amount of the first month's premium for the applicant and his/her enrolled dependents. New enrollees will not be eligible to receive covered services on the effective date of enrollment specified by BHP unless the premium has been paid by the due date given. Thereafter, BHP will bill each subscriber or employer or financial sponsor monthly.

(4) Full payment for premiums due must be received by BHP by the date specified on the ((bill)) premium statement. If BHP does not receive full payment of a premium by the date specified on the ((bill)) premium statement, BHP shall issue a notice of delinquency to the subscriber, at the subscriber's last address on file with BHP or, in the case of group or financial sponsor coverage, to the employer or financial sponsor. If full payment is not received by the date specified in the delinquency notice, the subscriber and enrolled family members will be suspended from coverage for one month. If payment is not received by the due date on the notice of suspension, the subscriber and enrolled family members will be disenrolled effective the date of the initial suspension. If an enrollee's coverage is suspended more than two times in a twelve-month period, the enrollee will be disenrolled for nonpayment under the provisions of WAC 182-25-090(2). Partial payment of premiums due, payment which for any reason cannot be applied to the correct BHP enrollee's account, or payment by check which is not signed, cannot be processed, or is returned due to nonsufficient funds will be regarded as nonpayment.

(5) Enrollees shall be responsible for paying any required co-payment directly to the provider of a covered service at the time of service or directly to the MHCS. Repeated failure to pay co-payments in full on a timely basis may result in disenrollment, as provided in WAC 182-25-090(2).

[Statutory Authority: RCW 70.47.050. WSR 98-07-002, 182-25-080, filed 3/5/98, effective 4/5/98; 96-15-024, 182-25-080, filed 7/9/96, effective 8/9/96.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office