WSR 16-16-091
[Insurance Commissioner Matter No. R 2016-21—Filed July 29, 2016, 4:20 p.m.]
Subject of Possible Rule Making: Special enrollment rules: Expanded health benefit exchange request.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 48.02.060, 48.18.120(2), 48.20.450, 48.44.050, and 48.46.200.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: In May 2016, the office of the insurance commissioner (OIC) filed Rule 2016-13 announcing its intent to change the deadline for consumers to apply through special enrollment for health plans sold on the Washington health benefit exchange (exchange). The exchange asked OIC to make this change, because although 45 C.F.R. 155.420 allows a special enrollment deadline as early as the fifteenth, the existing state regulation (WAC 284-43-1140) says that the special enrollment deadline can't be earlier than the twentieth.
After learning that the exchange hopes to change the enrollment deadline to the fifteenth, some issuers asked OIC to expand the scope of the rule making to give issuers the right to make the same change. This CR-101 is in response to that request.
Under this CR-101, OIC will pursue a rule change to give both the exchange and issuers the option of using a special enrollment deadline as early as the fifteenth for coverage that starts the first day of the next month.
In addition to changing the deadline for special enrollment, the exchange also intends to move the deadline for open enrollment from the twenty-third to the fifteenth, and it's possible that issuers might follow in the exchange's lead. Under existing laws and regulations, the exchange and issuers already have the right to make this change now, if they want; this does not require an OIC rule change.
Process for Developing New Rule: Submit written comments by September 16, 2016, to, fax (360) 586-3109.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Bianca Stoner, P.O. Box 40258, Olympia, WA 98504-0260 [98504-0258],
July 29, 2016
Mike Kreidler
Insurance Commissioner