Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 38.2. Insurance
Chapter 34. Provisions Relating to Accident and Sickness Insurance

§ 38.2-3420. Authority and jurisdiction of Commission; exception.

A. Except as provided in subsection C, any person offering or providing coverage in the Commonwealth for health care services, whether the coverage is by direct payment, reimbursement, or otherwise, shall be presumed to be subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission to the extent the person is not regulated by another agency of the Commonwealth, any subdivision of the Commonwealth, or the federal government relating to the offering or providing of coverage for health care services.

B. As used in this subsection:

"Health benefit plan" has the same meaning as described in § 38.2-3431.

"Self-funded multiple employer welfare arrangement" or "self-funded MEWA" means any multiple employer welfare arrangement that is not fully insured by a licensed insurance company. This term includes a benefit consortium established under Chapter 55 (§ 59.1-589 et seq.) of Title 59.1.

1. No self-funded multiple employer welfare arrangement shall issue health benefit plans in the Commonwealth until it has obtained a license pursuant to regulations promulgated by the Commission. No provision of this subsection shall authorize a self-funded MEWA domiciled outside of the Commonwealth to operate in the Commonwealth without obtaining a license pursuant to the regulations promulgated by the Commission.

2. Notwithstanding any other section of this title or Chapter 55 (§ 59.1-589 et seq.) of Title 59.1 to the contrary, all financial and solvency requirements imposed by provisions of this title upon domestic insurers shall apply to domestic self-funded MEWAs unless domestic self-funded MEWAs are otherwise specifically exempted. For the purposes of handling the rehabilitation, liquidation, or conservation of a domestic self-funded MEWA, the provisions of Chapter 15 (§ 38.2-1500 et seq.) shall apply.

3. Notwithstanding any other section of this title or Chapter 55 (§ 59.1-589 et seq.) of Title 59.1 to the contrary, any health benefit plan issued by a self-funded MEWA, including a trust, benefits consortium, or other arrangement, that covers one or more employees of one or more small employers shall (i) provide essential health benefits and cost-sharing requirements as set forth in § 38.2-3451; (ii) offer a minimum level of coverage designed to provide benefits that are actuarially equivalent to 60 percent of the full actuarial value of the benefits provided under the plan; (iii) not limit or exclude coverage for an individual by imposing a preexisting condition exclusion on that individual pursuant to § 38.2-3444; (iv) not establish discriminatory rules based on health status related to eligibility or premium or contribution requirements as imposed on health carriers pursuant to § 38.2-3432.2; (v) meet the renewability standards set forth for health insurance issuers in § 38.2-3432.1; (vi) establish base rates formed on an actuarially sound, modified community rating methodology that considers the pooling of all participant claims; and (vii) utilize each employer member's specific risk profile to determine premiums by actuarially adjusting above or below established base rates, and utilize either pooling or reinsurance of individual large claimants to reduce the adverse impact on any specific employer member's premiums.

4. The Commission shall have authority to adopt regulations applicable to self-funded MEWAs, whether domiciled inside or outside of the Commonwealth, including regulations addressing the self-funded MEWA's financial condition, solvency requirements, and insolvency plan and its exclusion, pursuant to § 59.1-592, from the Virginia Life, Accident and Sickness Insurance Guaranty Association established under Chapter 17 (§ 38.2-1700 et seq.).

C. Neither the provisions of this section nor any other provision of this title shall be construed to affect or apply to a multiple employer welfare arrangement (MEWA) composed only of banks together with their plan-sponsoring organization, and their respective employees, provided the multiple employer welfare arrangement (i) is duly licensed as a MEWA by the insurance regulatory agency of a state contiguous to the Commonwealth, (ii) files with the Commission a copy of its certificate of authority or other proper license from the contiguous state, (iii) has no more than 500 Virginia residents who are employees of its member banks enrolled in or receiving accident and sickness benefits as insureds, members, enrollees, or subscribers of the MEWA, and (iv) is subject to solvency examination authority and reserve adequacy requirements determined by sound actuarial principles by such domiciliary contiguous state. For purposes of this subsection:

"Bank" means an institution that has or is eligible for insurance of deposits by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

"Plan-sponsoring organization" means an association that (i) sponsors a MEWA composed only of banks; (ii) has been actively in existence for at least five years; (iii) has been formed and maintained in good faith for purposes other than obtaining insurance; (iv) does not condition membership in the association on any health status-related factor relating to an individual, including an employee of an employer or a dependent of an employee; (v) makes health insurance coverage offered through the association available to all members regardless of any health status-related factor relating to such members or individuals eligible for coverage through a member; (vi) does not make health insurance coverage offered through the association available other than in connection with a member of the association; and (vii) meets such additional requirements as may be imposed under the laws of the Commonwealth, and includes any subsidiary of such an association.

1983, c. 417, § 38.1-43.7; 1986, c. 562; 1990, c. 477; 2004, c. 236; 2011, c. 329; 2012, c. 589; 2022, cc. 404, 405.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.