Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 38.2. Insurance
10/1/2020

Article 6. Federal Market Reforms.

§ 38.2-3438. (Effective until January 1, 2021) Definitions.

As used this article, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Child" means a son, daughter, stepchild, adopted child, including a child placed for adoption, foster child, or any other child eligible for coverage under the health benefit plan.

"Covered benefits" or "benefits" means those health care services to which an individual is entitled under the terms of a health benefit plan.

"Covered person" means a policyholder, subscriber, enrollee, participant, or other individual covered by a health benefit plan.

"Dependent" means the spouse or child of an eligible employee, subject to the applicable terms of the policy, contract, or plan covering the eligible employee.

"Emergency medical condition" means a medical condition manifesting itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity, including severe pain, so that a prudent layperson, who possesses an average knowledge of health and medicine, could reasonably expect the absence of immediate medical attention to result in (i) serious jeopardy to the mental or physical health of the individual, (ii) danger of serious impairment to bodily functions, (iii) serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or part, or (iv) in the case of a pregnant woman, serious jeopardy to the health of the fetus.

"Emergency services" means with respect to an emergency medical condition: (i) a medical screening examination as required under § 1867 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. § 1395dd) that is within the capability of the emergency department of a hospital, including ancillary services routinely available to the emergency department to evaluate such emergency medical condition and (ii) such further medical examination and treatment, to the extent they are within the capabilities of the staff and facilities available at the hospital, as are required under § 1867 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. § 1395dd (e)(3)) to stabilize the patient.

"ERISA" means the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.

"Essential health benefits" include the following general categories and the items and services covered within the categories in accordance with regulations issued pursuant to the PPACA as of January 1, 2019: (i) ambulatory patient services; (ii) emergency services; (iii) hospitalization; (iv) laboratory services; (v) maternity and newborn care; (vi) mental health and substance abuse disorder services, including behavioral health treatment; (vii) pediatric services, including oral and vision care; (viii) prescription drugs; (ix) preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management; and (x) rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices.

"Facility" means an institution providing health care related services or a health care setting, including but not limited to hospitals and other licensed inpatient centers; ambulatory surgical or treatment centers; skilled nursing centers; residential treatment centers; diagnostic, laboratory, and imaging centers; and rehabilitation and other therapeutic health settings.

"Genetic information" means, with respect to an individual, information about: (i) the individual's genetic tests; (ii) the genetic tests of the individual's family members; (iii) the manifestation of a disease or disorder in family members of the individual; or (iv) any request for, or receipt of, genetic services, or participation in clinical research that includes genetic services, by the individual or any family member of the individual. "Genetic information" does not include information about the sex or age of any individual. As used in this definition, "family member" includes a first-degree, second-degree, third-degree, or fourth-degree relative of a covered person.

"Genetic services" means (i) a genetic test; (ii) genetic counseling, including obtaining, interpreting, or assessing genetic information; or (iii) genetic education.

"Genetic test" means an analysis of human DNA, RNA, chromosomes, proteins, or metabolites, if the analysis detects genotypes, mutations, or chromosomal changes. "Genetic test" does not include an analysis of proteins or metabolites that is directly related to a manifested disease, disorder, or pathological condition.

"Grandfathered plan" means coverage provided by a health carrier to (i) a small employer on March 23, 2010, or (ii) an individual that was enrolled on March 23, 2010, including any extension of coverage to an individual who becomes a dependent of a grandfathered enrollee after March 23, 2010, for as long as such plan maintains that status in accordance with federal law.

"Group health insurance coverage" means health insurance coverage offered in connection with a group health benefit plan.

"Group health plan" means an employee welfare benefit plan as defined in § 3(1) of ERISA to the extent that the plan provides medical care within the meaning of § 733(a) of ERISA to employees, including both current and former employees, or their dependents as defined under the terms of the plan directly or through insurance, reimbursement, or otherwise.

"Health benefit plan" means a policy, contract, certificate, or agreement offered by a health carrier to provide, deliver, arrange for, pay for, or reimburse any of the costs of health care services. "Health benefit plan" includes short-term and catastrophic health insurance policies, and a policy that pays on a cost-incurred basis, except as otherwise specifically exempted in this definition. "Health benefit plan" does not include the "excepted benefits" as defined in § 38.2-3431.

"Health care professional" means a physician or other health care practitioner licensed, accredited, or certified to perform specified health care services consistent with state law.

"Health care provider" or "provider" means a health care professional or facility.

"Health care services" means services for the diagnosis, prevention, treatment, cure, or relief of a health condition, illness, injury, or disease.

"Health carrier" means an entity subject to the insurance laws and regulations of the Commonwealth and subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission that contracts or offers to contract to provide, deliver, arrange for, pay for, or reimburse any of the costs of health care services, including an insurer licensed to sell accident and sickness insurance, a health maintenance organization, a health services plan, or any other entity providing a plan of health insurance, health benefits, or health care services.

"Health maintenance organization" means a person licensed pursuant to Chapter 43 (§ 38.2-4300 et seq.).

"Health status-related factor" means any of the following factors: health status; medical condition, including physical and mental illnesses; claims experience; receipt of health care services; medical history; genetic information; evidence of insurability, including conditions arising out of acts of domestic violence; disability; or any other health status-related factor as determined by federal regulation.

"Individual health insurance coverage" means health insurance coverage offered to individuals in the individual market, which includes a health benefit plan provided to individuals through a trust arrangement, association, or other discretionary group that is not an employer plan, but does not include coverage defined as "excepted benefits" in § 38.2-3431 or short-term limited duration insurance. Student health insurance coverage shall be considered a type of individual health insurance coverage.

"Individual market" means the market for health insurance coverage offered to individuals other than in connection with a group health plan.

"Managed care plan" means a health benefit plan that either requires a covered person to use, or creates incentives, including financial incentives, for a covered person to use health care providers managed, owned, under contract with, or employed by the health carrier.

"Network" means the group of participating providers providing services to a managed care plan.

"Open enrollment" means, with respect to individual health insurance coverage, the period of time during which any individual has the opportunity to apply for coverage under a health benefit plan offered by a health carrier and must be accepted for coverage under the plan without regard to a preexisting condition exclusion.

"Participating health care professional" means a health care professional who, under contract with the health carrier or with its contractor or subcontractor, has agreed to provide health care services to covered persons with an expectation of receiving payments, other than coinsurance, copayments, or deductibles, directly or indirectly from the health carrier.

"PPACA" means the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148), as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-152), and as it may be further amended.

"Preexisting condition exclusion" means a limitation or exclusion of benefits, including a denial of coverage, based on the fact that the condition was present before the effective date of coverage, or if the coverage is denied, the date of denial, whether or not any medical advice, diagnosis, care, or treatment was recommended or received before the effective date of coverage. "Preexisting condition exclusion" also includes a condition identified as a result of a pre-enrollment questionnaire or physical examination given to an individual, or review of medical records relating to the pre-enrollment period.

"Premium" means all moneys paid by an employer, eligible employee, or covered person as a condition of coverage from a health carrier, including fees and other contributions associated with the health benefit plan.

"Preventive services" means (i) evidence-based items or services for which a rating of A or B is in effect in the recommendations of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force with respect to the individual involved; (ii) immunizations for routine use in children, adolescents, and adults for which a recommendation of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is in effect with respect to the individual involved; (iii) evidence-informed preventive care and screenings provided for in comprehensive guidelines supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration with respect to infants, children, and adolescents; and (iv) evidence-informed preventive care and screenings recommended in comprehensive guidelines supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration with respect to women. For purposes of this definition, a recommendation of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is considered in effect after it has been adopted by the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and a recommendation is considered to be for routine use if it is listed on the Immunization Schedules of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Primary care health care professional" means a health care professional designated by a covered person to supervise, coordinate, or provide initial care or continuing care to the covered person and who may be required by the health carrier to initiate a referral for specialty care and maintain supervision of health care services rendered to the covered person.

"Rescission" means a cancellation or discontinuance of coverage under a health benefit plan that has a retroactive effect. "Rescission" does not include:

1. A cancellation or discontinuance of coverage under a health benefit plan if the cancellation or discontinuance of coverage has only a prospective effect, or the cancellation or discontinuance of coverage is effective retroactively to the extent it is attributable to a failure to timely pay required premiums or contributions towards the cost of coverage; or

2. A cancellation or discontinuance of coverage when the health benefit plan covers active employees and, if applicable, dependents and those covered under continuation coverage provisions, if the employee pays no premiums for coverage after termination of employment and the cancellation or discontinuance of coverage is effective retroactively back to the date of termination of employment due to a delay in administrative recordkeeping.

"Stabilize" means with respect to an emergency medical condition, to provide such medical treatment as may be necessary to assure, within reasonable medical probability, that no material deterioration of the condition is likely to result from or occur during the transfer of the individual from a facility, or, with respect to a pregnant woman, that the woman has delivered, including the placenta.

"Student health insurance coverage" means a type of individual health insurance coverage that is provided pursuant to a written agreement between an institution of higher education, as defined by the Higher Education Act of 1965, and a health carrier and provided to students enrolled in that institution of higher education and their dependents, and that does not make health insurance coverage available other than in connection with enrollment as a student, or as a dependent of a student, in the institution of higher education, and does not condition eligibility for health insurance coverage on any health status-related factor related to a student or a dependent of the student.

"Wellness program" means a program offered by an employer that is designed to promote health or prevent disease.

2011, c. 882; 2013, c. 751; 2014, c. 814; 2020, c. 1160.

§ 38.2-3438. (Effective January 1, 2021) Definitions.

As used this article, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Allowed amount" means the maximum portion of a billed charge a health carrier will pay, including any applicable cost-sharing requirements, for a covered service or item rendered by a participating provider or by a nonparticipating provider.

"Balance bill" means a bill sent to an enrollee by an out-of-network provider for health care services provided to the enrollee after the provider's billed amount is not fully reimbursed by the carrier, exclusive of applicable cost-sharing requirements.

"Child" means a son, daughter, stepchild, adopted child, including a child placed for adoption, foster child or any other child eligible for coverage under the health benefit plan.

"Cost-sharing requirement" means an enrollee's deductible, copayment amount, or coinsurance rate.

"Covered benefits" or "benefits" means those health care services to which an individual is entitled under the terms of a health benefit plan.

"Covered person" means a policyholder, subscriber, enrollee, participant, or other individual covered by a health benefit plan.

"Dependent" means the spouse or child of an eligible employee, subject to the applicable terms of the policy, contract, or plan covering the eligible employee.

"Emergency medical condition" means, regardless of the final diagnosis rendered to a covered person, a medical condition manifesting itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity, including severe pain, so that a prudent layperson, who possesses an average knowledge of health and medicine, could reasonably expect the absence of immediate medical attention to result in (i) serious jeopardy to the mental or physical health of the individual, (ii) danger of serious impairment to bodily functions, (iii) serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or part, or (iv) in the case of a pregnant woman, serious jeopardy to the health of the fetus.

"Emergency services" means with respect to an emergency medical condition (i) a medical screening examination as required under § 1867 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. § 1395dd) that is within the capability of the emergency department of a hospital, including ancillary services routinely available to the emergency department to evaluate such emergency medical condition and (ii) such further medical examination and treatment, to the extent they are within the capabilities of the staff and facilities available at the hospital, as are required under § 1867 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. § 1395dd (e)(3)) to stabilize the patient.

"ERISA" means the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.

"Essential health benefits" include the following general categories and the items and services covered within the categories in accordance with regulations issued pursuant to the PPACA as of January 1, 2019: (i) ambulatory patient services; (ii) emergency services; (iii) hospitalization; (iv) laboratory services; (v) maternity and newborn care; (vi) mental health and substance abuse disorder services, including behavioral health treatment; (vii) pediatric services, including oral and vision care; (viii) prescription drugs; (ix) preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management; and (x) rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices.

"Facility" means an institution providing health care related services or a health care setting, including hospitals and other licensed inpatient centers; ambulatory surgical or treatment centers; skilled nursing centers; residential treatment centers; diagnostic, laboratory, and imaging centers; and rehabilitation and other therapeutic health settings.

"Genetic information" means, with respect to an individual, information about: (i) the individual's genetic tests; (ii) the genetic tests of the individual's family members; (iii) the manifestation of a disease or disorder in family members of the individual; or (iv) any request for, or receipt of, genetic services, or participation in clinical research that includes genetic services, by the individual or any family member of the individual. "Genetic information" does not include information about the sex or age of any individual. As used in this definition, "family member" includes a first-degree, second-degree, third-degree, or fourth-degree relative of a covered person.

"Genetic services" means (i) a genetic test; (ii) genetic counseling, including obtaining, interpreting, or assessing genetic information; or (iii) genetic education.

"Genetic test" means an analysis of human DNA, RNA, chromosomes, proteins, or metabolites, if the analysis detects genotypes, mutations, or chromosomal changes. "Genetic test" does not include an analysis of proteins or metabolites that is directly related to a manifested disease, disorder, or pathological condition.

"Grandfathered plan" means coverage provided by a health carrier to (i) a small employer on March 23, 2010, or (ii) an individual that was enrolled on March 23, 2010, including any extension of coverage to an individual who becomes a dependent of a grandfathered enrollee after March 23, 2010, for as long as such plan maintains that status in accordance with federal law.

"Group health insurance coverage" means health insurance coverage offered in connection with a group health benefit plan.

"Group health plan" means an employee welfare benefit plan as defined in § 3(1) of ERISA to the extent that the plan provides medical care within the meaning of § 733(a) of ERISA to employees, including both current and former employees, or their dependents as defined under the terms of the plan directly or through insurance, reimbursement, or otherwise.

"Health benefit plan" means a policy, contract, certificate, or agreement offered by a health carrier to provide, deliver, arrange for, pay for, or reimburse any of the costs of health care services. "Health benefit plan" includes short-term and catastrophic health insurance policies, and a policy that pays on a cost-incurred basis, except as otherwise specifically exempted in this definition. "Health benefit plan" does not include the "excepted benefits" as defined in § 38.2-3431.

"Health care professional" means a physician or other health care practitioner licensed, accredited, or certified to perform specified health care services consistent with state law.

"Health care provider" or "provider" means a health care professional or facility.

"Health care services" means services for the diagnosis, prevention, treatment, cure, or relief of a health condition, illness, injury, or disease.

"Health carrier" means an entity subject to the insurance laws and regulations of the Commonwealth and subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission that contracts or offers to contract to provide, deliver, arrange for, pay for, or reimburse any of the costs of health care services, including an insurer licensed to sell accident and sickness insurance, a health maintenance organization, a health services plan, or any other entity providing a plan of health insurance, health benefits, or health care services.

"Health maintenance organization" means a person licensed pursuant to Chapter 43 (§ 38.2-4300 et seq.).

"Health status-related factor" means any of the following factors: health status; medical condition, including physical and mental illnesses; claims experience; receipt of health care services; medical history; genetic information; evidence of insurability, including conditions arising out of acts of domestic violence; disability; or any other health status-related factor as determined by federal regulation.

"Individual health insurance coverage" means health insurance coverage offered to individuals in the individual market, which includes a health benefit plan provided to individuals through a trust arrangement, association, or other discretionary group that is not an employer plan, but does not include coverage defined as "excepted benefits" in § 38.2-3431 or short-term limited duration insurance. Student health insurance coverage shall be considered a type of individual health insurance coverage.

"Individual market" means the market for health insurance coverage offered to individuals other than in connection with a group health plan.

"In-network" or "participating" means a provider that has contracted with a carrier or a carrier's contractor or subcontractor to provide health care services to enrollees and be reimbursed by the carrier at a contracted rate as payment in full for the health care services, including applicable cost-sharing requirements.

"Managed care plan" means a health benefit plan that either requires a covered person to use, or creates incentives, including financial incentives, for a covered person to use health care providers managed, owned, under contract with, or employed by the health carrier.

"Network" means the group of participating providers providing services to a managed care plan.

"Nonprofit data services organization" means the nonprofit organization with which the Commissioner of Health negotiates and enters into contracts or agreements for the compilation, storage, analysis, and evaluation of data submitted by data suppliers pursuant to § 32.1-276.4.

"Offer to pay" or "payment notification" means a claim that has been adjudicated and paid by a carrier or determined by a carrier to be payable by an enrollee to an out-of-network provider for services described in subsection A of § 38.2-3445.01.

"Open enrollment" means, with respect to individual health insurance coverage, the period of time during which any individual has the opportunity to apply for coverage under a health benefit plan offered by a health carrier and must be accepted for coverage under the plan without regard to a preexisting condition exclusion.

"Out-of-network" or "nonparticipating" means a provider that has not contracted with a carrier or a carrier's contractor or subcontractor to provide health care services to enrollees.

"Out-of-pocket maximum" or "maximum out-of-pocket" means the maximum amount an enrollee is required to pay in the form of cost-sharing requirements for covered benefits in a plan year, after which the carrier covers the entirety of the allowed amount of covered benefits under the contract of coverage.

"Participating health care professional" means a health care professional who, under contract with the health carrier or with its contractor or subcontractor, has agreed to provide health care services to covered persons with an expectation of receiving payments, other than coinsurance, copayments, or deductibles, directly or indirectly from the health carrier.

"PPACA" means the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148), as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-152), and as it may be further amended.

"Preexisting condition exclusion" means a limitation or exclusion of benefits, including a denial of coverage, based on the fact that the condition was present before the effective date of coverage, or if the coverage is denied, the date of denial, whether or not any medical advice, diagnosis, care, or treatment was recommended or received before the effective date of coverage. "Preexisting condition exclusion" also includes a condition identified as a result of a pre-enrollment questionnaire or physical examination given to an individual, or review of medical records relating to the pre-enrollment period.

"Premium" means all moneys paid by an employer, eligible employee, or covered person as a condition of coverage from a health carrier, including fees and other contributions associated with the health benefit plan.

"Preventive services" means (i) evidence-based items or services for which a rating of A or B is in effect in the recommendations of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force with respect to the individual involved; (ii) immunizations for routine use in children, adolescents, and adults for which a recommendation of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is in effect with respect to the individual involved; (iii) evidence-informed preventive care and screenings provided for in comprehensive guidelines supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration with respect to infants, children, and adolescents; and (iv) evidence-informed preventive care and screenings recommended in comprehensive guidelines supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration with respect to women. For purposes of this definition, a recommendation of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is considered in effect after it has been adopted by the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and a recommendation is considered to be for routine use if it is listed on the Immunization Schedules of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Primary care health care professional" means a health care professional designated by a covered person to supervise, coordinate, or provide initial care or continuing care to the covered person and who may be required by the health carrier to initiate a referral for specialty care and maintain supervision of health care services rendered to the covered person.

"Rescission" means a cancellation or discontinuance of coverage under a health benefit plan that has a retroactive effect. "Rescission" does not include:

1. A cancellation or discontinuance of coverage under a health benefit plan if the cancellation or discontinuance of coverage has only a prospective effect, or the cancellation or discontinuance of coverage is effective retroactively to the extent it is attributable to a failure to timely pay required premiums or contributions towards the cost of coverage; or

2. A cancellation or discontinuance of coverage when the health benefit plan covers active employees and, if applicable, dependents and those covered under continuation coverage provisions, if the employee pays no premiums for coverage after termination of employment and the cancellation or discontinuance of coverage is effective retroactively back to the date of termination of employment due to a delay in administrative recordkeeping.

"Stabilize" means with respect to an emergency medical condition, to provide such medical treatment as may be necessary to assure, within reasonable medical probability, that no material deterioration of the condition is likely to result from or occur during the transfer of the individual from a facility, or, with respect to a pregnant woman, that the woman has delivered, including the placenta.

"Student health insurance coverage" means a type of individual health insurance coverage that is provided pursuant to a written agreement between an institution of higher education, as defined by the Higher Education Act of 1965, and a health carrier and provided to students enrolled in that institution of higher education and their dependents, and that does not make health insurance coverage available other than in connection with enrollment as a student, or as a dependent of a student, in the institution of higher education, and does not condition eligibility for health insurance coverage on any health status-related factor related to a student or a dependent of the student.

"Surgical or ancillary services" means professional services, including surgery, anesthesiology, pathology, radiology, or hospitalist services and laboratory services.

"Wellness program" means a program offered by an employer that is designed to promote health or prevent disease.

2011, c. 882; 2013, c. 751; 2014, c. 814; 2020, cc. 1080, 1081, 1160.

§ 38.2-3439. Dependent coverage for individuals to age 26.

A. Notwithstanding any provision of § 38.2-3500 or 38.2-3525, or any other section of this title to the contrary, a health carrier that makes available dependent coverage for a child shall make that coverage available for a child until such child attains the age of 26.

1. A health carrier shall not define "dependent" for purposes of eligibility for dependent coverage for a child other than in terms of a relationship between a child and the covered person.

2. A health carrier shall not deny or restrict coverage for a child who has not attained the age of 26 based on the presence or absence of the child's financial dependency on the covered person, residency with the covered person, marital status, student status, employment, or any combination of those factors.

3. Nothing in this section shall be construed to require a health carrier to make coverage available for the child of a child receiving dependent coverage, unless the grandparent becomes the legal guardian or adoptive parent of that grandchild.

4. The terms of coverage in a health benefit plan offered by a health carrier providing dependent coverage may not vary based on age except for children who are 26 years of age or older.

5. A health carrier shall not deny or restrict coverage of a child based on eligibility for other coverage.

B. Any child whose coverage ended, who was denied coverage, or who was not eligible for group or individual health insurance coverage under a health benefit plan because, under the terms of such plan, the availability of dependent coverage of a child ended before the attainment of the age of 26, shall be given written notice of the opportunity to enroll. The child shall be offered all the benefit packages available to, and shall not be required to pay more for coverage than, similarly situated individuals who did not lose coverage by reason of cessation of dependent status.

1. The health carrier shall give such child written notice of the opportunity to enroll not later than the first day of the next plan year or policy year, and shall provide for an enrollment period that continues for at least 30 days.

2. The written notice of opportunity to enroll shall include a statement that a child is eligible to enroll in dependent coverage if coverage ended, coverage was denied, or the child was ineligible for coverage because the availability of dependent coverage for a child ended before the attainment of the age of 26.

a. The notice may be provided to the covered person on behalf of the covered person's child.

b. For group health insurance coverage, the notice may be included with other enrollment materials that the health carrier distributes to employees, provided the statement is prominent.

3. For any child of a covered person who enrolls, the coverage shall take effect not later than the first day of such plan year or policy year.

C. This section shall apply to any health carrier providing individual or group health insurance coverage, except that for plan years beginning before January 1, 2014, a grandfathered group health plan that makes available dependent coverage for a child may exclude a child who has not attained the age of 26 from coverage only if the child is eligible to enroll in an eligible employer-sponsored health benefit plan, as defined in § 5000A(f)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code, other than the group health plan of a parent.

For plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2014, any grandfathered plan shall comply with the requirements of subsections A and B.

2011, c. 882; 2013, c. 751.

§ 38.2-3440. Lifetime and annual limits.

A. Notwithstanding any provision of § 38.2-3406.1, 38.2-3406.2, or 38.2-3418.5, or any other section of this title to the contrary, a health carrier offering group or individual health insurance coverage shall not establish a lifetime limit on the dollar amount of essential health benefits for any covered person.

B. A health carrier shall not establish any annual limit on the dollar amount of essential health benefits for any covered person.

C. The provisions of this section shall not prevent a health carrier from placing annual or lifetime dollar limits for any covered person on specific covered benefits that are not essential health benefits to the extent that such limits are otherwise permitted under applicable federal or state law.

D. This section shall apply to any health carrier providing individual or group health insurance coverage, except that the prohibition and limits on annual limits shall not apply to a grandfathered plan providing individual health insurance coverage.

2011, c. 882; 2013, c. 751.

§ 38.2-3441. Rescissions.

A. Notwithstanding any provision of § 38.2-508.5 or any other section of this title to the contrary, a health carrier shall not rescind coverage under a health benefit plan after an individual is covered under the plan unless the individual or a person seeking coverage on behalf of the individual performs an act, practice, or omission that constitutes fraud, or the individual makes an intentional misrepresentation of material fact, as prohibited by the terms of the plan.

B. A health carrier shall provide at least 30 days' advance written notice or electronic notice to any covered person who would be affected by the proposed rescission of coverage before coverage under the plan may be rescinded, regardless of whether the rescission applies to the entire group or only to an individual within the group. Such notice shall at a minimum contain:

1. Clear identification of the alleged fraudulent act, practice, or omission or the intentional misrepresentation of material fact;

2. An explanation as to why the act, practice, or omission was fraudulent or was an intentional misrepresentation of a material fact;

3. Notice that the covered person or the covered person's authorized representative, prior to the date the advance notice of the proposed rescission ends, may immediately file an internal appeal to request a reconsideration of the rescission;

4. A description of the health carrier's internal appeal process for rescissions, including any time limits applicable to those procedures; and

5. The date when the advance notice ends and the date back to which the coverage will be rescinded.

C. The provisions of this section apply regardless of any applicable contestability period.

D. This section shall apply to any health carrier providing individual or group health insurance coverage, including any grandfathered plan.

2011, c. 882.

§ 38.2-3442. Preventive services.

A. Notwithstanding any provision of § 38.2-3406.1 or 38.2-3411.1 or any other section of this title to the contrary, a health carrier shall provide coverage for preventive services and shall not impose any cost-sharing requirements such as a copayment, coinsurance, or deductible.

B. A health carrier shall provide coverage for any items or services under the most current recommendations and guidelines within the scope of preventive services as required by the PPACA as in effect on January 1, 2019.

C. 1. A health carrier may impose cost-sharing requirements with respect to an office visit if an item or service is billed separately or is tracked as individual encounter data separately from the office visit.

2. A health carrier shall not impose cost-sharing requirements with respect to an office visit if an item or service is not billed separately or is not tracked as individual encounter data separately from the office visit and the primary purpose of the office visit is the delivery of the item or service.

3. A health carrier may impose cost-sharing requirements with respect to an office visit if an item or service is not billed separately or is not tracked as individual encounter data separately from the office visit and the primary purpose of the office visit is not the delivery of the item or service.

D. Nothing in this section shall preclude a health carrier that has a network of providers from imposing cost-sharing requirements for items or services that are delivered by an out-of-network provider.

E. This section shall apply to any health carrier providing individual or group health insurance coverage, except for any grandfathered plan.

2011, c. 882; 2013, c. 751; 2020, c. 1160.

§ 38.2-3443. Choice of a health care professional.

A. Notwithstanding any provision of § 38.2-3407.11, 38.2-4312.3, or any other section of this title to the contrary, if a health carrier providing individual or group health insurance coverage requires or provides for the designation by a covered person of a participating primary care health care professional, the health carrier shall permit each covered person to designate any participating primary care health care professional who is available to accept the covered person. For a child, a participating health care professional who specializes in pediatrics and is available to accept the child may be designated as the child's primary care health care professional.

B. If a health carrier provides for obstetrical or gynecological care and requires the designation by a covered person of a participating primary care health care professional, the health carrier shall not require any person's prior authorization or referral in the case of a female covered person who seeks coverage for obstetrical or gynecological care provided by a participating health care professional who specializes in obstetrics or gynecology. The provision of obstetrical and gynecological care, and the ordering of related items and services, shall be treated the same as an authorization from a primary care health care professional.

C. A health carrier shall provide notice to a covered person of the terms and conditions of the plan related to the designation of a participating health care professional.

1. Such notice shall be included whenever the health carrier provides a covered person with a summary plan description, policy, certificate, or contract of health insurance.

2. The health carrier may use the model language found in 45 C.F.R. § 147.138(a)(4)(iii) for such notice.

D. This section shall apply to any health carrier providing individual or group health insurance coverage, except for any grandfathered plan.

2011, c. 882.

§ 38.2-3444. Preexisting condition exclusions.

A. Notwithstanding any provision of § 38.2-508.1, 38.2-3432.3, 38.2-3438, 38.2-3503, 38.2-3520, or any other section of this title to the contrary, a health carrier providing individual or group health insurance coverage shall not limit or exclude coverage for an individual by imposing a preexisting condition exclusion on that individual.

B. A health carrier that offers individual health insurance coverage may offer coverage continuously throughout the year or during an open enrollment period.

C. This section shall apply to any health carrier providing individual or group health insurance coverage, including a grandfathered plan for group health insurance coverage, but not including a grandfathered plan for individual health insurance coverage.

2011, c. 882; 2013, cc. 136, 210, 751.

§ 38.2-3445. (Effective until January 1, 2021) Patient access to emergency services.

Notwithstanding any provision of § 38.2-3407.11, 38.2-4312.3, or any other section of this title to the contrary, if a health carrier providing individual or group health insurance coverage provides any benefits with respect to services in an emergency department of a hospital, the health carrier shall provide coverage for emergency services:

1. Without the need for any prior authorization determination, regardless of whether the emergency services are provided on an in-network or out-of-network basis;

2. Without regard to whether the health care provider furnishing the emergency services is a participating health care provider with respect to such services;

3. If such services are provided out-of-network, without imposing any administrative requirement or limitation on coverage that is more restrictive than the requirements or limitations that apply to such services received from an in-network provider;

4. If such services are provided out-of-network, any cost-sharing requirement expressed as copayment amount or coinsurance rate cannot exceed the cost-sharing requirement that would apply if such services were provided in-network. However, an individual may be required to pay the excess of the amount the out-of-network provider charges over the amount the health carrier is required to pay under this section. The health carrier complies with this requirement if the health carrier provides benefits with respect to an emergency service in an amount equal to the greatest of (i) the amount negotiated with in-network providers for the emergency service, or if more than one amount is negotiated, the median of these amounts; (ii) the amount for the emergency service calculated using the same method the health carrier generally uses to determine payments for out-of-network services, such as the usual, customary, and reasonable amount; and (iii) the amount that would be paid under Medicare for the emergency service.

A deductible may be imposed with respect to out-of-network emergency services only as a part of a deductible that generally applies to out-of-network benefits. If an out-of-pocket maximum generally applies to out-of-network benefits, that out-of-pocket maximum shall apply to out-of-network emergency services; and

5. Without regard to any term or condition of such coverage other than the exclusion of or coordination of benefits or an affiliation or waiting period.

2011, c. 882.

§ 38.2-3445. (Effective January 1, 2021) Patient access to emergency services.

Notwithstanding any provision of § 38.2-3407.11, 38.2-4312.3, or any other section of this title to the contrary, if a health carrier providing individual or group health insurance coverage provides any benefits with respect to services in an emergency department of a hospital, the health carrier shall provide coverage for emergency services:

1. Without the need for any prior authorization determination, regardless of whether the emergency services are provided on an in-network or out-of-network basis;

2. Without regard to the final diagnosis rendered to the covered person or whether the health care provider furnishing the emergency services is a participating health care provider with respect to such services;

3. If such services are provided out-of-network, without imposing any administrative requirement or limitation on coverage that is more restrictive than the requirements or limitations that apply to such services received from an in-network provider;

4. If such services are provided out-of-network, the health carrier shall pay the out-of-network provider in accordance with § 38.2-3445.01 less any cost-sharing requirement. Any such cost-sharing requirement shall not exceed the cost-sharing requirement that would apply if such services were provided in-network as provided in § 38.2-3445.01; and

5. Without regard to any term or condition of such coverage other than the exclusion of or coordination of benefits or an affiliation or waiting period.

2011, c. 882; 2020, cc. 1080, 1081.

§ 38.2-3445.01. (Effective January 1, 2021) Balance billing for certain services; prohibited.

A. No out-of-network provider shall balance bill an enrollee for (i) emergency services provided to an enrollee or (ii) nonemergency services provided to an enrollee at an in-network facility if the nonemergency services involve surgical or ancillary services provided by an out-of-network provider.

B. An enrollee that receives services described in subsection A satisfies his obligation to pay for the services if he pays the in-network cost-sharing requirement specified in the enrollee's or applicable group health plan contract. The enrollee's obligation shall be determined using the carrier's median in-network contracted rate for the same or similar service in the same or similar geographical area. The carrier shall provide an explanation of benefits to the enrollee and the out-of-network provider that reflects the cost-sharing requirement determined under this subsection. The obligation of an enrollee in a health benefit plan that uses no median in-network contracted rate for the services provided shall be determined as provided in § 38.2-3407.3.

C. The health carrier and the out-of-network provider shall ensure that the enrollee incurs no greater cost than the amount determined under subsection B and shall not balance bill or otherwise attempt to collect from the enrollee any amount greater than such amount. Additional amounts owed to health care providers through good faith negotiations or arbitration shall be the sole responsibility of the carrier unless the carrier is prohibited from providing the additional benefits under 26 U.S.C. § 223(c)(2) or any other federal or state law. Nothing in this subsection shall preclude a provider from collecting a past due balance on a cost-sharing requirement with interest.

D. The health carrier shall treat any cost-sharing requirement determined under subsection B in the same manner as the cost-sharing requirement for health care services provided by an in-network provider and shall apply any cost-sharing amount paid by the enrollee for such services toward the in-network maximum out-of-pocket payment obligation.

E. If the enrollee pays the out-of-network provider an amount that exceeds the amount determined under subsection B, the provider shall refund the excess amount to the enrollee within 30 business days of receipt. The provider shall pay the enrollee interest computed daily at the legal rate of interest stated in § 6.2-301 beginning on the first calendar day after the 30 business days for any unrefunded payments.

F. The amount paid to an out-of-network provider for health care services described in subsection A shall be a commercially reasonable amount, based on payments for the same or similar services provided in a similar geographic area. Within 30 calendar days of receipt of a clean claim from an out-of-network provider, the carrier shall offer to pay the provider a commercially reasonable amount. If the out-of-network provider disputes the carrier's payment, the provider shall notify the carrier no later than 30 calendar days after receipt of payment or payment notification from the carrier. If the out-of-network provider disputes the carrier's initial offer, the carrier and provider shall have 30 calendar days from the initial offer to negotiate in good faith. If the carrier and provider do not agree to a commercially reasonable payment amount within 30 calendar days and either party chooses to pursue further action to resolve the dispute, the dispute shall be resolved through arbitration as provided in § 38.2-3445.02.

G. The carrier shall make payments for services described in subsection A directly to the provider.

H. Carriers shall make available through electronic and other methods of communication generally used by a provider to verify enrollee eligibility and benefits information regarding whether an enrollee's health plan is subject to the requirements of this section.

2020, cc. 1080, 1081.

§ 38.2-3445.02. (Effective January 1, 2021) Arbitration.

A. If good faith negotiation, as described in § 38.2-3445.01, does not result in resolution of the dispute, and the carrier or the out-of-network provider chooses to pursue further action to resolve the dispute, the carrier or out-of-network provider shall initiate arbitration to determine a commercially reasonable payment amount. To initiate arbitration, the carrier or provider shall provide written notification to the Commission and the noninitiating party no later than 10 calendar days following completion of the period of good faith negotiation provided in § 38.2-3445.01. Such notification shall state the initiating party's final offer. No later than 30 calendar days following receipt of the notification, the noninitiating party shall provide its final offer to the initiating party. The parties may reach an agreement on reimbursement during this time and before the arbitration proceeding.

B. The parties shall be permitted to bundle claims for arbitration. Multiple claims may be addressed in a single arbitration proceeding if the claims at issue (i) involve identical carrier and provider parties, (ii) involve claims with the same or related current procedural terminology codes relevant to a particular procedure, and (iii) occur within a period of two months of one another.

C. Within seven calendar days of receipt of notification from the initiating party, the Commission shall provide the parties with a list of approved arbitrators or entities that provide arbitrations. The arbitrators on the list shall not have a conflict of interest with the parties and shall be trained and have experience and be selected by the Commission as set out in the standards established by the Commission through regulation. The parties may agree on an arbitrator from the list provided by the Commission. If the parties do not agree on an arbitrator, they shall notify the Commission, and the Commission shall provide the parties with the names of five arbitrators from the list. Each party may veto up to two of the five named arbitrators. If one arbitrator remains, that arbitrator shall be the chosen arbitrator. If more than one arbitrator remains, the Commission shall choose the arbitrator from the remaining arbitrators. The parties and the Commission shall complete this process within 20 calendar days of receipt of the original list from the Commission.

D. No later than 30 days after final selection of the arbitrator pursuant to subsection C, each party shall provide written submissions in support of its position to the arbitrator. The initiating party shall include in its written submission the evidence and methodology for asserting that the amount proposed to be paid is or is not commercially reasonable. A party that fails to make timely written submissions under this subsection without good cause shown shall be considered to be in default, and the arbitrator shall require the defaulting party to pay the final offer of the nondefaulting party and may require the defaulting party to pay the arbitrator's fixed fee. Written submissions required by this subsection may be submitted electronically.

E. No later than 30 calendar days after the receipt of the parties' written submissions, the arbitrator shall (i) issue a written decision requiring payment of the final offer amount of either the initiating or noninitiating party, (ii) notify the parties of the decision, and (iii) provide the decision and the information described in subsection I to the Commission.

F. In reviewing the submissions of the parties and making a decision requiring payment of the final offer amount of either the initiating or noninitiating party, the arbitrator shall consider the following factors:

1. The evidence and methodology submitted by the parties to assert that their final offer amount is reasonable; and

2. Patient characteristics and the circumstances and complexity of the case, including time and place of service and type of facility, that are not already reflected in the provider's billing code for the service.

The arbitrator may also consider other information that a party believes is relevant to the required factors included in this subsection or other information requested by the arbitrator and information provided by the parties that is relevant to such request, including data sets developed pursuant to § 38.2-3445.03. The arbitrator shall not require extrinsic evidence of authenticity for admitting such data sets.

G. The Commission shall establish a schedule of fixed fees for the costs of arbitration. Except as provided in subsection D, such fees shall be divided equally among the parties to the arbitration. The enrollee shall not be liable for any of the costs of arbitration and shall not be required to participate in the arbitration process as a witness or otherwise.

H. Within 10 business days of a party notifying the Commission and the noninitiating party of intent to initiate arbitrations, both parties shall agree to and execute a nondisclosure agreement. The nondisclosure agreement shall not preclude the arbitrator from submitting the arbitrator's decision to the Commission or impede the Commission's duty to prepare the annual report required by subsection I.

I. The Commission shall prepare an annual report summarizing the dispute resolution information provided by arbitrators, including information related to the matters decided through arbitration as well as the following information for each dispute resolved through arbitration: the name of the carrier, the name of the health care provider, the health care provider's employer or the business entity in which the provider has an ownership interest, the health care facility where the services were provided, and the type of health care services at issues. The Commission shall post the report on the Bureau's website and submit it to the Chairs of the House Committee on Labor and Commerce and Committee on Appropriations and the Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor and Committee on Finance and Appropriations annually by July 1. The provisions of this subsection shall expire on July 1, 2025.

J. The Commission shall establish an appeals process for a party to appeal to the Commission an arbitrator's decision on the grounds that (i) the decision was substantially influenced by corruption, fraud, or other undue means; (ii) there was evident partiality, corruption, or misconduct prejudicing the rights of any party; (iii) the arbitrator exceeded his powers; or (iv) the arbitrator conducted the proceeding contrary to the provisions of this section and Commission regulations, in such a way as to materially prejudice the rights of the party.

K. The provisions of the Uniform Arbitration Act, Article 2 (§ 8.01-581.01 et seq.) of Chapter 21 of Title 8.01, shall not apply to arbitration proceedings initiated pursuant to this section.

2020, cc. 1080, 1081.

§ 38.2-3445.03. (Effective January 1, 2021) Data sets for determining commercially reasonable payments.

A. The Commission shall contract with the nonprofit data services organization to establish a data set and business process to provide health carriers, health care providers, and arbitrators with data to assist in determining commercially reasonable payments and resolving payment disputes for out-of-network medical services rendered by health care providers.

B. Such data set and business protocols shall be (i) developed in collaboration with health carriers and health care providers and (ii) reviewed by the advisory committee established pursuant to § 32.1-276.7:1.

C. The data set shall provide the amounts for the services described in subsection A of § 38.2-3445.01. The data used to calculate the median in-network and out-of-network allowed amounts and the median billed charge amounts by geographic area, for the same or similar services, shall be drawn from commercial health plan claims and shall not include claims paid under Medicare or Medicaid or other claims paid on other than a fee-for-service basis. The 2020 data set shall be based upon the most recently available full calendar year of claims data. The data set for each subsequent year shall be adjusted by applying the Consumer Price Index-Medical Component as published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor to the previous year's data set.

2020, cc. 1080, 1081.

§ 38.2-3445.04. (Effective January 1, 2021) Transparency.

A. The Commission, in consultation with health carriers, health care providers, and consumers, shall develop standard template language for a notice of consumer rights notifying consumers of the following:

1. The prohibition against balance billing is applicable to health benefit plans issued by health carriers in Virginia and self-funded group health plans issued by entities that elect to participate pursuant to § 38.2-3445.01.

2. Consumers cannot be balance billed for the health care services described in § 38.2-3445.01 and will receive the protections provided for in § 38.2-3445.01.

3. Consumers may be balance billed for health care services under circumstances other than those described in subsection A of § 38.2-3445.01 or if they are enrolled in a health plan to which the provisions of § 38.2-3445.01 do not apply and steps to take if the consumer is balance billed.

4. Consumers may contact the Commission if they believe they have been balance billed in violation of § 38.2-3445.01.

5. The relevant contact information for the Commission.

B. The Commission shall determine, by regulation, when and in what format health carriers, health care providers, and health care facilities shall provide consumers with the notice required by this section.

C. A health care provider shall post the following information on its website, if one is available, or, if one is not available, provide to a consumer upon written or oral request:

1. The listing of the carrier health plan provider networks with which the provider contracts or with which the facility is an in-network provider; and

2. The notice of consumer rights required by subsection A.

Posting or otherwise providing the information required in this subsection shall not relieve a health care provider of its obligation to comply with the provisions of § 38.2-3445.01.

D. Not less than 30 days prior to executing a contract with a carrier, a health care facility shall provide the carrier with a list of the nonemployed providers or provider groups contracted to provide surgical or ancillary services at the facility. The facility shall notify the carrier within 30 days of a removal from or addition to such list and shall provide an updated list of nonemployed providers and provider groups within 14 calendar days of a request for an updated list by a carrier.

E. An in-network provider shall submit accurate information to a carrier regarding the provider's network status in a timely manner, consistent with the terms of the contract between the provider and the carrier.

F. A carrier shall update its website and provider directory no later than 30 days after the addition or termination of a provider.

G. A carrier shall provide an enrollee with (i) a clear description of the health plan's out-of-network health benefits, (ii) the notice of consumer rights required by subsection A, and (iii) notification that if the enrollee receives services from an out-of-network-provider, under circumstances other than those described in subsection A of § 38.2-3445.01, the enrollee shall have the financial responsibility for the applicable services provided outside the health plan's network in excess of applicable cost-sharing amounts and that the enrollee may be responsible for any costs in excess of those allowed by the health plan.

2020, cc. 1080, 1081.

§ 38.2-3445.05. (Effective January 1, 2021) Enforcement.

A. If the Commission has cause to believe that any health care provider has engaged in a pattern of potential violations of § 38.2-3445.01 with no corrective action, the Commission may submit information to the Board of Medicine or the Commissioner of Health for action. Prior to such submission, the Commission may provide the provider with an opportunity to cure the alleged violations or provide an explanation as to why the actions in question were not violations of § 38.2-3445.01.

B. If any health care provider has engaged in a pattern of potential violations of § 38.2-3445.01 with no corrective action, the Board of Medicine or the Commissioner of Health may levy a fine or cost recovery upon the health care provider and take other action as permitted under the authority of the Board of Medicine or Commissioner of Health. Upon completion of its review of any potential violation submitted by the Commission or initiated directly by an enrollee, the Board of Medicine or Commissioner of Health shall notify the Commission of the results of the review, including whether the violation was substantiated and any enforcement action taken as a result of a finding of a substantiated violation.

C. If a carrier has engaged in a pattern of substantiated violations of any provision of § 38.2-3445.01, the Commission may levy a fine or apply remedies authorized pursuant to Chapter 2 (§ 38.2-200 et seq.).

D. No carrier or provider shall initiate arbitration pursuant to § 38.2-3445.02 with such frequency as to indicate a general business practice.

2020, cc. 1080, 1081.

§ 38.2-3445.06. (Effective January 1, 2021) Applicability of certain sections.

A. Except as provided in this section, the provisions of §§ 38.2-3445 through 38.2-3445.05 shall not apply to an entity providing or administering an employee welfare benefit plan, as defined in § 3(1) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, 29 U.S.C. § 1002(1), that is self-insured or self-funded with respect to such plan. Such an entity may elect to be subject to the provisions of §§ 38.2-3445 through 38.2-3445.06 in the same manner as applied to a health carrier by providing notice to the Commission annually, in a form and manner prescribed by the Commission, attesting to the plan's participation and agreeing to be bound by the provisions of §§ 38.2-3445 through 38.2-3445.06. Such entity shall amend the plan, policies, contracts, and other documents to reflect such election. In addition, the entity that elects to opt in pursuant to this section shall file current plan documentation confirming that the plan accepts the obligations of §§ 38.2-3445 through 38.2-3445.06 and attests that any amended plan documents will be filed with the Commission before the effective date of such amendments. The Commission shall post on its website a list of entities, including relevant plan information, that have elected to be subject to the provisions of §§ 38.2-3445 through 38.2-3445.06. The Commission shall update such list at least once per quarter.

B. The provisions of §§ 38.2-3445.01 and 38.2-3445.02 shall not apply to services when the provider's fees are subject to schedules or other monetary limitations under any other law, including the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act, and such sections shall not preempt any such law.

C. The provisions of §§ 38.2-3445 through 38.2-3445.05 shall apply to health coverage insurance offered to state employees pursuant to § 2.2-2818 and may apply to health insurance coverage offered to employees of local governments, local officers, teachers, and retirees, and the dependents of such employees, officers, teachers, and retirees pursuant to § 2.2-1204.

D. Except for its facilitation of arbitration pursuant to § 38.2-3445.02 and its role in any appeals process established pursuant to subsection J of § 38.2-3445.02, the Commission shall have no jurisdiction to resolve disputes arising out of § 38.2-3445.01.

E. Except for in a provider contract between a carrier and an in-network provider, no person shall waive, be required to waive, or require another person to waive the provisions of §§ 38.2-3445 through 38.2-3445.05.

2020, cc. 1080, 1081.

§ 38.2-3445.07. (Effective January 1, 2021) Rules and regulations.

Pursuant to § 38.2-223, the Commission may adopt rules and regulations to implement and administer the provisions of §§ 38.2-3445 through 38.2-3445.06, including rules and regulations governing the arbitration process established in § 38.2-3445.02.

2020, cc. 1080, 1081.

§ 38.2-3445.1. (Repealed effective January 1, 2021) Patient access to elective services.

A. As used in this section:

"Cost-sharing requirement" means a deductible, copayment amount, or coinsurance rate.

"Elective services" means health care services rendered to a covered person that are not emergency services.

"In-network provider" means a health care provider or provider group having a contract with a carrier to provide health care services to a covered person under a health benefit plan as a member of the health benefit plan's network.

"Provider group" means a group of multispecialty or single-specialty health care providers who contract with a facility to exclusively provide multispecialty or single-specialty health care services at such facility.

"Required notice" means notice by a facility to a covered person (i) that health care services provided by a provider group will be billed separately from the facility and (ii) that some health care services may not be provided by an in-network provider.

B. In a facility where a covered person receives scheduled elective services, the facility shall post the required notice or inform the covered person of the required notice at the time of pre-admission or pre-registration.

C. The facility shall inform the covered person or his legal representative (i) of the names of all provider groups providing health care services at the facility, (ii) that consultation with the covered person's managed care plan is recommended to determine if the provider groups providing health care services at the facility are in-network providers, and (iii) that the covered person may be financially responsible for health care services performed by a provider that is not an in-network provider, in addition to any cost-sharing requirements.

2019, c. 432.

§ 38.2-3445.2. Out-of-network claims; reporting requirements.

A. Any health carrier providing individual or group health insurance coverage shall report to the State Corporation Commission's Bureau of Insurance (the Bureau) no later than September 1, 2020, the number of out-of-network claims for emergency services paid pursuant to subdivision A 4 of § 38.2-3445 in fiscal years 2017, 2018, and 2019. Thereafter, any health carrier providing individual or group health insurance coverage shall report to the Bureau, no later than November 1 of each year, the number of out-of-network claims for services described in subsection A of § 38.2-3445.01 for the previous fiscal year.

B. Any health carrier providing individual or group health insurance coverage shall report to the Bureau no later than September 1 of each year the number and identity of health care providers in the health carrier's network of emergency services providers and surgical or ancillary providers whose participation in the network was terminated by either the health carrier or the health care provider in the previous year and, if applicable, whether participation was subsequently reinstated in the same year. For any terminated health care providers identified by the health carrier in such report, the health carrier shall include (i) a description of the health care provider's or health carrier's stated reason for terminating participation and (ii) a description of the nature and extent of differences in payment levels for emergency services and surgical or ancillary services prior to termination and after reinstatement, if applicable, including a determination of whether such payment levels after reinstatement were higher or lower than those applied prior to termination.

C. The Bureau shall notify the Chairmen of the House Committee on Labor and Commerce and the Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor of the information reported to the Bureau pursuant to subsections A and B and other information specified in this subsection no later than December 1, 2021, and annually thereafter. Such notice shall include (i) the number of out-of-network claims for services described in subsection A of § 38.2-3445.01 for the previous fiscal year; (ii) the number and identity of health care providers in the health carrier's network of emergency services providers and surgical or ancillary services providers whose participation in the network was terminated by the health carrier or the health care provider in the previous year and whether participation was subsequently reinstated in the same year; (iii) a summary of the stated reasons for terminating participation; (iv) a summary of the nature and extent of differences in payment levels prior to termination and after reinstatement, if applicable, including a determination of whether such payment levels after reinstatement were higher or lower than those applied prior to termination; (v) an assessment by the Bureau of the potential impact of any changes in network participation or payment levels for emergency services on health insurance premiums in the time period to which the report applies; and (vi) the number and type of claims resolved by arbitration and aggregate information on the disposition of those arbitrations, including in which category group's favor the dispute was resolved, and aggregate information on the variation between the initial payment and final settlement amounts.

2020, cc. 1080, 1081.

§ 38.2-3446. Applicability of federal law.

A. The provisions of Title I of the PPACA shall apply to any health carrier that delivers or issues for delivery individual or group health insurance coverage in the Commonwealth.

B. The Commission shall implement and enforce applicable provisions of such federal law in accordance with the provisions of this title.

2011, c. 882.

§ 38.2-3447. Restrictions relating to premium rates.

A. Notwithstanding any provision of § 38.2-3432.2, 38.2-3501, 38.2-4306, or any other section of this title to the contrary, a health carrier offering a health benefit plan providing individual or small group health insurance coverage shall develop its premium rates based on the following:

1. Whether the health benefit plan covers an individual or family;

2. Rating areas, as may be established by the Commission;

3. Age, except that the rate shall not vary by more than 3 to 1 for adults; and

4. Tobacco use, except that the rate shall not vary by more than 1.5 to 1.

B. A premium rate shall not vary with respect to any particular health benefit plan by any other factor not described in subsection A.

C. Rating variations for family coverage shall be applied based on the portion of the premium that is attributable to each family member covered under the health benefit plan.

D. If the proposed area rate factors set forth in a rate filing for individual or small group health insurance coverage by a health carrier for a rating area exceed by more than 15 percent the weighted average of the proposed area rate factors among all rating areas in which the health carrier offers health benefit plans in that market, then:

1. The health carrier's rate filing shall include in a publicly available and unredacted form:

a. A comparison of the area rate factor for individual and small group health benefit plans that utilize the same provider network and provider reimbursement levels of the health benefit plans that are subject to the filing;

b. A detailed disclosure of the area rate factor methodology, which disclosure shall include any third-party resources or representations from a person other than the signing actuary, on which the signing actuary relied, provided that disclosure of third-party resources shall address that the source data only reflects differences in unit cost and provider practice patterns; and

c. To the extent that the health carrier is deriving any area rate factor from experience data, by rating area for the experience period used:

(1) The (i) total enrollment; (ii) total premiums; (iii) allowed claims; (iv) incurred claims excluding anticipated or, if available, actual risk adjustment payments or receipts; (v) incurred claims including anticipated or, if available, actual risk adjustment payments or receipts; and (vi) loss ratio for each of their rating areas in that market; and

(2) Aggregated incurred claims for any health system exceeding 30 percent of total incurred claims for that rating area in that market.

2. The Commission shall hold a public hearing on the proposed premium rates prior to the approval of the rate filing.

3. The Commission shall not approve the proposed rate filing if (i) a variance in area rate factors, indexed to the same rating region for both the individual and small group markets, of 15 percent or more exists between health benefit plans a carrier intends to offer in the individual market and health benefit plans intended to be offered in the small group market, when those plans utilize the same provider network and provider reimbursement levels and (ii) the methodologies used to calculate the area rate factors are different between the two markets.

E. Beginning for plan year 2020, a health carrier with an approved rate filing that contains at least one area rate factor that exceeds by more than 25 percent the weighted average of the area rate factors among all rating areas in a market in which the health carrier offers individual or small group health insurance coverage shall file with the Commission for each calendar quarter during that plan year a report that provides, for each rating area within the market in which the health carrier operates, the plan's (i) enrollment; (ii) total premiums; (iii) allowed claims; (iv) incurred claims excluding anticipated or, if available, actual risk adjustment payments or receipts; (v) incurred claims including anticipated or, if available, actual risk adjustment payments or receipts; (vi) loss ratio; and (vii) aggregate incurred claims, for each health system exceeding 25 percent of total incurred claims for that rating area. The health carrier shall make each such quarterly report publicly available, without redaction, not later than 45 days after the end of the calendar quarter.

F. As used in subdivisions D and E:

"Allowed claims" means the amount of claims of a covered person for health care services that are owed pursuant to the terms of the covered person's health benefits plan, including payment made by the covered person's health carrier, and cost-sharing obligations owed by or on behalf of the covered person.

"Health system" means an organization that consists of either (i) at least one hospital plus at least one group of physicians or (ii) more than one group of physicians.

"Incurred claims" means allowed claims less copayments, deductible amounts, and other cost-sharing obligations owed by or on behalf of a covered person.

"Methodologies," when referring to the calculation of area rate factors, includes (i) the types of inputs, including experience period claims data, third-party database, other sources of data, and (ii) the series of calculations that are used to derive area rate factors. This definition shall not preclude a health carrier from calculating area rate factors for rates for the individual market, based on the cost and care delivery practices associated with the providers expected to be utilized by covered persons that reside in a given rating area, while calculating area rate factors for rates for the small group market, based on those providers that are expected to be utilized by individuals employed by small employers that are located in the rating area without regard to where the covered persons reside.

"Provider" means a health care provider, as defined in § 38.2-3438, that is affiliated or in-network with a health carrier.

"Weighted average," when referring to area rate factors, means the mean of the area rate factors when weighted based on the projected number of covered persons distributed by rating area.

2013, c. 751; 2019, cc. 439, 440.

§ 38.2-3448. Guaranteed availability.

A. Notwithstanding any provision of § 38.2-3430.3, 38.2-3436, or any other section of this title to the contrary, a health carrier offering a health benefit plan providing individual or group health insurance coverage shall issue such coverage to any eligible individual or employer in the Commonwealth that applies for such coverage. For purposes of this section, an "eligible individual" means any individual eligible for either individual or group health insurance coverage in the Commonwealth.

B. A health carrier may restrict enrollment in a health benefit plan to open or special enrollment periods. The Commission may establish open enrollment periods applicable to all health benefit plans.

2013, c. 751.

§ 38.2-3449. Prohibiting discrimination based on health status.

A. Notwithstanding any provision of § 38.2-508.5, 38.2-3431, 38.2-3432.3, 38.2-3521.1, 38.2-3522.1, 38.2-3540.2, 38.2-3551, 38.2-4109, or any other section of this title to the contrary, a health carrier offering a health benefit plan providing individual or group health insurance coverage shall not establish rules for eligibility, including continued eligibility, of any covered person to enroll under the terms of coverage based on any health status-related factor in relation to the covered person.

B. A health carrier shall not require any covered person as a condition of enrollment or continued enrollment under a health benefit plan to pay a premium or contribution that is greater than such premium or contribution for a similarly situated covered person enrolled in the plan on the basis of any health status-related factor in relation to the covered person.

2013, c. 751.

§ 38.2-3449.1. Prohibited discrimination based on gender identity or status as a transgender individual.

A. As used in this section:

"Gender identity" means an individual's internal sense of gender, which may be male, female, neither, or a combination of male and female and which may be different from an individual's sex assigned at birth.

"Medically necessary transition-related care" means any medical treatment prescribed by a licensed physician for treatment of gender dysphoria and includes (i) outpatient psychotherapy and mental health services for gender dysphoria and associated co-morbid psychiatric diagnoses; (ii) continuous hormone replacement therapy; (iii) outpatient laboratory testing to monitor continuous hormone therapy; and (iv) gender reassignment surgeries.

"Transgender individual" means an individual whose gender identity is different from the sex assigned to that individual at birth.

B. A health carrier offering a health benefit plan providing individual or group health insurance coverage shall:

1. Provide coverage under the health benefit plan without discrimination on the basis of gender identity or status as a transgender individual; and

2. Treat covered individuals consistent with their gender identity.

C. A health carrier offering a health benefit plan providing individual or group health insurance coverage shall not deny or limit coverage or impose additional cost sharing or other limitations or restrictions on coverage, under a health benefit plan for health care services that are ordinarily or exclusively available to covered individuals of one sex, to a transgender individual on the basis of the fact that the individual's sex assigned at birth, gender identity, or gender otherwise recorded is different from the one to which such health services are ordinarily or exclusively available.

D. An individual shall not be subjected to discrimination under a health benefit plan on the basis of gender identity or being a transgender individual, including by being denied coverage of medically necessary transition-related care.

E. Nothing in this section is intended to determine, or restrict a health carrier from determining, whether a particular health care service is medically necessary or otherwise meets applicable coverage requirements in any individual case.

F. A health carrier shall not require any individual, as a condition of enrollment or continued enrollment under a health benefit plan, to pay a premium or contribution that is greater than such premium or contribution for a similarly situated covered person enrolled in the plan on the basis of the covered person's gender identity or being a transgender individual.

G. Health carriers shall assess medical necessity according to nondiscriminatory criteria that are consistent with current medical standards.

2020, c. 844.

§ 38.2-3450. Genetic information and testing.

A. A health carrier offering a health benefit plan providing individual and group health insurance coverage shall not adjust premium or contribution amounts for a covered person under such plan on the basis of genetic information.

B. A health carrier shall not request or require a covered person to undergo a genetic test, or require or purchase genetic information for underwriting purposes. A health carrier shall not request, require, or purchase genetic information with respect to any covered person prior to the covered person's enrollment under the health benefit plan.

C. Genetic information may be obtained under the following circumstances:

1. A health care professional who is providing health care services to a covered person may request that the covered person undergo a genetic test.

a. A health carrier may obtain and use the results of a genetic test in making a determination regarding payment of a claim.

b. A health carrier may request only the minimum amount of information necessary to accomplish the intended purpose.

2. A health carrier may request, but not require, that a covered person undergo a genetic test if all of the following conditions are met:

a. The request is made pursuant to research that complies with Part 46 of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations or equivalent federal regulations and any applicable state or local law or regulation for the protection of human subjects in research;

b. The health carrier clearly indicates to the covered person, or in the case of a minor child, to the legal guardian of the child, to whom the request is made that:

(1) Compliance with the request is voluntary; and

(2) Noncompliance will have no effect on enrollment status or premium or contribution amounts;

c. No genetic information collected or acquired under this subsection shall be used for underwriting purposes;

d. The health carrier notifies the federal Secretary of Health and Human Services in writing that the health carrier is conducting activities pursuant to the exception provided in this subsection, including a description of all the activities conducted; and

e. The health carrier complies with such other conditions as the Secretary may by regulation require for activities conducted under this subsection.

D. Any reference in this section to genetic information concerning a covered person shall:

1. With respect to the covered person who is a pregnant woman, include genetic information of any fetus carried by the pregnant woman; and

2. With respect to a covered person utilizing an assisted reproductive technology, include genetic information of any embryo legally held by the covered person.

E. This section shall apply to any health carrier providing individual or group health insurance coverage, including any grandfathered plan.

2013, c. 751.

§ 38.2-3451. Essential health benefits.

A. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, any person offering or providing a health benefit plan providing individual or small group health insurance coverage, including (i) catastrophic health insurance policies, and policies that pay on a cost-incurred basis; (ii) association health plans; and (iii) plans provided by a multiple-employer welfare arrangement, shall provide that such coverage includes essential health benefits. Nothing in this section shall require a health benefit plan providing large group health insurance coverage to provide coverage for essential health benefits in a manner that exceeds the requirements of the PPACA as of January 1, 2019. The essential health benefits package may also include associated cost-sharing requirements or limitations. No qualified health insurance plan that is sold or offered for sale through an exchange established or operating in the Commonwealth shall provide coverage for abortions, regardless of whether such coverage is provided through the plan or is offered as a separate optional rider thereto, provided that such limitation shall not apply to an abortion performed (a) when the life of the mother is endangered by a physical disorder, physical illness, or physical injury, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself, or (b) when the pregnancy is the result of an alleged act of rape or incest.

B. The provisions of subsection A requiring minimum essential pediatric oral health benefits shall be deemed to be satisfied for health benefit plans made available in the small group market or individual market in the Commonwealth outside an exchange, as defined in § 38.2-3455, issued for policy or plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2015, that do not include the minimum essential pediatric oral health benefits if the health carrier has obtained reasonable assurance that such pediatric oral health benefits are provided to the purchaser of the health benefit plan. The health carrier shall be deemed to have obtained reasonable assurance that such pediatric oral health benefits are provided to the purchaser of the health benefit plan if:

1. At least one qualified dental plan, as defined in § 38.2-3455, (i) offers the minimum essential pediatric oral health benefits and (ii) is available for purchase by the small group or individual purchaser; and

2. The health carrier prominently discloses, in a form approved by the Commission, at the time that it offers the health benefit plan that the plan does not provide the minimum essential pediatric oral health benefits.

2013, c. 751; 2014, cc. 307, 369; 2020, c. 1160.

§ 38.2-3452. Waiting periods.

Notwithstanding any provision of § 38.2-3436, 38.2-4216.1, or any other section of this title to the contrary, a health carrier offering a health benefit plan providing group health insurance coverage shall not apply any waiting period that exceeds 90 days.

2013, c. 751.

§ 38.2-3453. Clinical trials.

A. Notwithstanding any provision of § 38.2-3418.8 or any other section of this title to the contrary, if a health carrier offering a health benefit plan providing individual or group health insurance coverage provides coverage to a qualified individual, then such plan shall provide for participation in an approved clinical trial and cover routine patient costs for items and services furnished in connection with participation in such clinical trial. The health carrier shall not discriminate against the qualified individual on the basis of his participation in such clinical trial.

B. For purposes of this section:

1. "Approved clinical trial" means a phase I, phase II, phase III, or phase IV clinical trial that is conducted in relation to the prevention, detection, or treatment of cancer or other life-threatening disease or condition, and the study or investigation is (i) a federally funded or approved trial, (ii) conducted under an investigational new drug application reviewed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or (iii) a drug trial that is exempt from having an investigational new drug application.

2. "Life threatening condition" means any disease or condition from which the likelihood of death is probable unless the course of disease or condition is interrupted.

3. "Qualified individual" means a covered person who is eligible to participate in an approved clinical trial according to the trial protocol, with respect to treatment of cancer or other life-threatening disease or condition, and the referring health care professional has concluded that the individual's participation in such trial is appropriate to treat the disease or condition, or the individual's participation is based on medical and scientific information.

4. "Routine patient costs" means all items and services consistent with the coverage provided under the health benefit plan that is typically covered for a qualified individual who is not enrolled in a clinical trial. Routine patient costs do not include the investigational item, device, or service itself; items or services that are provided solely to satisfy data collection and analysis needs and that are not used in the direct clinical management of the patient; or a service that is clearly inconsistent with widely accepted and established standards of care for a particular diagnosis.

C. Nothing in this section shall preclude a health benefit plan from requiring that a qualified individual participate in an approved clinical trial through a participating provider if such provider will accept the individual as a participant in the trial. However, a health benefit plan may not preclude a qualified individual from participating in an approved clinical trial conducted outside the state in which the individual resides.

This section shall not be construed to require that a health benefit plan provide benefits outside of the plan's health care provider network unless out-of-network benefits are otherwise provided under the plan.

D. This section shall not apply to any grandfathered plan providing individual or group health insurance coverage.

2013, c. 751.

§ 38.2-3454. Wellness programs.

A. A health carrier offering a health benefit plan providing group health insurance coverage may provide for a wellness program if such program is made available to all similarly situated individuals. A wellness program may include:

1. A program that reimburses all or part of the cost for membership to a fitness center;

2. A diagnostic testing program that provides a reward for participation and does not base any part of the reward on outcomes;

3. A program that encourages preventive care related to a health condition through the waiver of the copayment or deductible requirement under a group health plan for the cost of certain items or services related to a health condition, such as prenatal care or well-baby visits;

4. A program that reimburses individuals for the cost of smoking cessation programs without regard to whether the individual quits smoking; or

5. A program that provides a reward to individuals for attending a periodic health education seminar.

B. Notwithstanding any provision of § 38.2-3449, 38.2-3540.2, or any other section of this title to the contrary, a health carrier offering a health benefit plan providing group health insurance coverage shall not create conditions for obtaining a premium discount or rebate or other reward for participation in a wellness program that is based on an individual satisfying a standard related to a health status factor, except in instances where the following requirements are satisfied:

1. The reward for the wellness program, together with the reward for other wellness programs with respect to the plan that requires satisfaction of a standard related to a health status factor, does not exceed 30 percent of the cost of employee-only coverage. If, in addition to employees or individuals, any class of dependents may participate fully in the wellness program, such reward shall not exceed 30 percent of the cost of the coverage in which any employee or individual and any dependents are enrolled;

2. The wellness program is reasonably designed to promote health or prevent disease;

3. The health carrier gives individuals eligible for the program the opportunity to qualify for the reward under the program at least once each year;

4. The full reward under the wellness program is made available to all similarly situated individuals. The reward is not available to all similarly situated individuals for a period unless the wellness program allows for a reasonable alternative standard or waiver of the otherwise applicable standard for obtaining the reward for any individual for whom, for that period, (i) it is unreasonably difficult due to a medical condition to satisfy the otherwise applicable standard or (ii) it is medically inadvisable to attempt to satisfy the otherwise applicable standard. The health carrier may seek verification, such as a statement from an individual's physician, that a health status factor makes it unreasonably difficult or medically inadvisable for the individual to satisfy or attempt to satisfy the otherwise applicable standard; and

5. The health carrier discloses, in all health benefit plan materials describing the terms of the wellness program, the availability of a reasonable alternative standard or the possibility of waiver of the otherwise applicable standard required under subdivision 4. If plan materials disclose that such a program is available without describing its terms, the disclosure under this subdivision shall not be required.

2013, c. 751.

§ 38.2-3454.1. Renewal of health benefit plans; special exception.

Notwithstanding any other provision of state law, a health carrier may renew any health benefit plan that would otherwise be required to be canceled, discontinued, or terminated, because the health benefit plan does not meet the requirements of Title I of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (H.R. 3590), as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-152)(the PPACA) or regulations promulgated thereunder, to the extent and under the terms that the appropriate federal authority has suspended enforcement of provisions of Title I of the PPACA or regulations promulgated thereunder. This section applies to health benefit plans sold or offered for sale in the individual and group markets.

2014, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 4, 5; 2016, c. 271; 2020, c. 842.

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