Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 38.2. Insurance
9/18/2019

Article 6. Federal Market Reforms.

§ 38.2-3438. 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: (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.

"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.

§ 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, 38.2-3411.1, or any other section of this title to the contrary, a health carrier shall provide coverage for all of the following items and services, and shall not impose any cost-sharing requirements such as a copayment, coinsurance, or deductible with respect to the following items and services:

1. Evidence-based items or services that have in effect a rating of A or B in the recommendations of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, with respect to the individual involved;

2. Immunizations for routine use in children, adolescents, and adults that have in effect a recommendation from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with respect to the individual involved. For purposes of this subdivision, a recommendation from 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;

3. With respect to infants, children, and adolescents, evidence-informed preventive care and screenings provided for in comprehensive guidelines supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration; and

4. With respect to women, evidence-informed preventive care and screenings recommended in comprehensive guidelines supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration.

B. A health carrier is not required to provide coverage for any items or services specified in any recommendation or guideline described in subsection A after the recommendation or guideline is no longer in effect.

C. A health carrier shall at least annually at the beginning of each new plan year or policy year revise the preventive services covered under its health benefit plans pursuant to this section consistent with the most current recommendations of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the guidelines with respect to infants, children, adolescents, and women evidence-based preventive care and screenings by the Health Resources and Services Administration in effect at the time.

D. 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.

E. 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.

F. 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.

§ 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. 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.

§ 38.2-3445.1. 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.

§ 38.2-3446. 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.

§ 38.2-3450. 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 § 38.2-3431 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 provide that such coverage includes the essential health benefits as required by § 1302(a) of the PPACA. 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 (i) 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 (ii) when the pregnancy is the result of an alleged act of rape or incest.

B. The provisions of subsection A regarding the inclusion of the PPACA-required 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 PPACA-required 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 that are required under the PPACA 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 PPACA-required minimum essential pediatric oral health benefits.

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

§ 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. Sale or renewal or offer of health benefit plans; special exception.

Notwithstanding any other provision of state law, a health carrier may sell, issue, or offer for sale or renew any health benefit plan that would otherwise (i) not be permitted to be sold, issued, or offered for sale or (ii) 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 (a) the appropriate federal authority has suspended enforcement of provisions of Title I of the PPACA or regulations promulgated thereunder or (b) the requirements of the PPACA are amended by any federal law. 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.

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