42 U.S. Code § 300gg–1 - Guaranteed availability of coverage

(a) Guaranteed issuance of coverage in the individual and group market
Subject to subsections (b) through (e), [1] each health insurance issuer that offers health insurance coverage in the individual or group market in a State must accept every employer and individual in the State that applies for such coverage.
(b) Enrollment
(1) Restriction
A health insurance issuer described in subsection (a) may restrict enrollment in coverage described in such subsection to open or special enrollment periods.
(2) Establishment
A health insurance issuer described in subsection (a) shall, in accordance with the regulations promulgated under paragraph (3), establish special enrollment periods for qualifying events (under section 1163 of title 29).
(3) Regulations
The Secretary shall promulgate regulations with respect to enrollment periods under paragraphs (1) and (2).
(c) Special rules for network plans
(1) In general
In the case of a health insurance issuer that offers health insurance coverage in the group and individual market through a network plan, the issuer may—
(A) limit the employers that may apply for such coverage to those with eligible individuals who live, work, or reside in the service area for such network plan; and
(B) within the service area of such plan, deny such coverage to such employers and individuals if the issuer has demonstrated, if required, to the applicable State authority that—
(i) it will not have the capacity to deliver services adequately to enrollees of any additional groups or any additional individuals because of its obligations to existing group contract holders and enrollees, and
(ii) it is applying this paragraph uniformly to all employers and individuals without regard to the claims experience of those individuals, employers and their employees (and their dependents) or any health status-related factor relating to such individuals  [1] employees and dependents.
(2) 180-day suspension upon denial of coverage
An issuer, upon denying health insurance coverage in any service area in accordance with paragraph (1)(B), may not offer coverage in the group or individual market within such service area for a period of 180 days after the date such coverage is denied.
(d) Application of financial capacity limits
(1) In general
A health insurance issuer may deny health insurance coverage in the group or individual market if the issuer has demonstrated, if required, to the applicable State authority that—
(A) it does not have the financial reserves necessary to underwrite additional coverage; and
(B) it is applying this paragraph uniformly to all employers and individuals in the group or individual market in the State consistent with applicable State law and without regard to the claims experience of those individuals, employers and their employees (and their dependents) or any health status-related factor relating to such individuals, employees and dependents.
(2) 180-day suspension upon denial of coverage
A health insurance issuer upon denying health insurance coverage in connection with group health plans in accordance with paragraph (1) in a State may not offer coverage in connection with group health plans in the group or individual market in the State for a period of 180 days after the date such coverage is denied or until the issuer has demonstrated to the applicable State authority, if required under applicable State law, that the issuer has sufficient financial reserves to underwrite additional coverage, whichever is later. An applicable State authority may provide for the application of this subsection on a service-area-specific basis.


[1]  So in original.

Source

(July 1, 1944, ch. 373, title XXVII, § 2702, as added and amended Pub. L. 111–148, title I, §§ 1201(4), 1563 (c)(8), formerly § 1562(c)(8), title X, § 10107(b)(1),Mar. 23, 2010, 124 Stat. 156, 266, 911.)
Enactment of Section

For delayed effective date of section, see Effective Date note below.
Codification

The text of section 300gg–11 of this title, which was amended and transferred to subsecs. (c) and (d) of this section by Pub. L. 111–148, § 1563(c)(8), formerly § 1562(c)(8), as renumbered by Pub. L. 111–148, § 10107(b)(1), was based on act July 1, 1944, ch. 373, title XXVII, § 2731, formerly § 2711, as added Pub. L. 104–191, title I, § 102(a),Aug. 21, 1996, 110 Stat. 1962; renumbered § 2731,Pub. L. 111–148, title I, § 1001(3),Mar. 23, 2010, 124 Stat. 130. For text of section 300gg–11 prior to amendment and transfer, see Prior Provisions note under section 300gg–11 of this title.
Prior Provisions

A prior section 300gg–1, act July 1, 1944, ch. 373, title XXVII, § 2702, as added Pub. L. 104–191, title I, § 102(a),Aug. 21, 1996, 110 Stat. 1961; Pub. L. 110–233, title I, § 102(a)(1)–(3), May 21, 2008, 122 Stat. 888, 890, was amended by Pub. L. 111–148, title I, § 1201(3),Mar. 23, 2010, 124 Stat. 154, effective for plan years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2014, and was transferred to subsecs. (b) to (f) ofsection 300gg–4 of this title. Prior to amendment and transfer by Pub. L. 111–148, text of section 300gg–1 read as follows:
“(a) In Eligibility To Enroll.—
“(1) In general.—Subject to paragraph (2), a group health plan, and a health insurance issuer offering group health insurance coverage in connection with a group health plan, may not establish rules for eligibility (including continued eligibility) of any individual to enroll under the terms of the plan based on any of the following health status-related factors in relation to the individual or a dependent of the individual:
“(A) Health status.
“(B) Medical condition (including both physical and mental illnesses).
“(C) Claims experience.
“(D) Receipt of health care.
“(E) Medical history.
“(F) Genetic information.
“(G) Evidence of insurability (including conditions arising out of acts of domestic violence).
“(H) Disability.
“(2) No application to benefits or exclusions.—To the extent consistent with section 300gg of this title, paragraph (1) shall not be construed—
“(A) to require a group health plan, or group health insurance coverage, to provide particular benefits other than those provided under the terms of such plan or coverage, or
“(B) to prevent such a plan or coverage from establishing limitations or restrictions on the amount, level, extent, or nature of the benefits or coverage for similarly situated individuals enrolled in the plan or coverage.
“(3) Construction.—For purposes of paragraph (1), rules for eligibility to enroll under a plan include rules defining any applicable waiting periods for such enrollment.
“(b) In Premium Contributions.—
“(1) In general.—A group health plan, and a health insurance issuer offering health insurance coverage in connection with a group health plan, may not require any individual (as a condition of enrollment or continued enrollment under the plan) to pay a premium or contribution which is greater than such premium or contribution for a similarly situated individual enrolled in the plan on the basis of any health status-related factor in relation to the individual or to an individual enrolled under the plan as a dependent of the individual.
“(2) Construction.—Nothing in paragraph (1) shall be construed—
“(A) to restrict the amount that an employer may be charged for coverage under a group health plan except as provided in paragraph (3); or
“(B) to prevent a group health plan, and a health insurance issuer offering group health insurance coverage, from establishing premium discounts or rebates or modifying otherwise applicable copayments or deductibles in return for adherence to programs of health promotion and disease prevention.
“(3) No group-based discrimination on basis of genetic information.—
“(A) In general.—For purposes of this section, a group health plan, and health insurance issuer offering group health insurance coverage in connection with a group health plan, may not adjust premium or contribution amounts for the group covered under such plan on the basis of genetic information.
“(B) Rule of construction.—Nothing in subparagraph (A) or in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (d) shall be construed to limit the ability of a health insurance issuer offering health insurance coverage in connection with a group health plan to increase the premium for an employer based on the manifestation of a disease or disorder of an individual who is enrolled in the plan. In such case, the manifestation of a disease or disorder in one individual cannot also be used as genetic information about other group members and to further increase the premium for the employer.
“(c) Genetic Testing.—
“(1) Limitation on requesting or requiring genetic testing.—A group health plan, and a health insurance issuer offering health insurance coverage in connection with a group health plan, shall not request or require an individual or a family member of such individual to undergo a genetic test.
“(2) Rule of construction.—Paragraph (1) shall not be construed to limit the authority of a health care professional who is providing health care services to an individual to request that such individual undergo a genetic test.
“(3) Rule of construction regarding payment.—
“(A) In general.—Nothing in paragraph (1) shall be construed to preclude a group health plan, or a health insurance issuer offering health insurance coverage in connection with a group health plan, from obtaining and using the results of a genetic test in making a determination regarding payment (as such term is defined for the purposes of applying the regulations promulgated by the Secretary under part C of title XI of the Social Security Act and section 264 of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, as may be revised from time to time) consistent with subsection (a).
“(B) Limitation.—For purposes of subparagraph (A), a group health plan, or a health insurance issuer offering health insurance coverage in connection with a group health plan, may request only the minimum amount of information necessary to accomplish the intended purpose.
“(4) Research exception.—Notwithstanding paragraph (1), a group health plan, or a health insurance issuer offering health insurance coverage in connection with a group health plan, may request, but not require, that a participant or beneficiary undergo a genetic test if each of the following conditions is met:
“(A) The request is made pursuant to research that complies with part 46 of title 45, Code of Federal Regulations, or equivalent Federal regulations, and any applicable State or local law or regulations for the protection of human subjects in research.
“(B) The plan or issuer clearly indicates to each participant or beneficiary, or in the case of a minor child, to the legal guardian of such beneficiary, to whom the request is made that—
“(i) compliance with the request is voluntary; and
“(ii) non-compliance will have no effect on enrollment status or premium or contribution amounts.
“(C) No genetic information collected or acquired under this paragraph shall be used for underwriting purposes.
“(D) The plan or issuer notifies the Secretary in writing that the plan or issuer is conducting activities pursuant to the exception provided for under this paragraph, including a description of the activities conducted.
“(E) The plan or issuer complies with such other conditions as the Secretary may by regulation require for activities conducted under this paragraph.
“(d) Prohibition on Collection of Genetic Information.—
“(1) In general.—A group health plan, and a health insurance issuer offering health insurance coverage in connection with a group health plan, shall not request, require, or purchase genetic information for underwriting purposes (as defined in section 300gg–91 of this title).
“(2) Prohibition on collection of genetic information prior to enrollment.—A group health plan, and a health insurance issuer offering health insurance coverage in connection with a group health plan, shall not request, require, or purchase genetic information with respect to any individual prior to such individual’s enrollment under the plan or coverage in connection with such enrollment.
“(3) Incidental collection.—If a group health plan, or a health insurance issuer offering health insurance coverage in connection with a group health plan, obtains genetic information incidental to the requesting, requiring, or purchasing of other information concerning any individual, such request, requirement, or purchase shall not be considered a violation of paragraph (2) if such request, requirement, or purchase is not in violation of paragraph (1).
“(e) Application to All Plans.—The provisions of subsections (a)(1)(F), (b)(3), (c), and (d) andsubsection (b)(1) andsection 300gg of this title with respect to genetic information, shall apply to group health plans and health insurance issuers without regard to section 300gg–21 (a) of this title.
“(f) Genetic Information of a Fetus or Embryo.—Any reference in this part to genetic information concerning an individual or family member of an individual shall—
“(1) with respect to such an individual or family member of an individual who is a pregnant woman, include genetic information of any fetus carried by such pregnant woman; and
“(2) with respect to an individual or family member utilizing an assisted reproductive technology, include genetic information of any embryo legally held by the individual or family member.”
Another prior section 2702 of act July 1, 1944, was successively renumbered by subsequent acts and transferred, see section 238a of this title.
Amendments

2010—Pub. L. 111–148, § 1563(c)(8), formerly § 1562(c)(8), as renumbered by Pub. L. 111–148, § 10107(b)(1), transferred section 300gg–11 of this title to the end of this section after amending it by striking out the section catchline “Guaranteed availability of coverage for employers in group market”, by striking out subsec. (a) which related to issuance of coverage in small group market, subsec. (b) which related to assurance of access in large group market, subsec. (e) which related to exception to requirement for failure to meet certain minimum participation or contribution rules, and subsec. (f) which related to exception for coverage offered only to bona fide association members, by amending subsec. (c) by substituting “group and individual” for “small group” in introductory provisions of par. (1), inserting “and individuals” after “employers” in introductory provisions of par. (1)(B), inserting “or any additional individuals” after “additional groups” in par. (1)(B)(i), substituting “and individuals without regard to the claims experience of those individuals, employers and their employees (and their dependents) or any health status-related factor relating to such individuals” for “without regard to the claims experience of those employers and their employees (and their dependents) or any health status-related factor relating to such” in par. (1)(B)(ii), and substituting “group or individual” for “small group” in par. (2), and by amending subsec. (d) by substituting “group or individual” for “small group” wherever appearing and substituting “all employers and individuals” for “all employers”, “those individuals, employers” for “those employers”, and “such individuals, employees” for “such employees” in par. (1)(B).
Effective Date

Section effective for plan years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2014, see section 1255 ofPub. L. 111–148, set out as a note under section 300gg of this title.

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45 CFR - Public Welfare

45 CFR Part 144 - REQUIREMENTS RELATING TO HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE

45 CFR Part 146 - REQUIREMENTS FOR THE GROUP HEALTH INSURANCE MARKET

45 CFR Part 148 - REQUIREMENTS FOR THE INDIVIDUAL HEALTH INSURANCE MARKET

45 CFR Part 150 - CMS ENFORCEMENT IN GROUP AND INDIVIDUAL INSURANCE MARKETS

 

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