45 CFR 144.103 - Definitions.

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§ 144.103 Definitions. Link to an amendment published at 79 FR 14151, March 12, 2014.
For purposes of parts 146 (group market), 147 (group and individual market), 148 (individual market), and 150 (enforcement) of this subchapter, the following definitions apply unless otherwise provided:
Affiliation period means a period of time that must expire before health insurance coverage provided by an HMO becomes effective, and during which the HMO is not required to provide benefits.
Applicable State authority means, with respect to a health insurance issuer in a State, the State insurance commissioner or official or officials designated by the State to enforce the requirements of 45 CFR parts 146 and 148 for the State involved with respect to the issuer.
Beneficiary has the meaning given the term under section 3(8) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), which states, “a person designated by a participant, or by the terms of an employee benefit plan, who is or may become entitled to a benefit” under the plan.
Bona fide association means, with respect to health insurance coverage offered in a State, an association that meets the following conditions:
(1) Has been actively in existence for at least 5 years.
(2) Has been formed and maintained in good faith for purposes other than obtaining insurance.
(3) Does not condition membership in the association on any health status-related factor relating to an individual (including an employee of an employer or a dependent of any employee).
(4) Makes health insurance coverage offered through the association available to all members regardless of any health status-related factor relating to the members (or individuals eligible for coverage through a member).
(5) Does not make health insurance coverage offered through the association available other than in connection with a member of the association.
(6) Meets any additional requirements that may be imposed under State law.
Church plan means a Church plan within the meaning of section 3(33) of ERISA.
COBRA definitions:
(1) COBRA means Title X of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985, as amended.
(2) COBRA continuation coverage means coverage, under a group health plan, that satisfies an applicable COBRA continuation provision.
(3) COBRA continuation provision means sections 601-608 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, section 4980B of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (other than paragraph (f)(1) of such section 4980B insofar as it relates to pediatric vaccines), or Title XXII of the PHS Act.
(4) Continuation coverage means coverage under a COBRA continuation provision or a similar State program. Coverage provided by a plan that is subject to a COBRA continuation provision or similar State program, but that does not satisfy all the requirements of that provision or program, will be deemed to be continuation coverage if it allows an individual to elect to continue coverage for a period of at least 18 months. Continuation coverage does not include coverage under a conversion policy required to be offered to an individual upon exhaustion of continuation coverage, nor does it include continuation coverage under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.
(5) Exhaustion of COBRA continuation coverage means that an individual's COBRA continuation coverage ceases for any reason other than either failure of the individual to pay premiums on a timely basis, or for cause (such as making a fraudulent claim or an intentional misrepresentation of a material fact in connection with the plan). An individual is considered to have exhausted COBRA continuation coverage if such coverage ceases—
(i) Due to the failure of the employer or other responsible entity to remit premiums on a timely basis;
(ii) When the individual no longer resides, lives, or works in the service area of an HMO or similar program (whether or not within the choice of the individual) and there is no other COBRA continuation coverage available to the individual; or
(iii) When the individual incurs a claim that would meet or exceed a lifetime limit on all benefits and there is no other COBRA continuation coverage available to the individual.
(6) Exhaustion of continuation coverage means that an individual's continuation coverage ceases for any reason other than either failure of the individual to pay premiums on a timely basis, or for cause (such as making a fraudulent claim or an intentional misrepresentation of a material fact in connection with the plan). An individual is considered to have exhausted continuation coverage if—
(i) Coverage ceases due to the failure of the employer or other responsible entity to remit premiums on a timely basis;
(ii) When the individual no longer resides, lives or works in a service area of an HMO or similar program (whether or not within the choice of the individual) and there is no other continuation coverage available to the individual; or
(iii) When the individual incurs a claim that would meet or exceed a lifetime limit on all benefits and there is no other continuation coverage available to the individual.
Condition means a medical condition.
Creditable coverage has the meaning given the term in 45 CFR 146.113(a).
Dependent means any individual who is or may become eligible for coverage under the terms of a group health plan because of a relationship to a participant.
Eligible individual, for purposes of—
(1) The group market provisions in45 CFR part 146, subpart E, is defined in 45 CFR 146.150(b); and
(2) The individual market provisions in45 CFR part 148, is defined in 45 CFR 148.103.
Employee has the meaning given the term under section 3(6) of ERISA, which states, “any individual employed by an employer.”
Employer has the meaning given the term under section 3(5) of ERISA, which states, “any person acting directly as an employer, or indirectly in the interest of an employer, in relation to an employee benefit plan; and includes a group or association of employers acting for an employer in such capacity.”
Enroll means to become covered for benefits under a group health plan (that is, when coverage becomes effective), without regard to when the individual may have completed or filed any forms that are required in order to become covered under the plan. For this purpose, an individual who has health coverage under a group health plan is enrolled in the plan regardless of whether the individual elects coverage, the individual is a dependent who becomes covered as a result of an election by a participant, or the individual becomes covered without an election.
Enrollment date means the first day of coverage or, if there is a waiting period, the first day of the waiting period. If an individual receiving benefits under a group health plan changes benefit packages, or if the plan changes group health insurance issuers, the individual's enrollment date does not change.
ERISA stands for the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (29 U.S.C. 1001 et seq.).
Excepted benefits, consistent for purposes of the—
(1) Group market provisions in45 CFR part 146 subpart D, is defined in 45 CFR 146.145(c); and
(2) Individual market provisions in45 CFR part 148, is defined in 45 CFR 148.220.
Federal governmental plan means a governmental plan established or maintained for its employees by the Government of the United States or by any agency or instrumentality of such Government.
First day of coverage means, in the case of an individual covered for benefits under a group health plan, the first day of coverage under the plan and, in the case of an individual covered by health insurance coverage in the individual market, the first day of coverage under the policy or contract.
Genetic information has the meaning specified in § 146.122(a) of this subchapter.
Governmental plan means a governmental plan within the meaning of section 3(32) of ERISA.
Group health insurance coverage means health insurance coverage offered in connection with a group health plan.
Group health plan or plan means a group health plan within the meaning of 45 CFR 146.145(a).
Group market means the market for health insurance coverage offered in connection with a group health plan.
Health insurance coverage means benefits consisting of medical care (provided directly, through insurance or reimbursement, or otherwise) under any hospital or medical service policy or certificate, hospital or medical service plan contract, or HMO contract offered by a health insurance issuer. Health insurance coverage includes group health insurance coverage, individual health insurance coverage, and short-term, limited-duration insurance.
Health insurance issuer or issuer means an insurance company, insurance service, or insurance organization (including an HMO) that is required to be licensed to engage in the business of insurance in a State and that is subject to State law that regulates insurance (within the meaning of section 514(b)(2) of ERISA). This term does not include a group health plan.
Health maintenance organization or HMO means—
(1) A Federally qualified health maintenance organization (as defined insection 1301(a) of the PHS Act);
(2) An organization recognized under State law as a health maintenance organization; or
(3) A similar organization regulated under State law for solvency in the same manner and to the same extent as such a health maintenance organization.
Health status-related factor is any factor identified as a health factor in 45 CFR 146.121(a).
Individual health insurance coverage means health insurance coverage offered to individuals in the individual market, but does not include short-term, limited-duration insurance. Individual health insurance coverage can include dependent coverage.
Individual market means the market for health insurance coverage offered to individuals other than in connection with a group health plan.
Internal Revenue Code means the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (Title 26, United States Code).
Issuer means a health insurance issuer.
Large employer means, in connection with a group health plan with respect to a calendar year and a plan year, an employer who employed an average of at least 101 employees on business days during the preceding calendar year and who employs at least 1 employee on the first day of the plan year. In the case of plan years beginning before January 1, 2016, a State may elect to define large employer by substituting “51 employees” for “101 employees.”
Large group market means the health insurance market under which individuals obtain health insurance coverage (directly or through any arrangement) on behalf of themselves (and their dependents) through a group health plan maintained by a large employer, unless otherwise provided under State law.
Late enrollee means an individual whose enrollment in a plan is a late enrollment.
Late enrollment means enrollment of an individual under a group health plan other than on the earliest date on which coverage can become effective for the individual under the terms of the plan; or through special enrollment. (For rules relating to special enrollment and limited open enrollment, see §§ 146.117 and 147.104 of this subchapter.) If an individual ceases to be eligible for coverage under a plan, and then subsequently becomes eligible for coverage under the plan, only the individual's most recent period of eligibility is taken into account in determining whether the individual is a late enrollee under the plan with respect to the most recent period of coverage. Similar rules apply if an individual again becomes eligible for coverage following a suspension of coverage that applied generally under the plan.
Medical care means amounts paid for—
(1) The diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, or amounts paid for the purpose of affecting any structure or function of the body;
(2) Transportation primarily for and essential to medical care referred to in paragraph (1) of this definition; and
(3) Insurance covering medical care referred to in paragraphs (1) and (2) of this definition.
Medical condition or condition means any condition, whether physical or mental, including, but not limited to, any condition resulting from illness, injury (whether or not the injury is accidental), pregnancy, or congenital malformation. However, genetic information is not a condition.
Network plan means health insurance coverage of a health insurance issuer under which the financing and delivery of medical care (including items and services paid for as medical care) are provided, in whole or in part, through a defined set of providers under contract with the issuer.
Non-Federal governmental plan means a governmental plan that is not a Federal governmental plan.
Participant has the meaning given the term under section 3(7) of ERISA, which States, “any employee or former employee of an employer, or any member or former member of an employee organization, who is or may become eligible to receive a benefit of any type from an employee benefit plan which covers employees of such employer or members of such organization, or whose beneficiaries may be eligible to receive any such benefit.”
PHS Act stands for the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 201 et seq.).
Placement, or being placed, for adoption means the assumption and retention of a legal obligation for total or partial support of a child by a person with whom the child has been placed in anticipation of the child's adoption. The child's placement for adoption with such person ends upon the termination of such legal obligation.
Plan means, with respect to an issuer and a product, the pairing of the health insurance coverage benefits under the product with a metal tier level (as described in sections 1302(d) and (e) of the Affordable Care Act) and service area. The product comprises all plans offered within the product, and the combination of all plans offered within a product constitutes the total service area of the product.
Plan sponsor has the meaning given the term under section 3(16)(B) of ERISA, which states, “(i) the employer in the case of an employee benefit plan established or maintained by a single employer, (ii) the employee organization in the case of a plan established or maintained by an employee organization, or (iii) in the case of a plan established or maintained by two or more employers or jointly by one or more employers and one or more employee organizations, the association, committee, joint board of trustees, or other similar group of representatives of the parties who establish or maintain the plan.”
Plan year means the year that is designated as the plan year in the plan document of a group health plan, except that if the plan document does not designate a plan year or if there is no plan document, the plan year is—
(1) The deductible or limit year used under the plan;
(2) If the plan does not impose deductibles or limits on a yearly basis, then the plan year is the policy year;
(3) If the plan does not impose deductibles or limits on a yearly basis, and either the plan is not insured or the insurance policy is not renewed on an annual basis, then the plan year is the employer's taxable year; or
(4) In any other case, the plan year is the calendar year.
Policy year means, with respect to—
(1) A grandfathered health plan offered in the individual health insurancemarket and student health insurance coverage, the 12-month period that is designated as the policy year in the policy documents of the health insurance coverage. If there is no designation of a policy year in the policy document (or no such policy document is available), then the policy year is the deductible or limit year used under the coverage. If deductibles or other limits are not imposed on a yearly basis, the policy year is the calendar year.
(2) A non-grandfathered health plan offered in the individual health insurance market, or in a market in which the State has merged the individual and small group risk pools, for coverage issued or renewed beginning January 1, 2014, a calendar year for which health insurance coverage provides coverage for health benefits.
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 coverage is denied, the date of the denial) under a group health plan or group or individual health insurance coverage (or other coverage provided to Federally eligible individuals pursuant to 45 CFR part 148), whether or not any medical advice, diagnosis, care, or treatment was recommended or received before that day. A preexisting condition exclusion includes any limitation or exclusion of benefits (including a denial of coverage) applicable to an individual as a result of information relating to an individual's health status before the individual's effective date of coverage (or if coverage is denied, the date of the denial) under a group health plan, or group or individual health insurance coverage (or other coverage provided to Federally eligible individuals pursuant to 45 CFR part 148), such as a condition identified as a result of a pre-enrollment questionnaire or physical examination given to the individual, or review of medical records relating to the pre-enrollment period.
Product means a discrete package of health insurance coverage benefits that a health insurance issuer offers using a particular product network type within a service area.
Public health plan has the meaning given the term in 45 CFR 146.113(a)(1)(ix).
Short-term, limited-duration insurance means health insurance coverage provided pursuant to a contract with an issuer that has an expiration date specified in the contract (taking into account any extensions that may be elected by the policyholder without the issuer's consent) that is less than 12 months after the original effective date of the contract.
Significant break in coverage has the meaning given the term in 45 CFR 146.113(b)(2)(iii).
Small employer means, in connection with a group health plan with respect to a calendar year and a plan year, an employer who employed an average of at least 1 but not more than 100 employees on business days during the preceding calendar year and who employs at least 1 employee on the first day of the plan year. In the case of plan years beginning before January 1, 2016, a State may elect to define small employer by substituting “50 employees” for “100 employees.”
Small group market means the health insurance market under which individuals obtain health insurance coverage (directly or through any arrangement) on behalf of themselves (and their dependents) through a group health plan maintained by a small employer.
Special enrollment means enrollment in a group health plan or group health insurance coverage under the rights described in 45 CFR 146.117.
State means each of the several States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands.
State health benefits risk pool has the meaning given the term in 45 CFR § 146.113(a)(1)(vii).
Student health insurance coverage has the meaning given the term in § 147.145.
Waiting period has the meaning given the term in 45 CFR 147.116(b).
[69 FR 78781, Dec. 30, 2004, as amended at 74 FR 51688, Oct. 7, 2009; 75 FR 27138, May 13, 2010; 75 FR 37235, June 28, 2010; 77 FR 16468, Mar. 21, 2012; 78 FR 65091, Oct. 30, 2013; 79 FR 10313, Feb. 24, 2014; 79 FR 13833, Mar. 11, 2014; 79 FR 30335, May 27, 2014]
Effective Date Note:
At 79 FR 14151, Mar. 12, 2014, § 144.103 was amended by revising the definition of “individual market”, effective Jan. 1, 2015. For the convenience of the user, the revised text is set forth as follows:
§ 144.103 Definitions.
Individual market means the market for health insurance coverage offered to individuals other than in connection with a group health plan, or other than coverage offered pursuant to a contract between the health insurance issuer with the Medicaid, Children's Health Insurance Program, or Basic Health programs.

Title 45 published on 2014-10-01.

The following are only the Rules published in the Federal Register after the published date of Title 45.

For a complete list of all Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices view the Rulemaking tab.

  • 2015-02-27; vol. 80 # 39 - Friday, February 27, 2015
    1. 80 FR 10750 - Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; HHS Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2016
      GPO FDSys: XML | Text
      DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, HHS, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
      Final rule.
      These regulations are effective on April 28, 2015 except the amendments to §§ 156.235, 156.285(d)(1)(ii), and 158.162 are effective on January 1, 2016.
      45 CFR Parts 144, 147, 153, 154, 155, 156 and 158

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United States Code

Title 45 published on 2014-10-01

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 45 CFR Part 144 after this date.

  • 2015-02-27; vol. 80 # 39 - Friday, February 27, 2015
    1. 80 FR 10750 - Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; HHS Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2016
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, HHS, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
      Final rule.
      These regulations are effective on April 28, 2015 except the amendments to §§ 156.235, 156.285(d)(1)(ii), and 158.162 are effective on January 1, 2016.
      45 CFR Parts 144, 147, 153, 154, 155, 156 and 158