TITLE 18

Insurance Code

Insurance

CHAPTER 35. GROUP AND BLANKET HEALTH INSURANCE

Subchapter IV. Large Employer Health Insurance Standards


As used in this subchapter:

(1) "Affiliation period" means a period of time not to exceed 2 months (3 months for late enrollees) during which a health maintenance organization does not collect premium and coverage issued is not effective.

(2) "Bona fide association" means, with respect to health insurance coverage offered in Delaware, an association which:

a. Has been actively in existence for at least 5 years;

b. Has been formed and maintained in good faith for purposes other than obtaining insurance and does not condition membership on the purchase of association-sponsored insurance;

c. Does not condition membership in the association on any health status-related factor relating to an employee of an employer or a dependent of an employee and clearly so states in all membership and application materials;

d. Makes health insurance coverage offered through the association available to all members regardless of any health status-related factor relating to such members (or individuals eligible for coverage through a member) and clearly so states in all marketing and application materials;

e. Does not make health insurance coverage offered through the association available other than in connection with a member of the association and clearly so states in all marketing and application materials; and

f. Provides and annually updates information necessary for the Commissioner to determine whether or not an association meets the definition of a bona fide association before qualifying as a bona fide association for the purposes of this chapter.

(3) "Creditable coverage" means, with respect to an individual, health benefits or coverage provided under any of the following:

a. A group health benefit plan;

b. A health benefit plan;

c. Part A or Part B of Title XVIII of the Social Security Act [42 U.S.C. § 1395 et seq. or 42 U.S.C. § 1395j et seq.];

d. Title XIX of the Social Security Act [42 U.S.C. § 1396 et seq.], other than coverage consisting solely of benefits under § 1928 [42 U.S.C. § 1396s];

e. Chapter 55 of Title 10, United States Code [10 U.S.C. § 1071 et seq.];

f. A medical care program of the Indian Health Service or of a tribal organization;

g. A state health benefits risk pool;

h. A health plan offered under Chapter 89 of Title 5, United States Code [5 U.S.C. § 8901 et seq.];

i. A public health plan as defined in federal regulations;

j. A health benefit plan under § 5(e) of the Peace Corps Act [22 U.S.C. § 2504(e)].

(4) "Health benefit plan" means any hospital or medical policy or certificate, major medical expense insurance policy or certificate, any hospital or medical service plan contract, health maintenance organization or health service corporation subscriber contract or any other similar health contract subject to the jurisdiction of the Commissioner.

"Health benefit plan" does not include: accident only; credit; dental; vision; Medicare supplement; benefits for long-term care, home health care, community-based care or any combination thereof; disability income insurance; liability insurance including general liability insurance and automobile liability insurance; coverage for on-site medical clinics; coverage issued as a supplement to liability insurance, worker's compensation or similar insurance; or automobile medical payment insurance. The term also excludes specified disease, hospital confinement indemnity or limited benefit health insurance if such types of coverage do not provide coordination of benefits and are provided under separate policies or certificates; provided, that the carrier offering such policies or certificates complies with the following:

a. The carrier files, on or before March 1 of each year, a certification with the Commissioner that contains the statement and information described in paragraph (4)b. of this section.

b. The certification shall contain the following:

1. A statement from the carrier certifying that policies or certificates described in this paragraph are being offered and marketed as supplemental health insurance and not as a substitute for hospital or medical expense insurance or major medical expense insurance.

2. A summary description of each policy or certificate described in this paragraph, including the average annual premium rates (or range of premium rates in cases where premiums vary by age or other factors) charged for these policies and certificates in this State.

c. In the case of a policy or certificate that is described in this paragraph and that is offered for the first time in this State on or after July 1, 1997, the carrier files with the Commissioner the information and statement required in paragraph (4)b. of this section at least 30 days prior to the date the policy or certificate is issued or delivered in this State.

(5) "Health status-related factor" means any of the following factors:

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, as defined in § 2317 of this title;

g. Evidence of insurability, including conditions arising out of acts of domestic violence;

h. Disability.

(6) "Large employer" means any person, firm, corporation, partnership or association that is actively engaged in business that, on at least 50 percent of its working days during the preceding calendar quarter, employed more than 50 eligible employees, as defined in § 7202 of this title, the majority of whom were employed within this State. In determining the number of eligible employees, companies that are affiliated companies or that are eligible to file a combined tax return for purposes of state taxation shall be considered 1 employer. In the case of an employer that was not in existence throughout the preceding calendar quarter, the determination of whether such employer is a small or large employer shall be based on the average number of employees that is reasonably expected such employer will employ on business days in the current calendar year.

(7) "Late enrollee" means an eligible employee or dependent who requests enrollment in a group health benefit plan following the initial enrollment period during which such individual is entitled to enroll under the terms of the health benefit plan, if such initial enrollment period is a period of at least 30 days. An eligible employee or dependent shall not be considered a late enrollee if:

a. The individual:

1. Was covered under other creditable coverage at the time of the initial enrollment period and, if required by the carrier or issuer, the employee stated at the time of initial enrollment that this was the reason for declining enrollment;

2. Lost coverage under the other creditable coverage as a result of termination of employment or eligibility, reduction in the number of hours of employment, the involuntary termination of the creditable coverage, death of a spouse, legal separation or divorce or employer contributions towards such coverage was terminated; and

3. Requests enrollment within 30 days after termination of the other creditable coverage; or

b. The individual is employed by an employer that offers multiple health benefit plans and elects a different plan during an open enrollment period; or

c. A court has ordered that coverage be provided for a dependent under a covered employee's health benefit plan and the request for enrollment is made within 30 days after issuance of such court order; or

d. A person becomes a dependent of a covered person through marriage, birth, adoption or placement for adoption and requests enrollment no later than 30 days after becoming such a dependent. In such case, coverage shall commence on the date the person becomes a dependent if a request for enrollment is received in a timely fashion before such date.

(8) "Medical care" means amounts paid for:

a. The diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease, or amounts paid for the purpose of affecting any structure or function of the body;

b. Transportation primarily for and essential to medical care referred to in paragraph (8)a. of this section; and

c. Insurance covering medical care referred to in paragraphs (8)a. and (8)b. of this section.

(9) "Waiting period" means, with respect to a group health plan and an individual who is a potential participant or beneficiary in the plan, the period that must pass with respect to the individual before the individual is eligible for benefits under the terms of the plan. For purposes of calculating periods of creditable coverage, a waiting period shall not be considered a gap in coverage.

71 Del. Laws, c. 143, § 14; 72 Del. Laws, c. 383, § 4; 73 Del. Laws, c. 89, § 1; 76 Del. Laws, c. 176, § 3.;

A health benefit plan that covers a large group in this State:

(1) Shall not deny, exclude or limit benefits for a covered individual because of a preexisting condition;

(2) May impose an affiliation period. An affiliation period shall run concurrently with any waiting period. A health maintenance organization may, in lieu of an affiliation period, use an alternative method to address adverse selection with the prior approval of the Commissioner;

(3) Shall waive an affiliation period for the period of time an individual was previously covered by creditable coverage if such creditable coverage was continuous to a date not more than 63 days prior to the effective date of the new coverage. For purposes of calculating continuous coverage, a waiting period shall not be considered a gap in coverage. This paragraph shall not preclude application of any waiting period applicable to all new enrollees under the plan. The method of crediting and certifying coverage shall be determined by the Commissioner by regulation; and

(4) May not exclude coverage for late enrollees for a preexisting condition.

A health benefit plan shall not establish rules for eligibility for any individual to enroll under the plan based on any health status-related factors in relation to the individual or a dependent of the individual.

71 Del. Laws, c. 143, § 14; 73 Del. Laws, c. 89, § 1; 76 Del. Laws, c. 176, § 3; 79 Del. Laws, c. 99, § 9.;

(a) A health benefit plan shall be renewable with respect to an enrollee or dependents at the option of the enrollee, except in any of the following cases:

(1) The policyholder fails to comply with participation or contribution rules;

(2) With respect to a network plan, there is no longer any enrollee in connection with such plan that lives, resides or works in the service area of the carrier;

(3) With respect to a coverage that is made available only through 1 or more bona fide associations, the membership of the employer ceases;

(4) The policyholder has failed to pay premiums or contributions in accordance with the terms of the health benefit plan or the health carrier has not received timely premium payments;

(5) The policyholder has performed an act or practice that constitutes fraud or made an intentional misrepresentation of material fact under the terms of the coverage;

(6) A decision by the carrier to discontinue offering a particular type of group health benefit plan in the state's large group insurance market. A type of health benefit plan may be discontinued by the carrier in the large group market only if the carrier:

a. Provides notice of the decision not to renew coverage to all affected enrollees and to the Commissioner in each state in which an affected enrollee is known to reside at least 90 days prior to the nonrenewal of any health benefit plans by the carrier. Notice to the Commissioner under this subparagraph shall be provided at least 3 working days prior to the notice to the affected individuals;

b. Offers to each large employer provided the particular type of health benefit plan the option to purchase any other health benefit plans currently being offered by the carrier to large employers in the state; and

c. In exercising the option to discontinue the particular type of health benefit plan and in offering the option of coverage under paragraph (a)(6)b. of this section, the carrier acts uniformly without regard to the claims experience of any affected individual or any health status-related factor relating to any covered individuals or beneficiaries who may become eligible for the coverage;

(7) The carrier elects to discontinue offering and to nonrenew all its health benefit plans delivered or issued for delivery in the state. In that case, the carrier shall provide notice of the decision not to renew coverage to all enrollees and to the Commissioner in each state in which an enrollee is known to reside at least 180 days prior to the nonrenewal of the health benefit plan by the carrier. Notice to the Commissioner under this paragraph shall be provided at least 3 working days prior to the notice of the enrollees.

(b) A carrier that elects not to renew all its health benefit plans under paragraph (a)(7) of this section shall be prohibited from writing new business in the large group market in this State for a period of 5 years from the date of the discontinuation of the last health benefit plan not so renewed.

(c) A carrier may modify a large group health benefit plan if all those large groups covered by the same policy form are uniformly modified.

71 Del. Laws, c. 143, § 14; 73 Del. Laws, c. 89, § 1; 76 Del. Laws, c. 176, § 3; 79 Del. Laws, c. 102, § 3.;

A carrier offering a large group health benefit plan may not require any individual (as a condition of enrollment or continued enrollment under the plan) to pay a premium or contribution that 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. This prohibition shall not be construed to restrict the amount that an employer may be charged for coverage under a large group health benefit plan or to prevent a carrier 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, if not otherwise prohibited by law.

71 Del. Laws, c. 143, § 14; 73 Del. Laws, c. 89, § 1; 76 Del. Laws, c. 176, § 3.;

A carrier offering a large group health plan shall comply with the provisions of 42 U.S.C. § 300gg-5, Public Law 104-204 and any subsequent changes in federal law.

71 Del. Laws, c. 143, § 14; 73 Del. Laws, c. 89, § 1; 76 Del. Laws, c. 176, § 3.;

A carrier offering a health benefit plan shall comply with the provisions of 42 U.S.C. § 300gg-4 and any subsequent changes in federal law.

71 Del. Laws, c. 143, § 14; 73 Del. Laws, c. 89, § 1; 76 Del. Laws, c. 176, § 3.;

(a) Definitions. — For the purposes of this section, the following words and phrases shall have the following meanings:

(1) "Carrier" means any entity that provides health insurance in this State. For the purposes of this section, carrier includes an insurance company, health service corporation, health maintenance organization and any other entity providing a plan of health insurance or health benefits subject to state insurance regulation. "Carrier" also includes any third-party administrator or other entity that adjusts, administers or settles claims in connection with health benefit plans.

(2) "Health benefit plan" means any hospital or medical policy or certificate, major medical expense insurance, health service corporation subscriber contract or health maintenance organization subscriber contract. Health benefit plan does not include accident-only, credit, dental, vision, Medicaid plans, long-term care or disability income insurance, coverage issued as a supplement to liability insurance, worker's compensation or similar insurance or automobile medical payment insurance.

"Health benefit plan" shall not include policies or certificates or specified disease, hospital confinement indemnity or limited benefit health insurance, provided that the carrier offering such policies or certificates complies with the following:

a. The carrier files on or before March 1 of each year a certification with the Commissioner that contains the statement and information described in paragraph (a)(2)b. of this section.

b. The certification required in paragraph (a)(2)a. of this section shall contain the following:

1. A statement from the carrier certifying that policies or certificates described in this paragraph are being offered and marketed as supplemental health insurance and not as a substitute for hospital or medical expense insurance or major medical expense insurance.

2. A summary description of each policy or certificate described in this paragraph, including the average annual premium rates (or range of premium rates in cases where premiums vary by age, gender or other factors) charged for such policies and certificates in this State.

c. In the case of a policy or certificate that is described in this paragraph and that is offered for the first time in this State on or after January 1, 1999, the carrier files with the Commissioner the information and statement required in paragraph (a)(2)b. of this section at least 30 days prior to the date such a policy or certificate is issued or delivered in this State.

(3) "Serious mental illness" means any of the following biologically based mental illnesses: schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, major depressive disorder, panic disorder, anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, schizo affective disorder and delusional disorder. The diagnostic criteria set out in the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual shall be utilized to determine whether a beneficiary of a health benefit plan is suffering from a serious mental illness.

(b) Coverage of serious mental illness and drug and alcohol dependency. — Carriers shall provide coverage of serious mental illnesses and drug and alcohol dependencies in all health benefit plans delivered or issued for delivery in this State. Subject to the provisions of subsections (a) and (c) through (h) of this section, no carrier may issue for delivery, or deliver, in this State any health benefit plan containing terms that place a greater financial burden on an insured for covered services provided in the diagnosis and treatment of a serious mental illness and drug and alcohol dependency than for covered services provided in the diagnosis and treatment of any other illness or disease covered by the health benefit plan. By way of example, such terms include deductibles, co-pays, monetary limits, co-insurance factors, limits in the numbers of visits, limits in the length of inpatient stays, durational limits or limits in the coverage of prescription medicines.

(c) Eligibility for coverage. — A health benefit plan may condition coverage of services provided in the diagnosis and treatment of a serious mental illness and drug and alcohol dependency on the further requirements that the service or services:

(1) Must be rendered by a mental health professional licensed or certified by the State Board of Licensing including, but not limited to, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers and such other mental health professionals, or a drug and alcohol counselor who has been certified by the Delaware Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselors Certification Board or in a mental health facility licensed by the State or in a treatment facility approved by the Department of Health and Social Services or the Bureau of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse as set forth in Chapter 22 of Title 16 or substantially similar licensing entities in other states;

(2) Must be medically necessary; and

(3) Must be covered services subject to any administrative requirements of the health benefit plan.

A health benefit plan may further condition coverage of services provided in the diagnosis and treatment of a serious mental illness and drug and alcohol dependency in the same manner and to the same extent as coverage for all other illnesses and diseases is conditioned. Such conditions may include, by way of example and not by way of limitation, precertification and referral requirements.

(d) Benefit management.

(1) A carrier may, directly or by contract with another qualified entity, manage the benefit prescribed by subsection (b) of this section in order to limit coverage of services provided in the diagnosis and treatment of a serious mental illness and drug and alcohol dependency to those services that are deemed medically necessary. The management of benefits for serious mental illnesses and drug and alcohol dependencies may be by methods used for the management of benefits provided for other medical conditions, or may be by management methods unique to mental health benefits. Such may include, by way of example and not limitation, pre-admission screening, prior authorization of services, utilization review and the development and monitoring of treatment plans.

(2) This section shall not be interpreted to require a carrier to employ the same benefit management procedures for serious mental illnesses and drug and alcohol dependencies that are employed for the management of other illnesses or diseases covered by the health benefit plan or to require parity or equivalence in the rate, or dollar value of, claims denied.

(e) Exclusions. — This section shall not apply to plans or policies not within the definition of health benefit plan, as set out in paragraph (a)(2) of this section.

(f) Out of network services. — Where a health benefit plan provides benefits for the diagnosis and treatment of serious mental illnesses and drug and alcohol dependencies within a network of providers and where a beneficiary of the health benefit plan obtains services consisting of diagnosis and treatment of a serious mental illness and drug and alcohol dependency outside of the network of providers, the provisions of this section shall not apply. The health benefit plan may contain terms and conditions applicable to out of network services without reference to the provisions of this section.

(g) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit or reduce any benefit, entitlement, or coverage conferred by § 3570A of this title including, but not limited to, provider and service eligibility.

71 Del. Laws, c. 275, § 2; 73 Del. Laws, c. 89, § 1; 73 Del. Laws, c. 199, §§ 7-10, 12; 74 Del. Laws, c. 157, § 2; 76 Del. Laws, c. 176, § 3; 78 Del. Laws, c. 398, § 4.;

(a) This section shall apply to:

(1) Insurers and nonprofit health service plans that provide, directly or through a pharmacy benefit manager, coverage for prescription drugs under health insurance policies or contracts that are issued or delivered in this State; and

(2) Health maintenance organizations that provide, directly or through a pharmacy benefit manager, coverage for prescription drugs under contracts that are issued or delivered in this State.

(b) If an entity subject to this section requires a pharmacy to submit a request for payment electronically, then the pharmacy or its designated agent may choose to be reimbursed electronically, and in that event the entity shall electronically reimburse such pharmacy and shall provide the appropriate payment data electronically.

(c) An entity subject to this section may not impose on a pharmacy a processing fee for the electronic reimbursement or for providing payment data electronically, provided that the electing pharmacy agrees to, and can accept claims details for the payments electronically and provide accurate electronic funds transfer information to the entity making payments.

(d) Subsequent to January 6, 2010, any pharmacy that requires electronic reimbursement under this section shall allow an entity 45 days to become compliant herewith from the date of the pharmacy's initial request to commence electronic reimbursement between the parties.

77 Del. Laws, c. 116, § 2.;

(a) Unless otherwise specifically provided, the definitions herein apply throughout this section.

(1) "Class of drugs" means a group of medications having similar actions designed to treat a particular disease process.

(2) "Coinsurance" means a cost-sharing amount set as a percentage of the total cost of the drug.

(3) "Commissioner" means the Insurance Commissioner of this State.

(4) "Copayment" means a cost-sharing amount set as a dollar value.

(5) "Nonpreferred drug" means a specialty drug formulary classification for certain specialty drugs deemed nonpreferred and therefore subject to limits on eligibility for coverage or to higher cost-sharing amounts than preferred specialty drugs.

(6) "Preferred drug" means a specialty drug formulary classification for certain specialty drugs deemed preferred and therefore not subject to limits on eligibility for coverage or not subject to higher cost-sharing amounts than nonpreferred specialty drugs.

(7) "Specialty drug" means a prescription drug that:

a. Is prescribed for a person with:

1. A complex or chronic medical condition, defined as a physical, behavioral, or developmental condition that may have no known cure and/or is progressive and/or can be debilitating or fatal if left untreated or under-treated, such as multiple sclerosis, hepatitis C, and rheumatoid arthritis; or

2. A rare medical condition, defined as any disease or condition that affects fewer than 200,000 persons in the United States, or about 1 in 1,500 people, such as cystic fibrosis, hemophilia, and multiple myeloma; and

b. The total monthly cost of the prescription is $600 or more; and

c. The drug is not stocked at a majority of retail pharmacies; and

d. The drug has 1 or more of the following characteristics:

1. It is an oral, injectable, or infusible drug product.

2. It has unique storage or shipment requirements, such as refrigeration.

3. Patients receiving the drug require education and support beyond traditional dispensing activities.

(8) "Specialty drug formulary" means a specialty drug benefit design that distinguishes for purposes of eligibility for coverage or for cost sharing between preferred drugs and nonpreferred drugs.

(9) "Specialty drug tier" means a tier of cost sharing designed for specialty drugs that imposes a cost-sharing obligation for specialty drugs that exceeds the amount for nonspecialty drugs and such a cost-sharing amount is based on a coinsurance.

(b) A health plan that provides coverage for prescription drugs and utilizes a specialty drug tier shall ensure that any required copayment or coinsurance applicable to specialty drugs on a specialty tier does not exceed $150 per month for each specialty drug up to a 30-day supply of any single drug.

(c) A health plan that provides coverage for prescription drugs and utilizes a specialty drug formulary shall implement an exceptions process that allows enrollees to request an exception to the formulary. Under such an exception, a nonformulary specialty drug could be deemed covered under the formulary if the prescribing physician determines that the formulary drug for treatment of the same condition either would not be as effective for the individual, or would have adverse effects for the individual, or both. In the event an enrollee is denied an exception, such denial shall be considered an adverse event and will be subject to the health plan internal review process set forth in § 332 of this title and the state external review process set forth in § 6416 of this title.

(d) A health plan that provides coverage for prescription drugs shall be prohibited from placing all drugs in a given class of drugs on a specialty tier.

(e) Nothing in this section shall be construed to require a health plan to:

(1) Provide coverage for any additional drugs not otherwise required by law;

(2) Implement specific utilization management techniques, such as prior authorization or step therapy; or

(3) Cease utilization of tiered cost-sharing structures, including those strategies used to incent use of preventive services, disease management, and low-cost treatment options.

(f) Nothing in this section shall be construed to require a pharmacist to substitute a drug without the consent of the prescribing physician.

(g) Nothing contained in any other provision of Delaware law or regulation shall preclude a health plan or other entity subject to this chapter from requiring specialty drugs to be obtained through a designated pharmacy or other source of such drugs.

79 Del. Laws, c. 133, § 2.;