California Code, Insurance Code - INS § 10176.10

(a) On or after January 1, 1994, no disability insurer issuing policies covering hospital, surgical, or medical expenses delivered or renewed in this state or certificates of group disability insurance delivered or renewed in this state pursuant to a master group policy delivered or renewed in another state, to individuals, or to employer groups with fewer than two eligible employees, as defined in subdivision (g) of Section 10700 , shall close a block of business without complying with this section.

(b) As used in this section, “block of business” means individual, group, or blanket disability insurance contracts covering hospital, medical, or surgical expenses of a particular policy form that has distinct benefits or marketing methods.  “Closed block of business” means a block of business for which an insurer ceases to actively market and sell new contracts under a particular policy form in this state.

(c) Notwithstanding subdivision (b), a block of business shall be presumed closed if either of the following applies:

(1) There has been an overall reduction of 12 percent in the number of in force policies of a particular form for a period of 12 months.

(2) The block has less than 2,000 insured nationally or 1,000 insureds in California.  This presumption shall not apply to a block of business initiated within the previous 24 months, but notification of that block shall be provided to the commissioner.  The notification shall not be subject to the approval required by subdivision (d).

An insurer may present evidence for consideration by the commissioner that the presumption in the particular case is incorrect.  Should the determination be made that the block is closed, the insurer shall be given those remedy options contained in subdivision (d).  The fact that a block of business does not meet one of the presumptions set forth in this subdivision shall not preclude a determination that it is closed as defined in subdivision (b).

(d) An insurer shall notify the commissioner within 30 days of its decision to close a block or, in the absence of an actual decision to close a block of business, within 30 days of its determination that the block is within the presumptions set forth in subdivision (c).  The commissioner may notify an insurer that he or she has determined that the presumptions contained in subdivision (c) apply to a block.  No insurer providing disability insurance covering hospital, medical, or surgical expenses shall close a policy form or group certificate without notification to the commissioner.  That notification shall include a plan to permit an insured to move to any open block, providing comparable benefits with no additional underwriting requirement or, alternatively, the insurer shall be required to pool the closed block's experience with all appropriate open forms for purposes of renewal rate determination, with no rate penalty or surcharge, beyond that which reflects the experience of the combined pool.  When the insurer chooses to pool, the notice shall include the insurer's plan for pooling the closed block's experience.  The insurer may implement the pooling plan if 30 days expire after the submission is filed without written notice from the commissioner specifying the reasons for his or her opinion that the pooling plan does not comply with the requirements of this section, or, prior to that time, if the commissioner provides the insurer written notice that the pooling plan complies with the requirements of this section.

The approval shall be based upon consideration of the accumulative recent and expected future experience of the closed form and those with which the closed form is to be combined.

(e) No insurer shall offer or sell any form nor provide misleading information about the active or closed status of its business for the purpose of evading this section.

(f) An insurer shall bring any blocks of business closed prior to the effective date of this section into compliance with the terms of this section no later than December 31, 1994.

(g) This section shall not apply to small employer carriers providing small employer health insurance to individuals or employer groups with fewer than two eligible employees if that coverage is provided pursuant to Chapter 14 (commencing with Section 10700 ) of Part 2 of Division 2, and with specific reference to coverage for individuals or employer groups with fewer than two eligible employees, is approved by the commissioner pursuant to Section 10705 , provided a carrier electing to sell coverage pursuant to this subdivision shall continue to do so until such time as the carrier ceases to market coverage to small employers and complies with subdivision (c) of Section 10713 .

(h) This section shall not apply to accident only coverage, coverage of Medicare services pursuant to contracts with the United States government, Medicare supplement coverage, long-term care insurance, dental, vision, or conversion coverage, coverage issued as a supplement to liability insurance, or automobile medical payment insurance.


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