Maryland Insurance Section 15-10D-02

Article - Insurance

§ 15-10D-02.

      (a)      (1)      Each carrier shall establish an internal appeal process for use by its members and health care providers to dispute coverage decisions made by the carrier.

            (2)      The carrier may use the internal grievance process established under Subtitle 10A of this title to comply with the requirement of paragraph (1) of this subsection.

      (b)      An internal appeal process established by a carrier under this section shall provide that a carrier render a final decision in writing to a member, and a health care provider acting on behalf of the member, within 60 working days after the date on which the appeal is filed.

      (c)      Except as provided in subsection (d) of this section, the carrier's internal appeal process shall be exhausted prior to filing a complaint with the Commissioner under this subtitle.

      (d)      A member or a health care provider filing a complaint on behalf of a member may file a complaint with the Commissioner without first filing an appeal with a carrier only if the coverage decision involves an urgent medical condition, as defined by regulation adopted by the Commissioner, for which care has not been rendered.

      (e)      (1)      Within 30 calendar days after a coverage decision has been made, a carrier shall send a written notice of the coverage decision to the member and, in the case of a health maintenance organization, the treating health care provider.

            (2)      Notice of the coverage decision required to be sent under paragraph (1) of this subsection shall:

                  (i)      state in detail in clear, understandable language, the specific factual bases for the carrier's decision; and

                  (ii)      include the following information:

                        1.      that the member, or a health care provider acting on behalf of the member, has a right to file an appeal with the carrier;

                        2.      that the member, or a health care provider acting on behalf of the member, may file a complaint with the Commissioner without first filing an appeal, if the coverage decision involves an urgent medical condition for which care has not been rendered;

                        3.      the Commissioner's address, telephone number, and facsimile number;

                        4.      that the Health Advocacy Unit is available to assist the member in both mediating and filing an appeal under the carrier's internal appeal process; and

                        5.      the address, telephone number, facsimile number, and electronic mail address of the Health Advocacy Unit.

      (f)      (1)      Within 30 calendar days after the appeal decision has been made, each carrier shall send to the member, and the health care provider acting on behalf of the member, a written notice of the appeal decision.

            (2)      Notice of the appeal decision required to be sent under paragraph (1) of this subsection shall:

                  (i)      state in detail in clear, understandable language the specific factual bases for the carrier's decision; and

                  (ii)      include the following information:

                        1.      that the member, or a health care provider acting on behalf of the member, has a right to file a complaint with the Commissioner within 60 working days after receipt of a carrier's appeal decision; and

                        2.      the Commissioner's address, telephone number, and facsimile number.

      (g)      The Commissioner may request the member that filed the complaint or a legally authorized designee of the member to sign a consent form authorizing the release of the member's medical records to the Commissioner or the Commissioner's designee that are needed in order for the Commissioner to make a final decision on the complaint.

      (h)      (1)      A carrier shall have the burden of persuasion that its coverage decision or appeal decision, as applicable, is correct:

                  (i)      during the review of a complaint by the Commissioner or a designee of the Commissioner; and

                  (ii)      in any hearing held in accordance with Title 10, Subtitle 2 of the State Government Article to contest a final decision of the Commissioner made and issued under this subtitle.

            (2)      As part of the review of a complaint, the Commissioner or a designee of the Commissioner may consider all of the facts of the case and any other evidence that the Commissioner or designee of the Commissioner considers appropriate.

      (i)      The Commissioner shall:

            (1)      make and issue in writing a final decision on all complaints filed with the Commissioner under this subtitle that are within the Commissioner's jurisdiction; and

            (2)      provide notice in writing to all parties to a complaint of the opportunity and time period for requesting a hearing to be held in accordance with Title 10, Subtitle 2 of the State Government Article to contest a final decision of the Commissioner made and issued under this subtitle.