2013 Maryland Code
§ 15-1212 - Renewal of health benefit plans
(a) (1) Except as provided in subsections (b), (c), and (d) of this section, a carrier shall renew a health benefit plan at the option of the small employer.
(2) On renewal, a carrier may not exclude eligible employees or dependents from a health benefit plan.
(3) (i) A carrier shall mail a notice of renewal to the small employer at least 45 days before the expiration of a health benefit plan.
(ii) The notice of renewal shall include the dates of the renewal period, the health benefit plan rates, and the terms of coverage under the health benefit plan.
(4) Policies or certificates for hospital or medical benefits issued through a professional employer organization, coemployer, or other organization under this subtitle may, with the consent of the carrier, have a common renewal date.
(b) A carrier may cancel or refuse to renew a health benefit plan only:
(1) for nonpayment of premiums;
(2) for fraud or intentional misrepresentation of material fact by the small employer;
(3) for noncompliance with a material plan provision relating to employer contributions or group participation rules;
(4) when the carrier elects not to renew:
(i) all of its health benefit plans that are issued to small employers in the State; or
(ii) the particular health benefit plan for all small employers in the State; or
(5) in the case of a health maintenance organization, where there is no longer any enrollee who lives, resides, or works in the health maintenance organization’s approved service area.
(c) When a carrier elects not to renew all health benefit plans in the State, the carrier:
(1) shall give notice of its decision to the affected small employers and the insurance regulatory authority of each state in which an eligible employee or dependent resides at least 180 days before the effective date of nonrenewal;
(2) shall give notice to the Commissioner at least 30 working days before giving the notice specified in item (1) of this subsection; and
(3) may not write new business for small employers in the State for a period of 5 years beginning on the date of notice to the Commissioner.
(d) When a carrier elects not to renew a particular health benefit plan for all small employers in the State, the carrier shall:
(1) provide notice of the nonrenewal at least 90 days before the date of the nonrenewal to:
(i) each affected:
1. small employer; and
2. enrolled employee; and
(ii) the Commissioner;
(2) offer to each affected small employer the option to purchase all other health benefit plans currently offered by the carrier in the small group market; and
(3) act uniformly without regard to the claims experience of any affected small employer, or any health status-related factor of any affected individual.
(e) Within 7 days after cancellation or nonrenewal of a health benefit plan, the carrier shall send to each enrolled employee written notice of its action and the conversion rights available to each enrolled employee under § 15-412 of this title.
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