2017 New Jersey Revised Statutes
TITLE 17B - INSURANCE
Section 17B:27A-25 - Premium rates; other plan requirements.

17B:27A-25 Premium rates; other plan requirements.

9. a. (1) (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1997, c.146).

(2) (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1997, c.146).

(3) (a) For all policies or contracts providing health benefits plans for small employers issued pursuant to section 3 of P.L.1992, c.162 (C.17B:27A-19), and including policies or contracts offered by a carrier to a small employer who is a member of a Small Employer Purchasing Alliance pursuant to the provisions of P.L.2001, c.225 (C.17B:27A-25.1 et al.) the premium rate charged by a carrier to the highest rated small group purchasing a small employer health benefits plan issued pursuant to section 3 of P.L.1992, c.162 (C.17B:27A-19) shall not be greater than 200% of the premium rate charged for the lowest rated small group purchasing that same health benefits plan; provided, however, that the only factors upon which the rate differential may be based are age, gender and geography. Such factors shall be applied in a manner consistent with regulations adopted by the commissioner. For the purposes of this paragraph (3), policies or contracts offered by a carrier to a small employer who is a member of a Small Employer Purchasing Alliance shall be rated separately from the carrier's other small employer health benefits policies or contracts.

(b) A health benefits plan issued pursuant to subsection j. of section 3 of P.L.1992, c.162 (C.17B:27A-19) shall be rated in accordance with the provisions of section 7 of P.L.1995, c.340 (C.17B:27A-19.3), for the purposes of meeting the requirements of this paragraph.

(4) (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1994, c.11).

(5) Any policy or contract issued after January 1, 1994 to a small employer who was not previously covered by a health benefits plan issued by the issuing small employer carrier, shall be subject to the same premium rate restrictions as provided in paragraph (3) of this subsection, which rate restrictions shall be effective on the date the policy or contract is issued.

(6) The board shall establish, pursuant to section 17 of P.L.1993, c.162 (C.17B:27A-51):

(a) up to six geographic territories, none of which is smaller than a county; and

(b) age classifications which, at a minimum, shall be in five-year increments.

b. (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1993, c.162).

c. (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1995, c.298).

d. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, this act shall apply to a carrier which provides a health benefits plan to one or more small employers through a policy issued to an association or trust of employers.

A carrier which provides a health benefits plan to one or more small employers through a policy issued to an association or trust of employers after the effective date of P.L.1992, c.162 (C.17B:27A-17 et seq.), shall be required to offer small employer health benefits plans to non-association or trust employers in the same manner as any other small employer carrier is required pursuant to P.L.1992, c.162 (C.17B:27A-17 et seq.).

e. Nothing contained herein shall prohibit the use of premium rate structures to establish different premium rates for individuals and family units.

f. No insurance contract or policy subject to this act, including a contract or policy entered into with a small employer who is a member of a Small Employer Purchasing Alliance pursuant to the provisions of P.L.2001, c.225 (C.17B:27A-25.1 et al.), may be entered into unless and until the carrier has made an informational filing with the commissioner of a schedule of premiums, not to exceed 12 months in duration, to be paid pursuant to such contract or policy, of the carrier's rating plan and classification system in connection with such contract or policy, and of the actuarial assumptions and methods used by the carrier in establishing premium rates for such contract or policy.

g. (1) Beginning January 1, 1995, a carrier desiring to increase or decrease premiums for any policy form or benefit rider offered pursuant to subsection i. of section 3 of P.L.1992, c.162 (C.17B:27A-19) subject to this act may implement such increase or decrease upon making an informational filing with the commissioner of such increase or decrease, along with the actuarial assumptions and methods used by the carrier in establishing such increase or decrease, provided that the anticipated minimum loss ratio for all policy forms shall not be less than 80% of the premium therefor as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection. The commissioner may disapprove any informational filing on a finding that it is incomplete and not in substantial compliance with P.L.1992, c.162 (C.17B:27A-17 et seq.), or that the rates are inadequate or unfairly discriminatory. Until December 31, 1996, the informational filing shall also include the carrier's rating plan and classification system in connection with such increase or decrease.

(2) Each calendar year, a carrier shall return, in the form of aggregate benefits for all of the standard policy forms offered by the carrier pursuant to subsection a. of section 3 of P.L.1992, c.162 (C.17B:27A-19), at least 80% of the aggregate premiums collected for all of the standard policy forms, other than alliance policy forms, and at least 80% of the aggregate premiums collected for all of the non-standard policy forms during that calendar year. A carrier shall return at least 80% of the premiums collected for all of the alliances during that calendar year, which loss ratio may be calculated in the aggregate for all of the alliances or separately for each alliance. Carriers shall annually report, no later than August 1st of each year, the loss ratio calculated pursuant to this section for all of the standard, other than alliance policy forms, non-standard policy forms and alliance policy forms for the previous calendar year, provided that a carrier may annually report the loss ratio calculated pursuant to this section for all of the alliances in the aggregate or separately for each alliance. In each case where the loss ratio fails to substantially comply with the 80% loss ratio requirement, the carrier shall issue a dividend or credit against future premiums for all policyholders with the standard, other than alliance policy forms, nonstandard policy forms or alliance policy forms, as applicable, in an amount sufficient to assure that the aggregate benefits paid in the previous calendar year plus the amount of the dividends and credits shall equal 80% of the aggregate premiums collected for the respective policy forms in the previous calendar year. All dividends and credits must be distributed by December 31 of the year following the calendar year in which the loss ratio requirements were not satisfied. The annual report required by this paragraph shall include a carrier's calculation of the dividends and credits applicable to standard, other than alliance policy forms, non-standard policy forms and alliance policy forms, as well as an explanation of the carrier's plan to issue dividends or credits. The instructions and format for calculating and reporting loss ratios and issuing dividends or credits shall be specified by the commissioner by regulation. Such regulations shall include provisions for the distribution of a dividend or credit in the event of cancellation or termination by a policyholder. For purposes of this paragraph, "alliance policy forms" means policies purchased by small employers who are members of Small Employer Purchasing Alliances.

(3) The loss ratio of a health benefits plan issued pursuant to subsection j. of section 3 of P.L.1992, c.162 (C.17B:27A-19) shall be calculated in accordance with the provisions of section 7 of P.L.1995, c.340 (C.17B:27A-19.3), for the purposes of meeting the requirements of this subsection.

h. (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1993, c.162).

i. The provisions of this act shall apply to health benefits plans which are delivered, issued for delivery, renewed or continued on or after January 1, 1994.

j. (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1995, c.340).

k. A carrier who negotiates a reduced premium rate with a Small Employer Purchasing Alliance for members of that alliance shall provide a reduction in the premium rate filed in accordance with paragraph (3) of subsection a. of this section, expressed as a percentage, which reduction shall be based on volume or other efficiencies or economies of scale and shall not be based on health status-related factors.

L.1992, c.162, s.9; amended 1993, c.162, s.5; 1994, c.11, s.4; 1995, c.298, s.4; 1995, c.340, s.3; 1997, c.146, s.11; 2001, c.225, s.9; 2003, c.163; 2008, c.38, s.24.

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