On July 13, 2016, Gov. Markell signed HB 381 into law. The new law requires utilization review entities (which include health insurers, health benefit plans and health service corporations) to detail any pre-authorization requirements and restrictions readily accessible on its website and in written/electronic form upon request for participants, health care providers, government entities and the general public. Any change in the procedures must be communicated prior to the effective date.

Utilization review entities must process clean pre-authorizations for non-emergency pharmaceuticals within two calendar days; three calendar days for those related to health care services and submitted electronically; and five calendar days for those related to health care services and not submitted electronically.

A pre-authorization shall be valid for one year from the date that the health care provider receives the authorization, dependent upon continued coverage and eligibility of the participant.

There is no requirement of employers, but it is helpful for plan sponsors to understand how their insured group health plans and participants will be impacted by the amended procedures.

The new law is effective Jan. 1, 2017.

HB 381 »