AR State Updates - 2015 Jan 22 No.01

On Sept. 11, 2015, the Arkansas Insurance Department issued Bulletin No. 11-2015. Due to the uniqueness of Arkansas's insurance marketplace, the department has chosen to enforce different standards than the CCIIO on the form and manner of notices that are required to be provided when a health insurer discontinues or renews a product.

As background, on July 7, 2015, the CCIIO issued a bulletin providing guidance on federal standard notices of product discontinuation and renewal in connection with the open enrollment period for the 2016 plan year. However, states are allowed to implement different standards.

Arkansas has decided to implement the following notice timing standards:

Issuers who have decided to discontinue plans must ensure that notification occurs 90 days prior to the discontinuation of coverage. If there will be substituted coverage for the discontinued plan and the issuer has filed a plan for certification in the Federally Facilitated Marketplace (FFM), then the notice may be delayed until after the new plan has received certification. However, the notification must be sent before the first day of open enrollment for the following plan year.All plans that will renew coverage must send notice at least 60 days prior to the date of the renewal of coverage. If an issuer is awaiting notice of certification in the FFM, the issuer may delay mailing the renewal notices until after certification. All renewal letters must be sent before the first day of open enrollment for the following plan year.

Additionally, Arkansas has decided to allow issuers the flexibility in designing their own renewal and discontinuation notices. The notices for enrollees of individual and small group plans, not including Private Option eligible enrollees, must clearly explain the options for renewing or obtaining coverage both in and outside of the FFM.

Employers who are renewing a group health policy or who have purchased a plan that is being discontinued by an insurer, should be aware of the timeframe in which the insurer will provide notice to them.

Bulletin No. 11-2015 »