Individual health benefit plans -- Preexisting conditions.
(1) No carrier may reject an individual for an individual health benefit plan based upon preexisting conditions of the individual except as provided in RCW 48.43.018.
(2) No carrier may deny, exclude, or otherwise limit coverage for an individual's preexisting health conditions except as provided in this section.
(3) For an individual health benefit plan originally issued on or after March 23, 2000, preexisting condition waiting periods imposed upon a person enrolling in an individual health benefit plan shall be no more than nine months for a preexisting condition for which medical advice was given, for which a health care provider recommended or provided treatment, or for which a prudent layperson would have sought advice or treatment, within six months prior to the effective date of the plan. No carrier may impose a preexisting condition waiting period on an individual health benefit plan issued to an eligible individual as defined in section 2741(b) of the federal health insurance portability and accountability act of 1996 (42 U.S.C. 300gg-41(b)).
(4) Individual health benefit plan preexisting condition waiting periods shall not apply to prenatal care services.
(5) No carrier may avoid the requirements of this section through the creation of a new rate classification or the modification of an existing rate classification. A new or changed rate classification will be deemed an attempt to avoid the provisions of this section if the new or changed classification would substantially discourage applications for coverage from individuals who are higher than average health risks. These provisions apply only to individuals who are Washington residents.
(6) For any person under age nineteen applying for coverage as allowed by RCW 48.43.0122(1) or enrolled in a health benefit plan subject to sections 1201 and 10103 of the patient protection and affordable care act (P.L. 111-148) that is not a grandfathered health plan in the individual market, a carrier must not impose a preexisting condition exclusion or waiting period or other limitations on benefits or enrollment due to a preexisting condition.
[2011 c 315 § 3; 2001 c 196 § 6; 2000 c 79 § 19.]
| Intent -- 2011 c 315: See note following RCW 48.43.005.|
Effective date -- 2001 c 196: See note following RCW 48.20.025.
Effective date -- Severability -- 2000 c 79: See notes following RCW 48.04.010.