(1) For a nongrandfathered individual health plan offered on or off the health benefit exchange, an issuer must make a special enrollment period of not less than sixty days available to any person who experiences a qualifying event, permitting enrollment in an individual health benefit plan outside the open enrollment period. This requirement applies to plans offered on the health benefit exchange that cover pediatric oral benefits offered as essential health benefits necessary to satisfy minimum essential coverage requirements.
(2) A qualifying event means the occurrence of one of the following:
(a) The loss of minimum essential coverage, including employer sponsored insurance coverage due to action by either the employer or the issuer or due to the individual's loss of eligibility for the employer sponsored coverage, or the loss of the individual or group coverage of a person under whose policy they were enrolled, unless the loss is based on the individual's misrepresentation of a material fact affecting coverage or for fraud related to the discontinued health coverage;
(b) The loss of eligibility for medicaid or a public program providing health benefits;
(c) The loss of coverage as the result of dissolution of marriage or termination of a domestic partnership;
(d) A permanent change in residence, work, or living situation, whether or not within the choice of the individual, where the health plan under which they were covered does not provide coverage in that person's new service area;
(e) The birth, placement for or adoption of the person for whom coverage is sought. For newborns, coverage must be effective from the moment of birth; for those adopted or placed for adoption, coverage must be effective from the date of adoption or placement for adoption, whichever occurs first;
(f) A situation in which a plan no longer offers any benefits to the class of similarly situated individuals that includes the individual;
(g) Coverage is discontinued in a qualified health plan by the health benefit exchange pursuant to 45 C.F.R. 155.430 and the three month grace period for continuation of coverage has expired;
(h) Exhaustion of COBRA coverage due to failure of the employer to remit premium;
(i) Loss of COBRA coverage where the individual has exceeded the lifetime limit in the plan and no other COBRA coverage is available;
(j) If the person discontinues coverage under a health plan offered pursuant to chapter 48.41
(k) Loss of coverage as a dependent on a group plan due to age;
(l) Marriage or entering into a domestic partnership, including eligibility as a dependent of an individual marrying or entering into a domestic partnership.
(3) If the special enrollee had prior coverage, an issuer must offer a special enrollee each of the benefit packages available to individuals who enrolled during the open enrollment period within the same metal tier or level at which the person was previously enrolled. Any difference in benefits or cost-sharing requirements for different individuals constitutes a different benefit package.
(a) A special enrollee cannot be required to pay more for coverage than a similarly situated individual who enrolls during open enrollment.
(b) An issuer may limit a special enrollee who was enrolled in a catastrophic plan as defined in RCW 48.43.005
(8) to the plans available during open enrollment at either the bronze or silver level.
(c) An issuer may restrict a special enrollee whose eligibility is based on their status as a dependent to the same metal tier for the plan on which the primary subscriber is enrolled.
(4) An issuer may require reasonable proof or documentation that an individual seeking special enrollment has experienced a qualifying event.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 48.02.060
, 48.18.120(2), 48.20.450, 48.43.0211, 48.43.720(3), 48.44.050, 48.46.200, 45 C.F.R. §§ 147.104, 147.106, 155.420, and 155.725. WSR 14-01-042 (Matter No. R 2013-02), § 284-170-425, filed 12/11/13, effective 1/1/14.]