(1) Except as otherwise provided by this section, any group health care service contract that provides benefits for hospital or medical expenses must contain a provision granting a person covered by the group contract the right to obtain a conversion contract from the contractor upon termination of the person's eligibility for coverage under the group contract.
(2) A contractor need not offer a conversion contract to:
(a) A person whose coverage under the group contract ended when the person's employment or membership was terminated for misconduct: PROVIDED, That when a person's employment or membership is terminated for misconduct, a conversion policy shall be offered to the spouse and/or dependents of the terminated employee or member. The policy shall include in the conversion provisions the same conversion rights and conditions which are available to employees or members and their spouses and/or dependents who are terminated for reasons other than misconduct;
(b) A person who is eligible for federal medicare coverage; or
(c) A person who is covered under another group plan, policy, contract, or agreement providing benefits for hospital or medical care.
(3) To obtain the conversion contract, a person must submit a written application and the first premium payment for the conversion contract not later than thirty-one days after the date the person's eligibility for group coverage terminates or thirty-one days after the date the person received notice of termination of coverage, whichever is later. The conversion contract shall become effective, without lapse of coverage, immediately following termination of coverage under the group contract.
(4) If a health care service contractor or group contract holder does not renew, cancels, or otherwise terminates the group contract, the health care service contractor must offer a conversion contract to any person who was covered under the terminated contract unless the person is eligible to obtain group hospital or medical expense coverage within thirty-one days after such nonrenewal, cancellation, or termination of the group contract or thirty-one days after the date the person received notice of termination of coverage, whichever is later.
(5) The health care service contractor shall determine the premium for the conversion contract in accordance with the contractor's table of premium rates applicable to the age and class of risk of each person to be covered under the contract and the type and amount of benefits provided.
[2010 c 110 § 2; 1984 c 190 § 6.]
Application—2010 c 110:
See note following RCW 48.21.260
Legislative intent—Severability—1984 c 190:
See notes following RCW 48.21.250