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PDFWAC 284-50-320

Prohibited policy provisions.

(1) Except as provided in WAC 284-50-315(5), no policy shall contain provisions establishing a probationary or waiting period during which no coverage is provided under the policy subject to the further exception that a policy may specify a probationary or waiting period not to exceed six months for specified diseases or conditions and losses resulting therefrom for hernia, disorder of reproduction organs, varicose veins, adenoids, appendix and tonsils. However, the permissible six months exception shall not be applicable where such specified diseases or conditions are treated on an emergency basis. Accident policies shall not contain probationary or waiting periods.
(2) No policy or rider for additional coverage may be issued as a dividend unless an equivalent cash payment is offered to the policyholder as an alternative to such dividend policy or rider. No such dividend policy or rider shall be issued for an initial term of less than 6 months. The initial renewal subsequent to the issuance of any policy or rider as a dividend shall clearly disclose that the policyholder is renewing the coverage that was provided as a dividend for the previous term and that such renewal is optional with the policyholder, and the premium for such optional insurance shall be clearly and separately stated in the premium notice.
(3) No policy shall exclude coverage for a loss due to a preexisting condition for a period greater than 12 months following policy issue where the application for such insurance does not seek disclosure of prior illness, disease or physical conditions or prior medical care and treatment and such preexisting condition is not specifically excluded by the terms of the policy.
(4) No policy shall provide a return of premium benefit except as permitted by this rule. For purposes of this rule, a return of premium benefit refers only to that benefit which is equal to a stated portion of the premiums paid for the benefit and the basic coverage decreased by claims paid to the insured under the basic coverage. A disability income policy may contain a return of premium benefit if it meets the following conditions:
(a) Such return of premium benefit shall not be reduced by an amount greater than the aggregate of any claims paid under the policy; and
(b) Such benefit shall be provided by rider or the insurer shall provide a similar policy without such benefit to which the insured may convert; and
(c) The premiums for the disability income and return of premium benefits shall be shown separately on the schedule page of the policy; and
(d) The policy shall guarantee that it is renewable; and
(e) Submission of the benefit form for approval shall be accompanied by a demonstration that the premium and reserve structure is such that adverse deviations from the assumptions thereunder are minimized; and
(f) The insurer provides the commissioner with its assurance that it will promptly notify the insured at such time as the return of premium benefit is not payable to the insured because of the aggregate of claims paid under the policy, together with instructions as to the insured's right and manner of converting to the similar policy or to cancel the rider.
(5) Policies providing hospital confinement indemnity coverage shall not contain provisions excluding coverage because of confinement in a hospital operated by the federal government for services rendered on an emergency basis where a legal liability exists for charges made to the individual for such services.
(6) No policy shall limit or exclude coverage by type of illness, accident, treatment or medical condition, except with respect to the following:
(a) Preexisting conditions or diseases, except for congenital anomalies of a covered dependent child;
(b) Mental or emotional disorders, alcoholism and drug addiction;
(c) Pregnancy, except for complications of pregnancy, other than for policies defined in WAC 284-50-355;
(d) Illness, treatment or medical condition arising out of:
(i) War or act of war (whether declared or undeclared); participation in a felony, riot or insurrections; service in the armed forces or units auxiliary thereto;
(ii) Suicide (sane or insane), attempted suicide or intentionally self-inflicted injury;
(iii) Aviation;
(iv) With respect to short-term nonrenewable policies, interscholastic sports;
(e) Cosmetic surgery, except that "cosmetic surgery" shall not include reconstructive surgery when such service is incidental to or follows surgery resulting from trauma, infection or other diseases of the involved part, and reconstructive surgery because of congenital disease or anomaly of a covered dependent child which has resulted in a functional defect;
(f) Foot care in connection with corns, calluses, flat feet, fallen arches, weak feet, or chronic foot strain;
(g) Treatment (except emergency treatment for which legal liability exists to the insured for the costs thereof) provided in a government hospital; benefits provided under medicare or other governmental program (except medicaid), any state or federal worker's compensation, employer's liability or occupational disease law, or any motor vehicle no-fault law; services rendered by employees of hospitals, laboratories or other institutions; services performed by a member of the covered person's immediate family and services for which no charge is normally made in the absence of insurance;
(h) Dental care or treatment;
(i) Eye glasses, hearing aids and examination for the prescription or fitting thereof;
(j) Rest cures, custodial care, transportation and routine physical examinations;
(k) Territorial limitations;
(l) Specified disease and specified accident policies issued in accord with WAC 284-50-365.
(7) Other provisions of this regulation shall not impair or limit the use of waivers to exclude, limit or reduce coverage or benefits for specifically named or described preexisting diseases, physical condition or extra-hazardous activity. Where waivers are required as a condition of issuance, renewal or reinstatement, signed acceptance by the insured is required, and use of endorsements is governed by RCW 48.20.015.
(8) Except as otherwise provided in WAC 284-50-330(2) and 284-50-380(5), the terms "medicare supplement," "Medigap" and words of similar import shall not be used unless the policy is issued in compliance with The Medicare Supplemental Health Insurance Act, chapter 153, Laws of 1981, and chapter 284-55 WAC.
(9) Policy provisions precluded in this section shall not be construed as a limitation on the authority of the commissioner to disapprove other policy provisions in accordance with RCW 48.18.110.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 48.02.060, 48.44.050 and 48.46.200. WSR 82-01-017 (Order R 81-7), § 284-50-320, filed 12/9/81; Order R-76-4, § 284-50-320, filed 10/29/76, effective 3/1/77.]
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