58-18-45. Preexisting conditions--Limitation of waiting periods. Any health carrier providing group coverage, other than excepted benefits, shall comply with the following provisions:
(1) No policy may deny, exclude, or limit benefits for a covered individual for claims incurred more than twelve months following the effective date of the individual's coverage due to a preexisting condition. No policy may define a preexisting condition more restrictively than a condition for which medical advice, diagnosis, care, or treatment was recommended or received during the six months immediately preceding the effective date of coverage;
(2) A policy shall waive any time period applicable to a preexisting condition exclusion or limitation period for the aggregate period of time an individual was previously covered by creditable coverage that provided benefits with respect to such services, if the creditable coverage was continuous to a date not more than sixty-three days prior to the effective date of the new coverage. The waiver for prior creditable coverage also applies to late enrollees. A period of time a person was previously covered may not be aggregated if there was a break in coverage of sixty-three days or more. The policy shall count a period of creditable coverage, without regard to the specific benefits covered under the policy, unless the policy elects to credit it based on coverage of benefits within several classes or categories of benefits specified in rules adopted by the director. A condition may not be defined or considered as preexisting if the condition arose after a person began creditable coverage and if there was not a break in coverage which exceeded sixty-three days;
(3) A policy may exclude coverage for late enrollees for the greater of eighteen months or for an eighteen-month preexisting condition exclusion. However, if both a period of exclusion from coverage and a preexisting condition exclusion are applicable to a late enrollee, the combined period may not exceed eighteen months from the date the individual enrolls for coverage under the policy;
(4) Genetic information may not be treated as a condition for which a preexisting condition exclusion may be imposed in the absence of a diagnosis of the condition related to such information;
(5) A health maintenance organization which does not utilize a preexisting waiting period may use an affiliation period in lieu of a preexisting waiting period. No affiliation period may exceed two months in length. No premium may be charged for any portion of the affiliation period. If the health maintenance organization utilizes neither a preexisting waiting period nor an affiliation period, the health maintenance organization may use other criteria designed to avoid adverse selection provided that those criteria are approved by the director. In the case of a late enrollee who is subject to an affiliation period, the affiliation period may not exceed three months.
For purposes of this section, the effective date of coverage is the first day the person became covered for either accidents or sicknesses. No covered person under the age of nineteen is subject to a preexisting condition limitation or exclusion for any plan year beginning on or after September 23, 2010. (SL 2011, ch 216, § 19 provides: "The provisions of this Act are repealed if the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Pub. L. No. 111-148, 124 Stat. 119 (2010), as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, Pub. L. No. 111-152, 124 Stat. 1029 (2010) is found to be unconstitutional in its entirety by a final decision of a federal court of competent jurisdiction and all appeals exhausted or time for appeals elapsed.")
Source: SL 1994, ch 383, § 4; SL 1997, ch 289, § 9; SL 1998, ch 289, § 6; SL 2001, ch 275, § 7; SL 2003, ch 248, § 3; SL 2011, ch 216, § 10.