58-17-84Provisions for carriers providing individual coverage other than excepted benefits.

Any health carrier providing individual coverage, other than excepted benefits, shall comply with the following provisions:

(1)    No individual coverage may deny, exclude, or limit benefits for a covered individual for claims incurred more than twelve months following the effective date of the person's coverage due to a preexisting condition. No policy may define a preexisting condition more restrictively than:

(a)    A condition that would have caused an ordinarily prudent person to seek medical advice, diagnosis, care, or treatment during the twelve months immediately preceding the effective date of coverage;

(b)    A condition for which medical advice, diagnosis, care, or treatment was recommended or received during the twelve months immediately preceding the effective date of coverage; or

(c)    A pregnancy existing on the effective date of coverage;

(2)    The health carrier shall waive any time period applicable to a preexisting condition exclusion or limitation period with respect to particular services for the aggregate period of time a person was previously covered by creditable coverage, excluding limited benefit plans and dread disease plans that provided benefits with respect to such services, if the creditable coverage was continuous to a date not more than sixty-three days before the application for the new coverage. 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 coverage shall count a period of creditable coverage without regard to the specific benefits covered under the policy, unless the health carrier elects to credit it based on coverage of benefits within several classes or categories of benefits specified in rules adopted pursuant to chapter 1-26, by the director;

(3)    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;

(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; and

(5)    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.

For purposes of this section, the effective date of coverage is the first day the person became covered for either accidents or sicknesses. Except for plans grandfathered pursuant to 75 Fed. Reg. 116 (2010) to be codified at 26 C.F.R. §§ 54 and 602, 29 C.F.R. § 2590, and 45 C.F.R. § 147, 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. Excepted benefits are subject to the provisions of § 58-17-97.

Source: SL 1996, ch 286, § 19; SL 1997, ch 289, § 4; SL 2001, ch 275, § 2; SL 2003, ch 248, § 2; SL 2011, ch 216, § 6.

Commission Note: 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."