[USC02] 42 USC CHAPTER 6A, SUBCHAPTER XXV, Part A, Subpart II: Improving Coverage
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42 USC CHAPTER 6A, SUBCHAPTER XXV, Part A, Subpart II: Improving Coverage
From Title 42—THE PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARECHAPTER 6A—PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICESUBCHAPTER XXV—REQUIREMENTS RELATING TO HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGEPart A—Individual and Group Market Reforms

Subpart II—Improving Coverage

A prior subpart 2, consisting of sections 300gg–4 to 300gg–7, related to other requirements, prior to repeal of the subpart designation and heading and transfer of sections 300gg–4 to 300gg–7 to 300gg–25 to 300gg–28, respectively, of this title by Pub. L. 111–148, title I, §§1001(2), 1563(c)(2), formerly §1562(c)(2), title X, §10107(b)(1), Mar. 23, 2010, 124 Stat. 130, 265, 911.

Another prior subpart 2, consisting of sections 300gg–11 to 300gg–13, related to provisions applicable only to health insurance issuers, was redesignated subpart 3 of this part by Pub. L. 104–204, title VI, §604(a)(2), Sept. 26, 1996, 110 Stat. 2939.

A prior subpart 3, consisting of sections 300gg–11 to 300gg–13, related to provisions applicable only to health insurance issuers, prior to repeal of the subpart designation and heading by Pub. L. 111–148, title I, §1563(c)(7), formerly §1562(c)(7), title X, §10107(b)(1), Mar. 23, 2010, 124 Stat. 266, 911.

A prior subpart 4, consisting of sections 300gg–21 to 300gg–23, which related to exclusion of plans, enforcement, and preemption, was redesignated subpart 2 of this part by Pub. L. 111–148, title I, §1563(c)(11), formerly §1562(c)(11), title X, §10107(b)(1), Mar. 23, 2010, 124 Stat. 268, 911.

§300gg–11. No lifetime or annual limits

(a) Prohibition

(1) In general

A group health plan and a health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage may not establish—

(A) lifetime limits on the dollar value of benefits for any participant or beneficiary; or

(B) except as provided in paragraph (2), annual limits on the dollar value of benefits for any participant or beneficiary.

(2) Annual limits prior to 2014

With respect to plan years beginning prior to January 1, 2014, a group health plan and a health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage may only establish a restricted annual limit on the dollar value of benefits for any participant or beneficiary with respect to the scope of benefits that are essential health benefits under section 18022(b) of this title, as determined by the Secretary. In defining the term "restricted annual limit" for purposes of the preceding sentence, the Secretary shall ensure that access to needed services is made available with a minimal impact on premiums.

(b) Per beneficiary limits

Subsection (a) shall not be construed to prevent a group health plan or health insurance coverage from placing annual or lifetime per beneficiary limits on specific covered benefits that are not essential health benefits under section 18022(b) of this title, to the extent that such limits are otherwise permitted under Federal or State law.

(July 1, 1944, ch. 373, title XXVII, §2711, as added and amended Pub. L. 111–148, title I, §1001(5), title X, §10101(a), Mar. 23, 2010, 124 Stat. 131, 883.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 300gg–11, act July 1, 1944, ch. 373, title XXVII, §2711, as added Pub. L. 104–191, title I, §102(a), Aug. 21, 1996, 110 Stat. 1962, which related to guaranteed availability of coverage for employers in a group market, was renumbered section 2731 of act July 1, 1944, amended, and transferred to subsecs. (c) and (d) of section 300gg–1 of this title, by Pub. L. 111–148, title I, §§1001(3), 1563(c)(8), formerly §1562(c)(8), title X, §10107(b)(1), Mar. 23, 2010, 124 Stat. 130, 266, 911.

Another prior section 2711 of act July 1, 1944, was successively renumbered by subsequent acts and transferred, see section 238j of this title.

Amendments

2010Pub. L. 111–148, §10101(a), amended section generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows:

"(a) In General.—A group health plan and a health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage may not establish—

"(1) lifetime limits on the dollar value of benefits for any participant or beneficiary; or

"(2) unreasonable annual limits (within the meaning of section 223 of title 26) on the dollar value of benefits for any participant or beneficiary.

"(b) Per Beneficiary Limits.—Subsection (a) shall not be construed to prevent a group health plan or health insurance coverage that is not required to provide essential health benefits under section 18022(b) of this title from placing annual or lifetime per beneficiary limits on specific covered benefits to the extent that such limits are otherwise permitted under Federal or State law."

Effective Date

Pub. L. 111–148, title I, §1004, Mar. 23, 2010, 124 Stat. 140, provided that:

"(a) In General.—Except as provided for in subsection (b), this subtitle [subtitle A (§§1001–1004) of title I of Pub. L. 111–148, enacting this section and sections 300gg–12 to 300gg–15, 300gg–16 to 300gg–19, 300gg–93, and 300gg–94 of this title, amending former sections 300gg–11 and 300gg–12 of this title and sections 300gg–21 to 300gg–23 of this title, and transferring section 300gg–13 of this title to section 300gg–9 of this title and sections 300gg–4 to 300gg–7 of this title to sections 300gg–25 to 300gg–28 of this title, respectively] (and the amendments made by this subtitle) shall become effective for plan years beginning on or after the date that is 6 months after the date of enactment of this Act [Mar. 23, 2010], except that the amendments made by sections 1002 and 1003 [enacting sections 300gg–93 and 300gg–94 of this title] shall become effective for fiscal years beginning with fiscal year 2010.

"(b) Special Rule.—The amendments made by sections 1002 and 1003 [enacting sections 300gg–93 and 300gg–94 of this title] shall take effect on the date of enactment of this Act [Mar. 23, 2010]."

§300gg–12. Prohibition on rescissions

A group health plan and a health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage shall not rescind such plan or coverage with respect to an enrollee once the enrollee is covered under such plan or coverage involved, except that this section shall not apply to a covered individual who has performed an act or practice that constitutes fraud or makes an intentional misrepresentation of material fact as prohibited by the terms of the plan or coverage. Such plan or coverage may not be cancelled except with prior notice to the enrollee, and only as permitted under section 300gg–2(b) 1 or 300gg–42(b) of this title.

(July 1, 1944, ch. 373, title XXVII, §2712, as added Pub. L. 111–148, title I, §1001(5), Mar. 23, 2010, 124 Stat. 131.)

References in Text

Section 300gg–2(b) of this title, referred to in text, was in the original a reference to section "2702(c)" of act July 1, 1944, which was translated as meaning section 2703(b) of act July 1, 1944, to reflect the probable intent of Congress. Section 2702(c), which is classified to section 300gg–1 of this title, relates to special rules for network plans, while section 2703(b) specifies the reasons for which a health insurance issuer may nonrenew or discontinue health insurance coverage offered in connection with a health insurance coverage offering in the group or individual market. Section 300gg–2(b) also parallels section 300gg–42(b) which appears in the same context in this section as the reference to section 300gg–2(b).

Prior Provisions

A prior section 300gg–12, act July 1, 1944, ch. 373, title XXVII, §2712, as added Pub. L. 104–191, title I, §102(a), Aug. 21, 1996, 110 Stat. 1964, which related to guaranteed renewability of coverage for employers in a group market, was renumbered section 2732 of act July 1, 1944, amended, and transferred to subsecs. (b) to (e) of section 300gg–2 of this title, by Pub. L. 111–148, title I, §§1001(3), 1563(c)(9), formerly §1562(c)(9), title X, §10107(b)(1), Mar. 23, 2010, 124 Stat. 130, 267, 911.

Another prior section 2712 of act July 1, 1944, was successively renumbered by subsequent acts and transferred, see section 238k of this title.

Effective Date

Section effective for plan years beginning on or after the date that is 6 months after Mar. 23, 2010, see section 1004 of Pub. L. 111–148, set out as a note under section 300gg–11 of this title.

1 See References in Text note below.

§300gg–13. Coverage of preventive health services

(a) In general

A group health plan and a health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage shall, at a minimum provide coverage for and shall not impose any cost sharing requirements for—

(1) evidence-based items or services that have in effect a rating of "A" or "B" in the current recommendations of the United States Preventive Services Task Force;

(2) immunizations that have in effect a recommendation from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with respect to the individual involved; and 1

(3) with respect to infants, children, and adolescents, evidence-informed preventive care and screenings provided for in the comprehensive guidelines supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration.2

(4) with respect to women, such additional preventive care and screenings not described in paragraph (1) as provided for in comprehensive guidelines supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration for purposes of this paragraph.2

(5) for the purposes of this chapter, and for the purposes of any other provision of law, the current recommendations of the United States Preventive Service Task Force regarding breast cancer screening, mammography, and prevention shall be considered the most current other than those issued in or around November 2009.


Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit a plan or issuer from providing coverage for services in addition to those recommended by United States Preventive Services Task Force or to deny coverage for services that are not recommended by such Task Force.

(b) Interval

(1) In general

The Secretary shall establish a minimum interval between the date on which a recommendation described in subsection (a)(1) or (a)(2) or a guideline under subsection (a)(3) is issued and the plan year with respect to which the requirement described in subsection (a) is effective with respect to the service described in such recommendation or guideline.

(2) Minimum

The interval described in paragraph (1) shall not be less than 1 year.

(c) Value-based insurance design

The Secretary may develop guidelines to permit a group health plan and a health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage to utilize value-based insurance designs.

(July 1, 1944, ch. 373, title XXVII, §2713, as added Pub. L. 111–148, title I, §1001(5), Mar. 23, 2010, 124 Stat. 131.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 300gg–13, act July 1, 1944, ch. 373, title XXVII, §2713, as added Pub. L. 104–191, title I, §102(a), Aug. 21, 1996, 110 Stat. 1966, was renumbered section 2709 of act July 1, 1944, and transferred to section 300gg–9 of this title by Pub. L. 111–148, title I, §§1001(3), 1563(c)(10)(C), formerly §1562(c)(10)(C), title X, §10107(b)(1), Mar. 23, 2010, 124 Stat. 130, 268, 911.

Another prior section 2713 of act July 1, 1944, was successively renumbered by subsequent acts and transferred, see section 238l of this title.

Effective Date

Section effective for plan years beginning on or after the date that is 6 months after Mar. 23, 2010, see section 1004 of Pub. L. 111–148, set out as a note under section 300gg–11 of this title.

Rapid Coverage of Preventive Services and Vaccines for Coronavirus

Pub. L. 116–136, div. A, title III, §3203, Mar. 27, 2020, 134 Stat. 367, provided that:

"(a) In General.—Notwithstanding [section] 2713(b) of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 300gg–13[(b)]), the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Secretary of Labor, and the Secretary of the Treasury shall require group health plans and health insurance issuers offering group or individual health insurance to cover (without cost-sharing) any qualifying coronavirus preventive service, pursuant to section 2713(a) of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 300gg–13(a)) (including the regulations under sections 2590.715–2713 of title 29, Code of Federal Regulations, section 54.9815–2713 of title 26, Code of Federal Regulations, and section 147.130 of title 45, Code of Federal Regulations (or any successor regulations)). The requirement described in this subsection shall take effect with respect to a qualifying coronavirus preventive service on the specified date described in subsection (b)(2).

"(b) Definitions.—For purposes of this section:

"(1) Qualifying coronavirus preventive service.—The term 'qualifying coronavirus preventive service' means an item, service, or immunization that is intended to prevent or mitigate coronavirus disease 2019 and that is—

"(A) an evidence-based item or service that has in effect a rating of 'A' or 'B' in the current recommendations of the United States Preventive Services Task Force; or

"(B) an immunization that has in effect a recommendation from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with respect to the individual involved.

"(2) Specified date.—The term 'specified date' means the date that is 15 business days after the date on which a recommendation is made relating to the qualifying coronavirus preventive service as described in such paragraph.

"(3) Additional terms.—In this section, the terms 'group health plan', 'health insurance issuer', 'group health insurance coverage', and 'individual health insurance coverage' have the meanings given such terms in section 2791 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 300gg–91), section 733 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (29 U.S.C. 1191b), and section 9832 of the Internal Revenue Code [26 U.S.C. 9832], as applicable."

1 So in original. The word "and" probably should not appear.

2 So in original. The period probably should be a semicolon.

§300gg–14. Extension of dependent coverage

(a) In general

A group health plan and a health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage that provides dependent coverage of children shall continue to make such coverage available for an adult child until the child turns 26 years of age. Nothing in this section shall require a health plan or a health insurance issuer described in the preceding sentence to make coverage available for a child of a child receiving dependent coverage.

(b) Regulations

The Secretary shall promulgate regulations to define the dependents to which coverage shall be made available under subsection (a).

(c) Rule of construction

Nothing in this section shall be construed to modify the definition of "dependent" as used in title 26 with respect to the tax treatment of the cost of coverage.

(July 1, 1944, ch. 373, title XXVII, §2714, as added Pub. L. 111–148, title I, §1001(5), Mar. 23, 2010, 124 Stat. 132; amended Pub. L. 111–152, title II, §2301(b), Mar. 30, 2010, 124 Stat. 1082.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 2714 of act July 1, 1944, was successively renumbered by subsequent acts and transferred, see section 238m of this title.

Amendments

2010—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 111–152 struck out "(who is not married)" after "adult child".

Effective Date

Section effective for plan years beginning on or after the date that is 6 months after Mar. 23, 2010, see section 1004 of Pub. L. 111–148, set out as a note under section 300gg–11 of this title.

§300gg–15. Development and utilization of uniform explanation of coverage documents and standardized definitions

(a) In general

Not later than 12 months after March 23, 2010, the Secretary shall develop standards for use by a group health plan and a health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage, in compiling and providing to applicants, enrollees, and policyholders or certificate holders a summary of benefits and coverage explanation that accurately describes the benefits and coverage under the applicable plan or coverage. In developing such standards, the Secretary shall consult with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (referred to in this section as the "NAIC"), a working group composed of representatives of health insurance-related consumer advocacy organizations, health insurance issuers, health care professionals, patient advocates including those representing individuals with limited English proficiency, and other qualified individuals.

(b) Requirements

The standards for the summary of benefits and coverage developed under subsection (a) shall provide for the following:

(1) Appearance

The standards shall ensure that the summary of benefits and coverage is presented in a uniform format that does not exceed 4 pages in length and does not include print smaller than 12-point font.

(2) Language

The standards shall ensure that the summary is presented in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner and utilizes terminology understandable by the average plan enrollee.

(3) Contents

The standards shall ensure that the summary of benefits and coverage includes—

(A) uniform definitions of standard insurance terms and medical terms (consistent with subsection (g)) so that consumers may compare health insurance coverage and understand the terms of coverage (or exception to such coverage);

(B) a description of the coverage, including cost sharing for—

(i) each of the categories of the essential health benefits described in subparagraphs (A) through (J) of section 18022(b)(1) of this title; and

(ii) other benefits, as identified by the Secretary;


(C) the exceptions, reductions, and limitations on coverage;

(D) the cost-sharing provisions, including deductible, coinsurance, and co-payment obligations;

(E) the renewability and continuation of coverage provisions;

(F) a coverage facts label that includes examples to illustrate common benefits scenarios, including pregnancy and serious or chronic medical conditions and related cost sharing, such scenarios to be based on recognized clinical practice guidelines;

(G) a statement of whether the plan or coverage—

(i) provides minimum essential coverage (as defined under section 5000A(f) of title 26); and

(ii) ensures that the plan or coverage share of the total allowed costs of benefits provided under the plan or coverage is not less than 60 percent of such costs;


(H) a statement that the outline is a summary of the policy or certificate and that the coverage document itself should be consulted to determine the governing contractual provisions; and

(I) a contact number for the consumer to call with additional questions and an Internet web address where a copy of the actual individual coverage policy or group certificate of coverage can be reviewed and obtained.

(c) Periodic review and updating

The Secretary shall periodically review and update, as appropriate, the standards developed under this section.

(d) Requirement to provide

(1) In general

Not later than 24 months after March 23, 2010, each entity described in paragraph (3) shall provide, prior to any enrollment restriction, a summary of benefits and coverage explanation pursuant to the standards developed by the Secretary under subsection (a) to—

(A) an applicant at the time of application;

(B) an enrollee prior to the time of enrollment or reenrollment, as applicable; and

(C) a policyholder or certificate holder at the time of issuance of the policy or delivery of the certificate.

(2) Compliance

An entity described in paragraph (3) is deemed to be in compliance with this section if the summary of benefits and coverage described in subsection (a) is provided in paper or electronic form.

(3) Entities in general

An entity described in this paragraph is—

(A) a health insurance issuer (including a group health plan that is not a self-insured plan) offering health insurance coverage within the United States; or

(B) in the case of a self-insured group health plan, the plan sponsor or designated administrator of the plan (as such terms are defined in section 1002(16) of title 29).

(4) Notice of modifications

If a group health plan or health insurance issuer makes any material modification in any of the terms of the plan or coverage involved (as defined for purposes of section 1022 of title 29) that is not reflected in the most recently provided summary of benefits and coverage, the plan or issuer shall provide notice of such modification to enrollees not later than 60 days prior to the date on which such modification will become effective.

(e) Preemption

The standards developed under subsection (a) shall preempt any related State standards that require a summary of benefits and coverage that provides less information to consumers than that required to be provided under this section, as determined by the Secretary.

(f) Failure to provide

An entity described in subsection (d)(3) that willfully fails to provide the information required under this section shall be subject to a fine of not more than $1,000 for each such failure. Such failure with respect to each enrollee shall constitute a separate offense for purposes of this subsection.

(g) Development of standard definitions

(1) In general

The Secretary shall, by regulation, provide for the development of standards for the definitions of terms used in health insurance coverage, including the insurance-related terms described in paragraph (2) and the medical terms described in paragraph (3).

(2) Insurance-related terms

The insurance-related terms described in this paragraph are premium, deductible, co-insurance, co-payment, out-of-pocket limit, preferred provider, non-preferred provider, out-of-network co-payments, UCR (usual, customary and reasonable) fees, excluded services, grievance and appeals, and such other terms as the Secretary determines are important to define so that consumers may compare health insurance coverage and understand the terms of their coverage.

(3) Medical terms

The medical terms described in this paragraph are hospitalization, hospital outpatient care, emergency room care, physician services, prescription drug coverage, durable medical equipment, home health care, skilled nursing care, rehabilitation services, hospice services, emergency medical transportation, and such other terms as the Secretary determines are important to define so that consumers may compare the medical benefits offered by health insurance and understand the extent of those medical benefits (or exceptions to those benefits).

(July 1, 1944, ch. 373, title XXVII, §2715, as added and amended Pub. L. 111–148, title I, §1001(5), title X, §10101(b), Mar. 23, 2010, 124 Stat. 132, 884.)

Amendments

2010—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 111–148, §10101(b), substituted "and providing to applicants, enrollees, and policyholders or certificate holders" for "and providing to enrollees".

Effective Date

Section effective for plan years beginning on or after the date that is 6 months after Mar. 23, 2010, see section 1004 of Pub. L. 111–148, set out as a note under section 300gg–11 of this title.

§300gg–15a. Provision of additional information

A group health plan and a health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage shall comply with the provisions of section 18031(e)(3) of this title, except that a plan or coverage that is not offered through an Exchange shall only be required to submit the information required to the Secretary and the State insurance commissioner, and make such information available to the public.

(July 1, 1944, ch. 373, title XXVII, §2715A, as added Pub. L. 111–148, title X, §10101(c), Mar. 23, 2010, 124 Stat. 884.)

§300gg–16. Prohibition on discrimination in favor of highly compensated individuals

(a) In general

A group health plan (other than a self-insured plan) shall satisfy the requirements of section 105(h)(2) of title 26 (relating to prohibition on discrimination in favor of highly compensated individuals).

(b) Rules and definitions

For purposes of this section—

(1) Certain rules to apply

Rules similar to the rules contained in paragraphs (3), (4), and (8) of section 105(h) of title 26 shall apply.

(2) Highly compensated individual

The term "highly compensated individual" has the meaning given such term by section 105(h)(5) of title 26.

(July 1, 1944, ch. 373, title XXVII, §2716, as added and amended Pub. L. 111–148, title I, §1001(5), title X, §10101(d), Mar. 23, 2010, 124 Stat. 135, 884.)

Amendments

2010Pub. L. 111–148, §10101(d), amended section generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows:

"(a) In General.—The plan sponsor of a group health plan (other than a self-insured plan) may not establish rules relating to the health insurance coverage eligibility (including continued eligibility) of any full-time employee under the terms of the plan that are based on the total hourly or annual salary of the employee or otherwise establish eligibility rules that have the effect of discriminating in favor of higher wage employees.

"(b) Limitation.—Subsection (a) shall not be construed to prohibit a plan sponsor from establishing contribution requirements for enrollment in the plan or coverage that provide for the payment by employees with lower hourly or annual compensation of a lower dollar or percentage contribution than the payment required of similarly situated employees with a higher hourly or annual compensation."

Effective Date

Section effective for plan years beginning on or after the date that is 6 months after Mar. 23, 2010, see section 1004 of Pub. L. 111–148, set out as a note under section 300gg–11 of this title.

§300gg–17. Ensuring the quality of care

(a) Quality reporting

(1) In general

Not later than 2 years after March 23, 2010, the Secretary, in consultation with experts in health care quality and stakeholders, shall develop reporting requirements for use by a group health plan, and a health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage, with respect to plan or coverage benefits and health care provider reimbursement structures that—

(A) improve health outcomes through the implementation of activities such as quality reporting, effective case management, care coordination, chronic disease management, and medication and care compliance initiatives, including through the use of the medical homes model as defined for purposes of section 3602 1 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, for treatment or services under the plan or coverage;

(B) implement activities to prevent hospital readmissions through a comprehensive program for hospital discharge that includes patient-centered education and counseling, comprehensive discharge planning, and post discharge reinforcement by an appropriate health care professional;

(C) implement activities to improve patient safety and reduce medical errors through the appropriate use of best clinical practices, evidence based medicine, and health information technology under the plan or coverage; and

(D) implement wellness and health promotion activities.

(2) Reporting requirements

(A) In general

A group health plan and a health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage shall annually submit to the Secretary, and to enrollees under the plan or coverage, a report on whether the benefits under the plan or coverage satisfy the elements described in subparagraphs (A) through (D) of paragraph (1).

(B) Timing of reports

A report under subparagraph (A) shall be made available to an enrollee under the plan or coverage during each open enrollment period.

(C) Availability of reports

The Secretary shall make reports submitted under subparagraph (A) available to the public through an Internet website.

(D) Penalties

In developing the reporting requirements under paragraph (1), the Secretary may develop and impose appropriate penalties for non-compliance with such requirements.

(E) Exceptions

In developing the reporting requirements under paragraph (1), the Secretary may provide for exceptions to such requirements for group health plans and health insurance issuers that substantially meet the goals of this section.

(b) Wellness and prevention programs

For purposes of subsection (a)(1)(D), wellness and health promotion activities may include personalized wellness and prevention services, which are coordinated, maintained or delivered by a health care provider, a wellness and prevention plan manager, or a health, wellness or prevention services organization that conducts health risk assessments or offers ongoing face-to-face, telephonic or web-based intervention efforts for each of the program's participants, and which may include the following wellness and prevention efforts:

(1) Smoking cessation.

(2) Weight management.

(3) Stress management.

(4) Physical fitness.

(5) Nutrition.

(6) Heart disease prevention.

(7) Healthy lifestyle support.

(8) Diabetes prevention.

(c) Protection of Second Amendment gun rights

(1) Wellness and prevention programs

A wellness and health promotion activity implemented under subsection (a)(1)(D) may not require the disclosure or collection of any information relating to—

(A) the presence or storage of a lawfully-possessed firearm or ammunition in the residence or on the property of an individual; or

(B) the lawful use, possession, or storage of a firearm or ammunition by an individual.

(2) Limitation on data collection

None of the authorities provided to the Secretary under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or an amendment made by that Act shall be construed to authorize or may be used for the collection of any information relating to—

(A) the lawful ownership or possession of a firearm or ammunition;

(B) the lawful use of a firearm or ammunition; or

(C) the lawful storage of a firearm or ammunition.

(3) Limitation on databases or data banks

None of the authorities provided to the Secretary under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or an amendment made by that Act shall be construed to authorize or may be used to maintain records of individual ownership or possession of a firearm or ammunition.

(4) Limitation on determination of premium rates or eligibility for health insurance

A premium rate may not be increased, health insurance coverage may not be denied, and a discount, rebate, or reward offered for participation in a wellness program may not be reduced or withheld under any health benefit plan issued pursuant to or in accordance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or an amendment made by that Act on the basis of, or on reliance upon—

(A) the lawful ownership or possession of a firearm or ammunition; or

(B) the lawful use or storage of a firearm or ammunition.

(5) Limitation on data collection requirements for individuals

No individual shall be required to disclose any information under any data collection activity authorized under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or an amendment made by that Act relating to—

(A) the lawful ownership or possession of a firearm or ammunition; or

(B) the lawful use, possession, or storage of a firearm or ammunition.

(d) Regulations

Not later than 2 years after March 23, 2010, the Secretary shall promulgate regulations that provide criteria for determining whether a reimbursement structure is described in subsection (a).

(e) Study and report

Not later than 180 days after the date on which regulations are promulgated under subsection (c),2 the Government Accountability Office shall review such regulations and conduct a study and submit to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions of the Senate and the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives a report regarding the impact the activities under this section have had on the quality and cost of health care.

(July 1, 1944, ch. 373, title XXVII, §2717, as added and amended Pub. L. 111–148, title I, §1001(5), title X, §10101(e), Mar. 23, 2010, 124 Stat. 135, 884.)

References in Text

Section 3602 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, referred to in subsec. (a)(1)(A), is section 3602 of Pub. L. 111–148 which is set out as a note under section 1305w–21 of this title but the reference probably should be to section 3502 of the Act which is set out as a note under section 256a–1 of this title.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, referred to in subsec. (c), is Pub. L. 111–148, Mar. 23, 2010, 124 Stat. 119. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 18001 of this title and Tables.

Amendments

2010—Subsecs. (c) to (e). Pub. L. 111–148, §10101(e), added subsec. (c) and redesignated former subsecs. (c) and (d) as (d) and (e), respectively.

Effective Date

Section effective for plan years beginning on or after the date that is 6 months after Mar. 23, 2010, see section 1004 of Pub. L. 111–148, set out as a note under section 300gg–11 of this title.

1 See References in Text note below.

2 So in original. Probably should be "subsection (d),".

§300gg–18. Bringing down the cost of health care coverage

(a) Clear accounting for costs

A health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage (including a grandfathered health plan) shall, with respect to each plan year, submit to the Secretary a report concerning the ratio of the incurred loss (or incurred claims) plus the loss adjustment expense (or change in contract reserves) to earned premiums. Such report shall include the percentage of total premium revenue, after accounting for collections or receipts for risk adjustment and risk corridors and payments of reinsurance, that such coverage expends—

(1) on reimbursement for clinical services provided to enrollees under such coverage;

(2) for activities that improve health care quality; and

(3) on all other non-claims costs, including an explanation of the nature of such costs, and excluding Federal and State taxes and licensing or regulatory fees.


The Secretary shall make reports received under this section available to the public on the Internet website of the Department of Health and Human Services.

(b) Ensuring that consumers receive value for their premium payments

(1) Requirement to provide value for premium payments

(A) Requirement

Beginning not later than January 1, 2011, a health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage (including a grandfathered health plan) shall, with respect to each plan year, provide an annual rebate to each enrollee under such coverage, on a pro rata basis, if the ratio of the amount of premium revenue expended by the issuer on costs described in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (a) to the total amount of premium revenue (excluding Federal and State taxes and licensing or regulatory fees and after accounting for payments or receipts for risk adjustment, risk corridors, and reinsurance under sections 18061, 18062, and 18063 of this title) for the plan year (except as provided in subparagraph (B)(ii)), is less than—

(i) with respect to a health insurance issuer offering coverage in the large group market, 85 percent, or such higher percentage as a State may by regulation determine; or

(ii) with respect to a health insurance issuer offering coverage in the small group market or in the individual market, 80 percent, or such higher percentage as a State may by regulation determine, except that the Secretary may adjust such percentage with respect to a State if the Secretary determines that the application of such 80 percent may destabilize the individual market in such State.

(B) Rebate amount

(i) Calculation of amount

The total amount of an annual rebate required under this paragraph shall be in an amount equal to the product of—

(I) the amount by which the percentage described in clause (i) or (ii) of subparagraph (A) exceeds the ratio described in such subparagraph; and

(II) the total amount of premium revenue (excluding Federal and State taxes and licensing or regulatory fees and after accounting for payments or receipts for risk adjustment, risk corridors, and reinsurance under sections 18061, 18062, and 18063 of this title) for such plan year.

(ii) Calculation based on average ratio

Beginning on January 1, 2014, the determination made under subparagraph (A) for the year involved shall be based on the averages of the premiums expended on the costs described in such subparagraph and total premium revenue for each of the previous 3 years for the plan.

(2) Consideration in setting percentages

In determining the percentages under paragraph (1), a State shall seek to ensure adequate participation by health insurance issuers, competition in the health insurance market in the State, and value for consumers so that premiums are used for clinical services and quality improvements.

(3) Enforcement

The Secretary shall promulgate regulations for enforcing the provisions of this section and may provide for appropriate penalties.

(c) Definitions

Not later than December 31, 2010, and subject to the certification of the Secretary, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners shall establish uniform definitions of the activities reported under subsection (a) and standardized methodologies for calculating measures of such activities, including definitions of which activities, and in what regard such activities, constitute activities described in subsection (a)(2). Such methodologies shall be designed to take into account the special circumstances of smaller plans, different types of plans, and newer plans.

(d) Adjustments

The Secretary may adjust the rates described in subsection (b) if the Secretary determines appropriate on account of the volatility of the individual market due to the establishment of State Exchanges.

(e) Standard hospital charges

Each hospital operating within the United States shall for each year establish (and update) and make public (in accordance with guidelines developed by the Secretary) a list of the hospital's standard charges for items and services provided by the hospital, including for diagnosis-related groups established under section 1395ww(d)(4) of this title.

(July 1, 1944, ch. 373, title XXVII, §2718, as added and amended Pub. L. 111–148, title I, §1001(5), title X, §10101(f), Mar. 23, 2010, 124 Stat. 136, 885.)

Amendments

2010Pub. L. 111–148, §10101(f), amended section generally. Prior to amendment, the section related to clear accounting for costs, ensuring that consumers receive value for premiums, standard hospital charges, and definitions.

Effective Date

Section effective for plan years beginning on or after the date that is 6 months after Mar. 23, 2010, see section 1004 of Pub. L. 111–148, set out as a note under section 300gg–11 of this title.

§300gg–19. Appeals process

(a) Internal claims appeals

(1) In general

A group health plan and a health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage shall implement an effective appeals process for appeals of coverage determinations and claims, under which the plan or issuer shall, at a minimum—

(A) have in effect an internal claims appeal process;

(B) provide notice to enrollees, in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner, of available internal and external appeals processes, and the availability of any applicable office of health insurance consumer assistance or ombudsman established under section 300gg–93 of this title to assist such enrollees with the appeals processes; and

(C) allow an enrollee to review their file, to present evidence and testimony as part of the appeals process, and to receive continued coverage pending the outcome of the appeals process.

(2) Established processes

To comply with paragraph (1)—

(A) a group health plan and a health insurance issuer offering group health coverage shall provide an internal claims and appeals process that initially incorporates the claims and appeals procedures (including urgent claims) set forth at section 2560.503–1 of title 29, Code of Federal Regulations, as published on November 21, 2000 (65 Fed. Reg. 70256), and shall update such process in accordance with any standards established by the Secretary of Labor for such plans and issuers; and

(B) a health insurance issuer offering individual health coverage, and any other issuer not subject to subparagraph (A), shall provide an internal claims and appeals process that initially incorporates the claims and appeals procedures set forth under applicable law (as in existence on March 23, 2010), and shall update such process in accordance with any standards established by the Secretary of Health and Human Services for such issuers.

(b) External review

A group health plan and a health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage—

(1) shall comply with the applicable State external review process for such plans and issuers that, at a minimum, includes the consumer protections set forth in the Uniform External Review Model Act promulgated by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and is binding on such plans; or

(2) shall implement an effective external review process that meets minimum standards established by the Secretary through guidance and that is similar to the process described under paragraph (1)—

(A) if the applicable State has not established an external review process that meets the requirements of paragraph (1); or

(B) if the plan is a self-insured plan that is not subject to State insurance regulation (including a State law that establishes an external review process described in paragraph (1)).

(c) Secretary authority

The Secretary may deem the external review process of a group health plan or health insurance issuer, in operation as of March 23, 2010, to be in compliance with the applicable process established under subsection (b), as determined appropriate by the Secretary.

(July 1, 1944, ch. 373, title XXVII, §2719, as added and amended Pub. L. 111–148, title I, §1001(5), title X, §10101(g), Mar. 23, 2010, 124 Stat. 137, 887.)

Amendments

2010Pub. L. 111–148, §10101(g), amended section generally. Prior to amendment, section related to implementation of appeals process by group health plans and health insurance issuers.

Effective Date

Section effective for plan years beginning on or after the date that is 6 months after Mar. 23, 2010, see section 1004 of Pub. L. 111–148, set out as a note under section 300gg–11 of this title.

§300gg–19a. Patient protections

(a) Choice of health care professional

If a group health plan, or a health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage, requires or provides for designation by a participant, beneficiary, or enrollee of a participating primary care provider, then the plan or issuer shall permit each participant, beneficiary, and enrollee to designate any participating primary care provider who is available to accept such individual.

(b) Coverage of emergency services

(1) In general

If a group health plan, or a health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance issuer,1 provides or covers any benefits with respect to services in an emergency department of a hospital, the plan or issuer shall cover emergency services (as defined in paragraph (2)(B))—

(A) without the need for any prior authorization determination;

(B) whether the health care provider furnishing such services is a participating provider with respect to such services;

(C) in a manner so that, if such services are provided to a participant, beneficiary, or enrollee—

(i) by a nonparticipating health care provider with or without prior authorization; or

(ii)(I) such services will be provided without imposing any requirement under the plan for prior authorization of services or any limitation on coverage where the provider of services does not have a contractual relationship with the plan for the providing of services that is more restrictive than the requirements or limitations that apply to emergency department services received from providers who do have such a contractual relationship with the plan; and

(II) if such services are provided out-of-network, the cost-sharing requirement (expressed as a copayment amount or coinsurance rate) is the same requirement that would apply if such services were provided in-network; 2


(D) without regard to any other term or condition of such coverage (other than exclusion or coordination of benefits, or an affiliation or waiting period, permitted under section 2701 3 of this Act, section 1181 of title 29, or section 9801 of title 26, and other than applicable cost-sharing).

(2) Definitions

In this subsection:

(A) Emergency medical condition

The term "emergency medical condition" means a medical condition manifesting itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity (including severe pain) such that a prudent layperson, who possesses an average knowledge of health and medicine, could reasonably expect the absence of immediate medical attention to result in a condition described in clause (i), (ii), or (iii) of section 1395dd(e)(1)(A) of this title.

(B) Emergency services

The term "emergency services" means, with respect to an emergency medical condition—

(i) a medical screening examination (as required under section 1395dd of this title) that is within the capability of the emergency department of a hospital, including ancillary services routinely available to the emergency department to evaluate such emergency medical condition, and

(ii) within the capabilities of the staff and facilities available at the hospital, such further medical examination and treatment as are required under section 1395dd of this title to stabilize the patient.

(C) Stabilize

The term "to stabilize", with respect to an emergency medical condition (as defined in subparagraph (A)), has the meaning give 4 in section 1395dd(e)(3) of this title.

(c) Access to pediatric care

(1) Pediatric care

In the case of a person who has a child who is a participant, beneficiary, or enrollee under a group health plan, or health insurance coverage offered by a health insurance issuer in the group or individual market, if the plan or issuer requires or provides for the designation of a participating primary care provider for the child, the plan or issuer shall permit such person to designate a physician (allopathic or osteopathic) who specializes in pediatrics as the child's primary care provider if such provider participates in the network of the plan or issuer.

(2) Construction

Nothing in paragraph (1) shall be construed to waive any exclusions of coverage under the terms and conditions of the plan or health insurance coverage with respect to coverage of pediatric care.

(d) Patient access to obstetrical and gynecological care

(1) General rights

(A) Direct access

A group health plan, or health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage, described in paragraph (2) may not require authorization or referral by the plan, issuer, or any person (including a primary care provider described in paragraph (2)(B)) in the case of a female participant, beneficiary, or enrollee who seeks coverage for obstetrical or gynecological care provided by a participating health care professional who specializes in obstetrics or gynecology. Such professional shall agree to otherwise adhere to such plan's or issuer's policies and procedures, including procedures regarding referrals and obtaining prior authorization and providing services pursuant to a treatment plan (if any) approved by the plan or issuer.

(B) Obstetrical and gynecological care

A group health plan or health insurance issuer described in paragraph (2) shall treat the provision of obstetrical and gynecological care, and the ordering of related obstetrical and gynecological items and services, pursuant to the direct access described under subparagraph (A), by a participating health care professional who specializes in obstetrics or gynecology as the authorization of the primary care provider.

(2) Application of paragraph

A group health plan, or health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage, described in this paragraph is a group health plan or coverage that—

(A) provides coverage for obstetric or gynecologic care; and

(B) requires the designation by a participant, beneficiary, or enrollee of a participating primary care provider.

(3) Construction

Nothing in paragraph (1) shall be construed to—

(A) waive any exclusions of coverage under the terms and conditions of the plan or health insurance coverage with respect to coverage of obstetrical or gynecological care; or

(B) preclude the group health plan or health insurance issuer involved from requiring that the obstetrical or gynecological provider notify the primary care health care professional or the plan or issuer of treatment decisions.

(July 1, 1944, ch. 373, title XXVII, §2719A, as added Pub. L. 111–148, title X, §10101(h), Mar. 23, 2010, 124 Stat. 888.)

References in Text

Section 2701 of this Act, referred to in subsec. (b)(1)(D), is a reference to section 2701 of act July 1, 1944. Section 2701, which was classified to section 300gg of this title, was renumbered section 2704, effective for plan years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2014, with certain exceptions, and amended, by Pub. L. 111–148, title I, §§1201(2), 1563(c)(1), formerly §1562(c)(1), title X, §10107(b)(1), Mar. 23, 2010, 124 Stat. 154, 264, 911, and was transferred to section 300gg–3 of this title. A new section 2701 of act July 1, 1944, related to fair health insurance premiums, was added, effective for plan years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2014, and amended, by Pub. L. 111–148, title I, §1201(4), title X, §10103(a), Mar. 23, 2010, 124 Stat. 155, 892, and is classified to section 300gg of this title.

Codification

Pub. L. 111–148, which directed amendment of subpart II of part A of "title XVIII" of act July 1, 1944, by inserting section 2719A after section 2719, was executed by making the insertion in subpart II of part A of title XXVII of the Act, to reflect the probable intent of Congress.

1 So in original. Probably should be "coverage,".

2 So in original. The word "and" probably should appear.

3 See References in Text note below.

4 So in original. Probably should be "given".

§300gg–19b. Information on prescription drugs

(a) In general

A group health plan or a health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage shall—

(1) not restrict, directly or indirectly, any pharmacy that dispenses a prescription drug to an enrollee in the plan or coverage from informing (or penalize such pharmacy for informing) an enrollee of any differential between the enrollee's out-of-pocket cost under the plan or coverage with respect to acquisition of the drug and the amount an individual would pay for acquisition of the drug without using any health plan or health insurance coverage; and

(2) ensure that any entity that provides pharmacy benefits management services under a contract with any such health plan or health insurance coverage does not, with respect to such plan or coverage, restrict, directly or indirectly, a pharmacy that dispenses a prescription drug from informing (or penalize such pharmacy for informing) an enrollee of any differential between the enrollee's out-of-pocket cost under the plan or coverage with respect to acquisition of the drug and the amount an individual would pay for acquisition of the drug without using any health plan or health insurance coverage.

(b) Definition

For purposes of this section, the term "out-of-pocket cost", with respect to acquisition of a drug, means the amount to be paid by the enrollee under the plan or coverage, including any cost-sharing (including any deductible, copayment, or coinsurance) and, as determined by the Secretary, any other expenditure.

(July 1, 1944, ch. 373, title XXVII, §2729, as added Pub. L. 115–263, §2, Oct. 10, 2018, 132 Stat. 3672.)