Termination-block transfer filing
(a) At least 75 days before the termination date of its contract with a provider group or a general acute care hospital, the health care service plan shall submit an enrollee block transfer filing to the department that includes the written notice the plan proposes to send to affected enrollees. The plan may not send this notice to enrollees until the department has reviewed and approved its content. If the department does not respond within seven days of the date of its receipt of the filing, the notice shall be deemed approved.
(b) At least 60 days before the termination date of a contract between a health care service plan and a provider group or a general acute care hospital, the plan shall send the written notice described in subdivision (a) by United States mail to enrollees who are assigned to the terminated provider group or hospital. A plan that is unable to comply with the timeframe because of exigent circumstances shall apply to the department for a waiver. The plan is excused from complying with this requirement only if its waiver application is granted by the department or the department does not respond within seven days of the date of its receipt of the waiver application. If the terminated provider is a hospital and the plan assigns enrollees to a provider group with exclusive admitting privileges to the hospital, the plan shall send the written notice to each enrollee who is a member of the provider group and who resides within a 15-mile radius of the terminated hospital. If the plan operates as a preferred provider organization or assigns members to a provider group with admitting privileges to hospitals in the same geographic area as the terminated hospital, the plan shall send the written notice to all enrollees who reside within a 15-mile radius of the terminated hospital.
(c) The health care service plan shall send enrollees of a preferred provider organization the written notice required by subdivision (b) only if the terminated provider is a general acute care hospital.
(d) If an individual provider terminates the provider’s contract or employment with a provider group that contracts with a health care service plan, the plan may require that the provider group send the notice required by subdivision (b).
(e) If, after sending the notice required by subdivision (b), a health care service plan reaches an agreement with a terminated provider to renew or enter into a new contract or to not terminate their contract, the plan shall offer each affected enrollee the option to return to that provider. If an affected enrollee does not exercise this option, the plan shall reassign the enrollee to another provider.
(f) A health care service plan and a provider shall include in all written, printed, or electronic communications sent to an enrollee that concern the contract termination or block transfer, the following statement in not less than 8-point type: “If you have been receiving care from a health care provider, you may have a right to keep your provider for a designated time period. Please contact your health plan’s customer service department, and if you have further questions, you are encouraged to contact the Department of Managed Health Care, which protects consumers, by telephone at its toll-free number, 1-888-466-2219, or at a TDD number for the hearing and speech impaired at 1-877-688-9891, or online at www.dmhc.ca.gov.”
(g) For purposes of this section, “provider group” means a medical group, independent practice association, or any other similar organization.