Purpose and Applicability, Definitions, Out-of-Network Notice and Disclosure Requirements, Health Benefit Plan Issuer and Administrator Responsibility
Section 21.4901. Purpose and Applicability
(a) The purpose of this subchapter is to interpret and implement Insurance Code §§1271.157, 1271.158, 1275.052, 1275.053, 1301.164, 1301.165, 1551.229, 1551.230, 1575.172, 1575.173, 1579.110, and 1579.111; and Insurance Code Chapter 1467.
(b) Section 21.4903 of this title is only applicable to a covered nonemergency health care or medical service or supply provided by:
(1) a facility-based provider that is not a participating provider for a health benefit plan, if the service or supply is provided at a health care facility that is a participating provider; or
(2) a diagnostic imaging provider or laboratory service provider that is not a participating provider for a health benefit plan, if the service or supply is provided in connection with a health care or medical service or supply provided by a participating provider.
Section 21.4902. Definitions
Words and terms defined in Insurance Code Chapter 1467, concerning Out-of-Network Claim Dispute
Resolution, have the same meaning when used in this subchapter unless the context clearly indicates
(1) Administrator–Has the meaning assigned by Insurance Code §1467.001, concerning Definitions. The
term also includes a nonprofit agricultural organization under Chapter 1682, concerning Health Benefits
Provided by Certain Nonprofit Agricultural Organizations, offering a health benefit plan.
(2) Health benefit plan–A plan that provides coverage under:
(A) a health benefit plan offered by an HMO operating under Insurance Code Chapter 843, concerning Health Maintenance Organizations;
(B) a preferred provider benefit plan, including an exclusive provider benefit plan, offered by an insurer under Insurance Code Chapter 1301, concerning Preferred Provider Benefit Plans; or
(C) a plan, other than an HMO plan, under Insurance Code Chapters 1551, concerning Texas Employees Group Benefits Act; 1575, concerning Texas Public School Employees Group Benefits Program; 1579, concerning Texas School Employees Uniform Group Health Coverage; or 1682. The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency’s legal authority.
Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on June 7, 2023. This section does not have a hyperlink that is included in this entry.
Section 21.4903. Out-of-Network Notice and Disclosure Requirements
(a) For purposes of this section a “balance bill” is a bill for an amount greater than an applicable copayment, coinsurance, and deductible under an enrollee’s health benefit plan, as specified in Insurance Code §§1271.157(c), 1271.158(c), 1275.052(c), 1275.053(c), 1301.164(c), 1301.165(c), 1551.229(c), 1551.230(c), 1575.172(c), 1575.173(c), 1579.110(c), or 1579.111(c).
(b) An out-of-network provider may not balance bill an enrollee receiving a nonemergency health care or medical service or supply, and the enrollee does not have financial responsibility for a balance bill, unless the enrollee elects to obtain the service or supply from the out-of-network provider knowing that the provider is out-of-network and the enrollee may be financially responsible for a balance bill. An enrollee’s legal representative or guardian may elect on behalf of an enrollee. For purposes of this subsection, an enrollee elects to obtain a service or supply only if:
(1) the enrollee has a meaningful choice between a participating provider for a health benefit plan issuer or administrator and an out-of-network provider. No meaningful choice exists if an out-of-network provider was selected for or assigned to an enrollee by another provider or health benefit plan issuer or administrator;
(2) the enrollee is not coerced by a provider or health benefit plan issuer or administrator when making the election. A provider engages in coercion if the provider charges or attempts to charge a nonrefundable fee, deposit, or cancellation fee for the service or supply prior to the enrollee’s election; and
(3) the out-of-network provider or the agent or assignee of the provider provides written notice and disclosure to the enrollee and obtains the enrollee’s written consent, as specified in subsection (c) of this section.
(c) If an out-of-network provider elects to balance bill an enrollee, rather than participate in claim dispute resolution under Insurance Code Chapter 1467 and Subchapter PP of this title, the out-of-network provider or agent or assignee of the provider must provide the enrollee with the notice and disclosure statement specified in subsection (e) of this section prior to scheduling the nonemergency health care or medical service or supply. To be effective, the notice and disclosure statement must be signed and dated by the enrollee no less than 10 business days before the date the service or supply is performed or provided. The enrollee may rescind acceptance within five business days from the date the notice and disclosure statement was signed, as explained in the notice and disclosure statement form.
(d) Each out-of-network provider, or the provider’s agent or assignee, must maintain a copy of the notice and disclosure statement, signed and dated by the enrollee, for four years if the medical service or supply is provided and a balance bill is sent to the enrollee. The provider must provide the enrollee with a copy of the signed notice and disclosure statement on the same date the statement is received by the provider.
(e) The department adopts by reference Form AH025 as the notice and disclosure statement to be used under this section. The notice and disclosure statement may not be modified, including its format or font size, and must be presented to an enrollee as a stand-alone document and not incorporated into any other document. The form is available from the department by accessing its website at www.tdi.texas.gov/forms.
(f) A provider who seeks and obtains an enrollee’s signature on a notice and disclosure statement under this section is not eligible to participate in claim dispute resolution under Insurance Code Chapter 1467 and Subchapter PP of this title. This subsection does not apply if the election is defective as described by subsection (b) of this section or rescinded by the enrollee under subsection (c) of this section.
Section 21.4904. Health Benefit Plan Issuer and Administrator Responsibility
Consistent with Insurance Code §1661.002, a health benefit plan issuer or administrator must assist an enrollee with evaluating the enrollee’s financial responsibility for a health care or medical service or supply based on the information in the notice and disclosure statement provided to the enrollee under §21.4903 of this title.