Information provided to covered persons and readability of managed health care plan contracts
See bold sections below:
A. Evidence of coverage: At the time of enrollment, each managed health care plan (MHCP) shall provide each covered person with information on how to access and obtain an evidence of coverage. Upon request at any time after enrollment, the covered person shall be provided with the evidence of coverage. Each evidence of coverage offered to covered persons, and prospective covered persons shall state in clear, accurate, and conspicuous language, in not less than 10 point font, written such that it can be easily understood by the average covered person, and so that it comports with the requirements of the “Policy Language Simplification Law,” Chapter 59A, Article 19 NMSA 1978, the following information:
(1) the name of the health care insurer and managed health care plan and its principal place of business, including its address and telephone number;
(2) definitions for words that have meanings other than common general usage;
(3) for an HMO, a description of the HMO’s service area;
(4) a complete list or description of the comprehensive basic health care services, urgent health care services, emergency health care services, and, if applicable, supplemental health care services available within the MHCP’s service or geographical area, and any other benefits to which the covered person is entitled under the particular plan;
(5) an explanation of how participation in the managed health care plan may affect the potential covered person’s choice of physician, hospital, or other health care provider;
(6) eligibility requirements for coverage, including a statement of conditions on eligibility for benefits;
(7) conditions of cancellation, which shall include a statement that if a covered person believes coverage was canceled due to health status or health care requirements, race, gender, age, or sexual orientation, he may appeal termination to the superintendent;
(8) the name, address, and toll-free telephone number of the superintendent;
(9) a statement that a copy of the evidence of coverage will be provided upon request if the covered person is unable to obtain a copy of the contract from the covered person’s employer or other contract holder;
(10) conditions for renewal and reinstatement;
(11) any procedures for filing claims;
(12) in bold typeface, or through an equally or more effective means, highlight any and all exclusions or limitations on the health care services, type of health care services, benefits, or type of benefits to be provided, including deductibles or copayments, or co-insurance; when presented on the plan’s website or through other internet means, this information may be highlighted with movement, color, pop-up material, and other devices;
(13) any other requirements or procedures necessary for covered persons to obtain particular health care services, such as additional copayments, prior authorizations, second opinions, and consultations with or referrals to specialists, physicians, or other providers other than the primary care physician;
(14) the covered person’s personal financial obligation for non-covered health care services;
(15) a clear and complete summary of where, and in what manner, information is available regarding how a covered person obtains services, including emergency and out-of-area services;
(16) a toll-free telephone number and a web-based or other electronic methods through which the covered person may contact the MHCP for additional information on obtaining health care services or for other inquiries regarding the plan, including benefit information and plan requirements;
(17) for all contracts, a list of relevant copayments and all other out of pocket expenses paid by the covered person;
(18) for individual and conversion contracts, the contractual periodic prepayment or premium, which may be contained in a separate insert and the total of payment for health services and the indemnity or services benefits, if any, which the covered person is obligated to pay;
(19) a description of the MHCP’s grievance procedures and method for resolving covered person complaints, including a description of the appeals process available if the MHCP limits or excludes coverage of a treatment or procedure, the address and telephone number to which grievances are to be directed, and a statement identifying the superintendent as an external source with whom grievances may be filed, including the division of insurance contact information, as provided at Paragraph (2) of Subsection A of 184.108.40.206 NMAC, so that the covered person may submit the complaint;
(20) if the MHCP provides prescription drug coverage, the evidence of coverage must convey in clear and concise language:
(a) whether participating providers are restricted to prescribing drugs from a drug formulary;
(b) whether or not brand-name products or specialty drugs require a higher copayment;
(c) the extent, if at all, to which an enrollee will be reimbursed for costs of a drug that is not on the plan’s formulary;
(d) how covered persons may obtain, upon request, a complete list of drugs covered by the plan or listed on the MHCP’s drug formulary; and
(e) any exclusions or limitations for coverage of “experimental,” “investigational,” or “specialty” drugs and definitions of “experimental,” “investigational,” and “specialty” as those terms are used by the MHCP, and in accordance with this chapter;
(21) a list of providers which contains all of the information listed in Subsection D of 220.127.116.11 NMAC, and shall include a statement, if applicable, that providers may be deleted or added within the coverage year;
(22) a statement regarding whether or not participating providers must comply with any specified numbers, targeted averages, or maximum durations of patient visits; and if so, a description of the specific requirements;
(23) a statement reflecting that a covered person will not be liable to a provider for any sums owed to the provider by the MHCP;
(24) language reflecting that the enrollee may be liable for sums owed to a non-contracting provider, except when an enrollee or covered person is mistakenly referred to a non-participating provider by a MHCP provider as discussed in Subsection C of 18.104.22.168 NMAC; and
(25) a statement explaining the covered person’s rights and responsibilities as required by 22.214.171.124 NMAC.
B. Toll-free number: The toll-free telephone number referred to in Paragraph (16) of Subsection A of this section shall:
(1) be answered twenty-four (24) hours a day, seven days a week, so that covered persons who need assistance may obtain answers to their questions;
(2) be equipped so that covered persons with non-medical benefit information questions may leave a voice-mail message for the MHCP that the administrative office of the MHCP will answer before 5:00 p.m. on the next business day;
(3) be included on a covered person membership card issued by the MHCP.
C. Electronic communications: MHCPs shall provide web-based or other electronic methods to inform interested covered persons with benefit information and other health care information in accordance with state and federal privacy regulations.
D. Bi-annual updates of provider lists: For MHCPs that require covered persons to select a primary care physician, the MHCP shall provide covered persons with written bi-annual notices of any deletions or additions to the list of primary care physicians in their area, and shall make more recent updated lists available to enrollees or covered persons upon request. The bi-annual notices may be included in other written materials that are sent to covered persons.
E. Current provider lists: The MHCP shall use a current list of providers, including health professionals and facilities, when soliciting individuals or groups for enrollment in the MHCP.
F. Provider information: Upon request of a covered person or prospective covered person, the MHCP shall provide information on participating providers, including their education, training, applicable certification, and any sub-specialty.
G. Termination of provider status:
(1) When an HMO terminates or suspends any contract with a participating provider, the HMO shall notify, in writing, affected covered persons who are current patients of or, where applicable, assigned to the provider, within 30 days. The notice to covered persons shall advise them of their right to continue receiving care from the provider as set forth in 126.96.36.199 NMAC. Current patients are covered persons who have a claim with the HMO related to the provider’s services within the past year, or who have received a pre-authorization prior to termination to use the provider’s services at a future time.
(2) The HMO shall assist such affected covered persons in locating and transferring to another similarly qualified provider.
(3) A covered person may not be held financially liable for services received from the provider in good faith between the effective date of the suspension or termination and the receipt of notice provided to the covered person, if the covered person has not received comparable notice during this time from the provider.
H. Notice of plan changes: Before issuing any increase in premiums in an individual contract, a MHCP shall provide a 60 day written notice to affected subscribers in the manner the MHCP customarily provides such notice. The MHCP shall also provide in the same manner a 60 day written notice for plan design or plan benefit changes, other than enhanced benefits, in an individual contract. All notices pursuant to this section shall state the reasons for the changes.
I. Disclosure of utilization review procedures: Each MHCP currently doing business in this state shall disclose to the superintendent and to its contracting providers the process by which the MHCP authorizes or denies health care services rendered by its providers pursuant to the benefits covered by the plan. Any MHCP claiming that such information is proprietary has the burden of showing to the superintendent that the information requested is in fact proprietary. Health care insurers planning to offer a new MHCP in this state must disclose such information to the superintendent prior to when the health care insurer solicits individuals or groups for enrollment in the MHCP. In addition, each MHCP shall make available such information to covered persons and prospective covered persons upon request.
J. Upon request of covered persons and prospective covered persons, the MHCP shall provide copies of its quality assurance plans and patterns of its utilization of services that the MHCP routinely tracks. A MHCP may provide such information through such nationally recognized reporting data bases, such as, for example, the health plan employer data and information set (HEDIS).