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2011 Florida Statutes

SECTION 6571
Guaranteed renewability of coverage.
F.S. 627.6571
1627.6571 Guaranteed renewability of coverage.
(1) Except as otherwise provided in this section, an insurer that issues a group health insurance policy must renew or continue in force such coverage at the option of the policyholder.
(2) An insurer may nonrenew or discontinue a group health insurance policy based only on one or more of the following conditions:
(a) The policyholder has failed to pay premiums or contributions in accordance with the terms of the policy or the insurer has not received timely premium payments.
(b) The policyholder has performed an act or practice that constitutes fraud or made an intentional misrepresentation of material fact under the terms of the policy.
(c) The policyholder has failed to comply with a material provision of the plan which relates to rules for employer contributions or group participation.
(d) The insurer is ceasing to offer a particular type of coverage in a market in accordance with subsection (3).
(e) In the case of an insurer that offers health insurance coverage through a network plan, there is no longer any enrollee in connection with such plan who lives, resides, or works in the service area of the insurer or in the area in which the insurer is authorized to do business and, in the case of the small-group market, the insurer would deny enrollment with respect to such plan under s. 627.6699(5)(i).
(f) In the case of health insurance coverage that is made available only through one or more bona fide associations as defined in subsection (5) or through one or more small employer health alliances as described in s. 627.654(1)(b), the membership of an employer in the association or in the small employer health alliance, on the basis of which the coverage is provided, ceases, but only if such coverage is terminated under this paragraph uniformly without regard to any health-status-related factor that relates to any covered individuals.
(3)(a) An insurer may discontinue offering a particular policy form of group health insurance coverage offered in the small-group market or large-group market only if:
1. The insurer provides notice to each policyholder provided coverage of this form in such market, and to participants and beneficiaries covered under such coverage, of such discontinuation at least 90 days prior to the date of the nonrenewal of such coverage;
2. The insurer offers to each policyholder provided coverage of this form in such market the option to purchase all, or in the case of the large-group market, any other health insurance coverage currently being offered by the insurer in such market; and
3. In exercising the option to discontinue coverage of this form and in offering the option of coverage under subparagraph 2., the insurer acts uniformly without regard to the claims experience of those policyholders or any health-status-related factor that relates to any participants or beneficiaries covered or new participants or beneficiaries who may become eligible for such coverage.
(b)1. In any case in which an insurer elects to discontinue offering all health insurance coverage in the small-group market or the large-group market, or both, in this state, health insurance coverage may be discontinued by the insurer only if:
a. The insurer provides notice to the office and to each policyholder, and participants and beneficiaries covered under such coverage, of such discontinuation at least 180 days prior to the date of the nonrenewal of such coverage; and
b. All health insurance issued or delivered for issuance in this state in such market is discontinued and coverage under such health insurance coverage in such market is not renewed.
2. In the case of a discontinuation under subparagraph 1. in a market, the insurer may not provide for the issuance of any health insurance coverage in the market in this state during the 5-year period beginning on the date of the discontinuation of the last insurance coverage not renewed.
(c) A mailing to one household constitutes a mailing to all covered persons residing in that household. A separate mailing is required for each separate household.
(4) At the time of coverage renewal, an insurer may modify the health insurance coverage for a product offered:
(a) In the large-group market; or
(b) In the small-group market if, for coverage that is available in such market other than only through one or more bona fide associations as defined in subsection (5) or through one or more small employer health alliances as described in s. 627.654(1)(b), such modification is consistent with s. 627.6699 and effective on a uniform basis among group health plans with that product.
(5) As used in this section, the term “bona fide association” means an association that:
(a) Has been actively in existence for at least 5 years;
(b) Has been formed and maintained in good faith for purposes other than obtaining insurance;
(c) Does not condition membership in the association on any health-status-related factor that relates to an individual, including an employee of an employer or a dependent of an employee;
(d) Makes health insurance coverage offered through the association available to all members regardless of any health-status-related factor that relates to such members or individuals eligible for coverage through a member; and
(e) Does not make health insurance coverage offered through the association available other than in connection with a member of the association.
(6) In applying this section in the case of health insurance coverage that is made available by an insurer in the small-group market or large-group market to employers only through one or more associations or through one or more small employer health alliances as described in s. 627.654(1)(b), a reference to “policyholder” is deemed, with respect to coverage provided to an employer member of the association, to include a reference to such employer.
History.s. 11, ch. 97-179; s. 7, ch. 98-159; s. 36, ch. 2000-256; s. 3, ch. 2000-296; s. 1166, ch. 2003-261.
1Note.Section 34(2), ch. 97-179, provides that:

“(2) Except as provided in section 627.6561(9), (10), and (11), and section 641.31071(10), (11), and (12), Florida Statutes, in the case of a group health plan or group health insurance contract maintained pursuant to one or more collective bargaining agreements between employee representatives and one or more employers which is ratified before this act becomes a law, sections 627.6561, 627.65615, 627.65625, 627.6571, 627.6699, 641.31071, 641.31072, 641.31073, and 641.31074, Florida Statutes, except for section 627.6561(8)(b), Florida Statutes, as amended or created by this act, apply to policies or contracts with plan years that begin on or after the later of:

“(a) The date on which the last of any collective bargaining agreement that relates to the plan terminates, determined without regard to any extension thereof, which is agreed to after the date this act becomes a law; or

“(b) July 1, 1997.”