a. After a health maintenance organization has been in operation 24 months, it shall have an annual open enrollment period of at least one month during which it accepts enrollees up to the limits of its capacity, as determined by the health maintenance organization, in the order in which they apply for enrollment. A health maintenance organization may apply to the commissioner for authorization to impose such underwriting restrictions upon enrollment as are necessary to preserve its financial stability, to prevent excessive adverse selection by prospective enrollees, or to avoid unreasonably high or unmarketable charges for enrollee coverage for health care services. The commissioner shall approve or deny such application within 30 days of the receipt thereof from the health maintenance organization. The Commissioner of Insurance shall certify to the commissioner the appropriateness of any requested underwriting restrictions.
b. Health maintenance organizations providing or arranging for services exclusively on a group contract basis may limit the open enrollment provided for in subsection a. to all members of the group or groups covered by such contracts.
c. A health maintenance organization shall notify its enrollees in writing at the time of enrollment, and include a notice in the promotional material which it distributes to prospective enrollees, that a person's choice of health benefits plan will determine his coverage until the next annual open enrollment period, regardless of the continued availability of a particular health care provider who contracts with that health maintenance organization, unless the enrollee moves his place of residence outside of the organization's designated service area.
L.1973, c.337, s.11; amended 1989,c.321,s.1.