You are here: California / Health and Safety Code - HSC / ARTICLE 3.1. Small Employer Group Access to Contracts for Health Care Services [1357. - 1357.17.] / Section 1357.14.


Section 1357.14. (Amended by Stats. 1997, Ch. 336, Sec. 5.)
Cite as: Cal. Health & Safety Code §1357.14.

In connection with the offering for sale of any plan contract to a small employer, each plan shall make a reasonable disclosure, as part of its solicitation and sales materials, of the following:

(a) The extent to which premium rates for a specified small employer are established or adjusted in part based upon the actual or expected variation in service costs or actual or expected variation in health condition of the employees and dependents of the small employer.

(b) The provisions concerning the plan’s right to change premium rates and the factors other than provision of services experience that affect changes in premium rates.

(c) Provisions relating to the guaranteed issue and renewal of contracts.

(d) Provisions relating to the effect of any preexisting condition provision.

(e) Provisions relating to the small employer’s right to apply for any contract written, issued, or administered by the plan at the time of application for a new health care service plan contract, or at the time of renewal of a health care service plan contract.

(f) The availability, upon request, of a listing of all the plan’s contracts and benefit plan designs offered to small employers, including the rates for each contract.

(g) At the time it offers a contract to a small employer, each plan shall provide the small employer with a statement of all of its plan contracts offered to small employers, including the rates for each plan contract, in the service area in which the employer’s employees and eligible dependents who are to be covered by the plan contract work or reside. For purposes of this subdivision, plans that are affiliated plans or that are eligible to file a consolidated income tax return shall be treated as one health plan.

(h) Each plan shall do all of the following:

(1) Prepare a brochure that summarizes all of its plan contracts offered to small employers and to make this summary available to any small employer and to solicitors upon request. The summary shall include for each contract information on benefits provided, a generic description of the manner in which services are provided, such as how access to providers is limited, benefit limitations, required copayments and deductibles, standard employee risk rates, an explanation of the manner in which creditable coverage is calculated if a preexisting condition or affiliation period is imposed, and a phone number that can be called for more detailed benefit information. Plans are required to keep the information contained in the brochure accurate and up to date and, upon updating the brochure, send copies to solicitors and solicitor firms with whom the plan contracts to solicit enrollments or subscriptions.

(2) For each contract, prepare a more detailed evidence of coverage and make it available to small employers, solicitors, and solicitor firms upon request. The evidence of coverage shall contain all information that a prudent buyer would need to be aware of in making contract selections.

(3) Provide to small employers and solicitors, upon request, for any given small employer the sum of the standard employee risk rates and the sum of the risk adjusted employee risk rates. When requesting this information, small employers, solicitors, and solicitor firms shall provide the plan with the information the plan needs to determine the small employer’s risk adjusted employee risk rate.

(4) Provide copies of the current summary brochure to all solicitors and solicitor firms contracting with the plan to solicit enrollments or subscriptions from small employers.

For purposes of this subdivision, plans that are affiliated plans or that are eligible to file a consolidated income tax return shall be treated as one health plan.

(i) Every solicitor or solicitor firm contracting with one or more plans to solicit enrollments or subscriptions from small employers shall do all of the following:

(1) When providing information on contracts to a small employer but making no specific recommendations on particular plan contracts:

(A) Advise the small employer of the plan’s obligation to sell to any small employer any plan contract it offers to small employers and provide them, upon request, with the actual rates that would be charged to that employer for a given contract.

(B) Notify the small employer that the solicitor or solicitor firm will procure rate and benefit information for the small employer on any plan contract offered by a plan whose contract the solicitor sells.

(C) Notify the small employer that upon request the solicitor or solicitor firm will provide the small employer with the summary brochure required under paragraph (1) of subdivision (h) for any plan contract offered by a plan with whom the solicitor or solicitor firm has contracted with to solicit enrollments or subscriptions.

(2) When recommending a particular benefit plan design or designs, advise the small employer that, upon request, the agent will provide the small employer with the brochure required by paragraph (1) of subdivision (h) containing the benefit plan design or designs being recommended by the agent or broker.

(3) Prior to filing an application for a small employer for a particular contract:

(A) For each of the plan contracts offered by the plan whose contract the solicitor or solicitor firm is offering, provide the small employer with the benefit summary required in paragraph (1) of subdivision (h) and the sum of the standard employee risk rates for that particular employer.

(B) Notify the small employer that, upon request, the solicitor or solicitor firm will provide the small employer with an evidence of coverage brochure for each contract the plan offers.

(C) Notify the small employer that, from July 1, 1993, to July 1, 1996, actual rates may be 20 percent higher or lower than the sum of the standard employee risk rates, and from July 1, 1996, and thereafter, actual rates may be 10 percent higher or lower than the sum of the standard employee risk rates, depending on how the plan assesses the risk of the small employer’s group.

(D) Notify the small employer that, upon request, the solicitor or solicitor firm will submit information to the plan to ascertain the small employer’s sum of the risk adjusted employee risk rate for any contract the plan offers.

(E) Obtain a signed statement from the small employer acknowledging that the small employer has received the disclosures required by this section.



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