031 BUREAU OF INSURANCE
CHAPTER 765: HEALTH INSURANCE EMERGENCY PLANNING AND PROCEDURES
Table of Contents
SECTION 1. Authority
SECTION 2. Purpose
SECTION 3. Applicability and Scope
SECTION 4. Definitions
SECTION 5. Standards of Emergency Preparedness
SECTION 6. Contingency Planning Requirements
SECTION 7. Reporting Requirements
SECTION 8. Effective Date
SECTION 1. AUTHORITY
This Rule is adopted by the Superintendent pursuant to 24-A M.R.S.A. §§ 211, 212, 471, 472, 478, and 4309.
SECTION 2. PURPOSE
The purpose of this Rule is to establish requirements and procedures for carriers offering health plans to prepare for public health emergencies.
SECTION 3. APPLICABILITY AND SCOPE
This Rule applies to any carrier offering a health plan in Maine, as defined at 24-A M.R.S.A. § 4301-A. Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part D, Medicare supplement, TRICARE supplement plans, and dental plans are not subject to the requirements of this Rule.
SECTION 4. DEFINITIONS
For purposes of this Rule, “Public Health Emergency” means an existing or imminent likelihood of need for a significant increase in health care services or insurance benefit payments due to injuries or sickness.”
SECTION 5. STANDARDS OF EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS
Carriers subject to this rule must be capable of implementing the following actions within 72 hours in the event that the Superintendent issues a direction, rule, or order to do so pursuant to 24‑A M.R.S.A. § 478.
1. Suspension of plan rules for prior medical authorization, pre-certification, and utilization review.
2. Suspension of plan requirements for accessing prescription drugs, including prior approval requirements, refill limitations, and co-payments. This includes, but is not limited to, suspension of formulary requirements that are more stringent than treatment guidelines established by the United States Centers for Disease Control.
3. Suspension of incentives or requirements for enrollees to obtain health services from contracted network providers.
4. Suspension of rate increases, extensions of grace periods, suspension of termination of coverage for employees losing group coverage, and easing of enrollment requirements.
5. Suspension of cost barriers for accessing needed services, including co-payments, co-insurance, and deductibles.
6. Suspension of time limits for filing claims.
SECTION 6. CONTINGENCY PLANNING REQUIREMENTS
Within 30 days after the effective date of this Rule, carriers offering health insurance plans in this state shall provide the Superintendent with the following information.
1. The name and contact information for an officer of the company primarily responsible for public insurance emergency planning in Maine. If this contact information changes the carrier shall notify the Superintendent within 72 hours.
2. A description of health insurance coverage in force in Maine, which must be updated at least annually. Carriers shall provide updated descriptions within 72 hours after a request by the Superintendent. At a minimum, the description must include the following:
i. The number of group and blanket policy enrollees.
ii. The number of individual policy enrollees.
iii. The number of enrollees who have coverage for prescription medications.
iv. The number of enrollees who have coverage for influenza and pneumococcal vaccinations.
3. A description of the carrier’s plans for assuring adequate staffing and business continuity during a public health emergency.
4. A description of the carrier’s plans for working closely with state and federal regulatory and emergency agencies to respond to the needs of enrollees and the public during a public health emergency.
5. A description of the carrier’s plans for providing enrollees and providers with essential information during a public health emergency.
6. A description of the carrier’s assessment and planning to address increased need and decreased availability of medical supplies, prescription drugs and vaccinations during a public health emergency.
7. A description of the carrier’s contingency plans for minimizing barriers for enrollees to access health care services and health insurance benefits during a public health emergency, including the carrier’s own guidelines for deciding when to implement contingency plans. The plans and guidelines must be flexible and must include specific actions to assist the public in maintaining access to health care services and health insurance benefits depending on the nature, scope, and extent of the emergency. At a minimum contingency plans and guidelines must include the ability to implement the actions described in Section 5 of this Rule within 72 hours after a direction, rule, or order to do so issued pursuant to 24-A M.R.S.A. § 478.
SECTION 7. REPORTING REQUIREMENTS
1. Carriers with health insurance plans covering Maine residents shall promptly provide any information requested by the Superintendent regarding an existing or potential public health emergency, including claims information.
2. Carriers offering health insurance plans in Maine shall file reports meeting the requirements of Section 6 within 30 days after the effective date of this Rule. Reports shall be verified by the oath of the officer designated in Section 6, subsection 1 of this Rule and by one other principal officer of the carrier. Updated reports shall be provided to the Superintendent within 72 hours after a request made to address an existing or potential public health emergency. Business continuity plans shall be held by the Superintendent as confidential information in the same manner as insurers’ business plans. If the insurer considers any other information that it files pursuant to this Rule to be confidential pursuant to Maine law, the insurer shall file a request for protection from disclosure, identifying with particularity the information the insurer considers to be confidential and the reasons the insurer believes the information filed is not a public record within the meaning of the Maine Freedom of Access Law, 1 M.R.S.A. §§ 401 et seq.
3. The Superintendent may, but is not required to, exempt carriers with fewer than 500 insured lives in Maine from the reporting requirements of this Rule.