(a) Annual limits.

Terms Used In Rhode Island General Laws 27-18-73. Prohibition on annual and lifetime limits

  • Affordable Care Act: means the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, as amended by the federal Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, and federal regulations adopted thereunder. See Rhode Island General Laws 27-18-1.1
  • covered benefits: means coverage or benefits for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, or amounts paid for the purpose of affecting any structure or function of the body including coverage or benefits for transportation primarily for and essential thereto, and including medical services as defined in R. See Rhode Island General Laws 27-18-1.1
  • Group health plan: means an employee welfare benefit plan, as defined in 29 USC § 1002(1), to the extent that the plan provides health benefits to employees or their dependents directly or through insurance, reimbursement, or otherwise. See Rhode Island General Laws 27-18-1.1
  • health benefit plan: means health insurance coverage and a group health plan, including coverage provided through an association plan if it covers Rhode Island residents. See Rhode Island General Laws 27-18-1.1
  • Health insurance carrier: means a person, firm, corporation or other entity subject to the jurisdiction of the commissioner under this chapter. See Rhode Island General Laws 27-18-1.1
  • health insurance commissioner: means that individual appointed pursuant to § 42-14. See Rhode Island General Laws 27-18-1.1
  • Office of the health insurance commissioner: means the agency established under § 42-14. See Rhode Island General Laws 27-18-1.1

(1) For plan or policy years beginning prior to January 1, 2014, for any individual, a health insurance carrier and a health benefit plan subject to the jurisdiction of the commissioner under this chapter may establish an annual limit on the dollar amount of benefits that are essential health benefits provided the restricted annual limit is not less than the following:

(A) For a plan or policy year beginning after September 22, 2011, but before September 23, 2012 – one million two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($1,250,000); and

(B) For a plan or policy year beginning after September 22, 2012, but before January 1, 2014 – two million dollars ($2,000,000).

(2) For plan or policy years beginning on or after January 1, 2014, a health insurance carrier and a health benefit plan shall not establish any annual limit on the dollar amount of essential health benefits for any individual, except:

(A) A health flexible spending arrangement, as defined in Section 106(c)(2)(i) of the Federal Internal Revenue Code, a medical savings account, as defined in section 220 of the federal Internal Revenue Code, and a health savings account, as defined in Section 223 of the federal Internal Revenue Code are not subject to the requirements of subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection.

(B) The provisions of this subsection shall not prevent a health insurance carrier and a health benefit plan from placing annual dollar limits for any individual on specific covered benefits that are not essential health benefits to the extent that such limits are otherwise permitted under applicable federal law or the laws and regulations of this state.

(3) In determining whether an individual has received benefits that meet or exceed the allowable limits, as provided in subdivision (1) of this subsection, a health insurance carrier and a health benefit plan shall take into account only essential health benefits.

(b) Lifetime limits.

(1) A health insurance carrier and health benefit plan offering group or individual health insurance coverage shall not establish a lifetime limit on the dollar value of essential health benefits for any individual.

(2) Notwithstanding subdivision (1) above, a health insurance carrier and health benefit plan is not prohibited from placing lifetime dollar limits for any individual on specific covered benefits that are not essential health benefits, in accordance with federal laws and regulations.

(c)(1) The provisions of this section relating to lifetime limits apply to any health insurance carrier providing coverage under an individual or group health plan, including grandfathered health plans.

(2) The provisions of this section relating to annual limits apply to any health insurance carrier providing coverage under a group health plan, including grandfathered health plans, but the prohibition and limits on annual limits do not apply to grandfathered health plans providing individual health insurance coverage.

(d) This section shall not apply to a plan or to policy years prior to January 1, 2014 for which the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a waiver pursuant to 45 C.F.R. § 147.126(d)(3). This section also shall not apply to insurance coverage providing benefits for: (1) hospital confinement indemnity; (2) disability income; (3) accident only; (4) long term care; (5) Medicare supplement; (6) limited benefit health; (7) specified disease indemnity; (8) sickness or bodily injury or death by accident or both; and (9) other limited benefit policies.

(e) If the commissioner of the office of the health insurance commissioner determines that the corresponding provision of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has been declared invalid by a final judgment of the federal judicial branch or has been repealed by an act of Congress, on the date of the commissioner’s determination this section shall have its effectiveness suspended indefinitely, and the commissioner shall take no action to enforce this section. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to limit the authority of the Commissioner to regulate health insurance under existing state law.

History of Section.
(P.L. 2012, ch. 256, § 2; P.L. 2012, ch. 262, § 2.)