Subject to all of the provisions of this section, a group policy delivered or issued for delivery in this state by an insurer or nonprofit health care services plan that provides, on an expense-incurred basis, hospital, surgical, or major medical expense insurance, or any combination of these coverages, shall provide that an employee or member whose insurance under the group policy has been terminated for any reason, including discontinuance of the group policy in its entirety or with respect to an insured class, and who has been continuously insured under the group policy, and under any group policy providing similar benefits that the terminated group policy replaced, for at least 3 months immediately prior to termination, shall be entitled to have issued to him or her by the insurer a policy or certificate of health insurance, referred to in this section as a “converted policy.” A group insurer may meet the requirements of this section by contracting with another insurer, authorized in this state, to issue an individual converted policy, which policy has been approved by the office under s. 627.410. An employee or member shall not be entitled to a converted policy if termination of his or her insurance under the group policy occurred because he or she failed to pay any required contribution, or because any discontinued group coverage was replaced by similar group coverage within 31 days after discontinuance.
(1) TIME LIMIT.—Written application for the converted policy shall be made and the first premium must be paid to the insurer, not later than 63 days after termination of the group policy. However, if termination was the result of failure to pay any required premium or contribution and such nonpayment of premium was due to acts of an employer or policyholder other than the employee or certificateholder, written application for the converted policy must be made and the first premium must be paid to the insurer not later than 63 days after notice of termination is mailed by the insurer or the employer, whichever is earlier, to the employee’s or certificateholder’s last address as shown by the record of the insurer or the employer, whichever is applicable. In such case of termination due to nonpayment of premium by the employer or policyholder, the premium for the converted policy may not exceed the rate for the prior group coverage for the period of coverage under the converted policy prior to the date notice of termination is mailed to the employee or certificateholder. For the period of coverage after such date, the premium for the converted policy is subject to the requirements of subsection (3).
(2) EVIDENCE OF INSURABILITY.—The converted policy shall be issued without evidence of insurability.
(3) CONVERSION PREMIUM; EFFECT ON PREMIUM RATES FOR GROUP COVERAGE.—
(a) The premium for the converted policy shall be determined in accordance with premium rates applicable to the age and class of risk of each person to be covered under the converted policy and to the type and amount of insurance provided. However, the premium for the converted policy may not exceed 200 percent of the standard risk rate as established by the office, pursuant to this subsection.
(b) Actual or expected experience under converted policies may be combined with such experience under group policies for the purposes of determining premium and loss experience and establishing premium rate levels for group coverage.
(c) The office shall annually determine standard risk rates, using reasonable actuarial techniques and standards adopted by the commission by rule. The standard risk rates must be determined as follows:
1. Standard risk rates for individual coverage must be determined separately for indemnity policies, preferred provider/exclusive provider policies, and health maintenance organization contracts.
2. The office shall survey insurers and health maintenance organizations representing at least an 80 percent market share, based on premiums earned in the state for the most recent calendar year, for each of the categories specified in subparagraph 1.
3. Standard risk rate schedules must be determined, computed as the average rates charged by the carriers surveyed, giving appropriate weight to each carrier’s statewide market share of earned premiums.
4. The rate schedule shall be determined from analysis of the one county with the largest market share in the state of all such carriers.
5. The rate for other counties must be determined by using the weighted average of each carrier’s county factor relationship to the county determined in subparagraph 4.
6. The rate schedule must be determined for different age brackets and family size brackets.
(4) EFFECTIVE DATE OF COVERAGE.—The effective date of the converted policy shall be the day following the termination of insurance under the group policy.
(5) SCOPE OF COVERAGE.—The converted policy shall cover the employee or member and his or her dependents who were covered by the group policy on the date of termination of insurance. At the option of the insurer, a separate converted policy may be issued to cover any dependent.
(6) OPTIONAL COVERAGE.—The insurer shall not be required to issue a converted policy covering any person who is or could be covered by Medicare. The insurer shall not be required to issue a converted policy covering a person if paragraphs (a) and (b) apply to the person: (a) If any of the following apply to the person:
1. The person is covered for similar benefits by another hospital, surgical, medical, or major medical expense insurance policy or hospital or medical service subscriber contract or medical practice or other prepayment plan, or by any other plan or program.
2. The person is eligible for similar benefits, whether or not actually provided coverage, under any arrangement of coverage for individuals in a group, whether on an insured or uninsured basis.
3. Similar benefits are provided for or are available to the person under any state or federal law.
(b) If the benefits provided under the sources referred to in subparagraph (a)1. or the benefits provided or available under the sources referred to in subparagraphs (a)2. and 3., together with the benefits provided by the converted policy, would result in overinsurance according to the insurer’s standards. The insurer’s standards must bear some reasonable relationship to actual health care costs in the area in which the insured lives at the time of conversion and must be filed with the office prior to their use in denying coverage.
(7) INFORMATION REQUESTED BY INSURER.— (a) A converted policy may include a provision under which the insurer may request information, in advance of any premium due date, of any person covered thereunder as to whether:
1. The person is covered for similar benefits by another hospital, surgical, medical, or major medical expense insurance policy or hospital or medical service subscriber contract or medical practice or other prepayment plan or by any other plan or program.
2. The person is covered for similar benefits under any arrangement of coverage for individuals in a group, whether on an insured or uninsured basis.
3. Similar benefits are provided for or are available to the person under any state or federal law.
(b) The converted policy may provide that the insurer may refuse to renew the policy or the coverage of any person only for one or more of the following reasons:
1. Either the benefits provided under the sources referred to in subparagraphs (a)1. and 2. for the person or the benefits provided or available under the sources referred to in subparagraph (a)3. for the person, together with the benefits provided by the converted policy, would result in overinsurance according to the insurer’s standards on file with the office.
2. The converted policyholder fails to provide the information requested pursuant to paragraph (a).
3. Fraud or intentional misrepresentation in applying for any benefits under the converted policy.
4. Other reasons approved by the office.
(8) BENEFITS OFFERED.—
(a) An insurer shall not be required to issue a converted policy that provides benefits in excess of those provided under the group policy from which conversion is made.
(b) An insurer shall offer the benefits specified in s. 627.668 and the benefits specified in s. 627.669 if those benefits were provided in the group plan.
(c) An insurer shall offer maternity benefits and dental benefits if those benefits were provided in the group plan.
(9) PREEXISTING CONDITION PROVISION.—The converted policy shall not exclude a preexisting condition not excluded by the group policy. However, the converted policy may provide that any hospital, surgical, or medical benefits payable under the converted policy may be reduced by the amount of any such benefits payable under the group policy after the termination of coverage under the group policy. The converted policy may also provide that during the first policy year the benefits payable under the converted policy, together with the benefits payable under the group policy, shall not exceed those that would have been payable had the individual’s insurance under the group policy remained in force.
(10) REQUIRED OPTION FOR MAJOR MEDICAL COVERAGE.—Subject to the provisions and conditions of this part, the employee or member shall be entitled to obtain a converted policy providing major medical coverage under a plan meeting the following requirements:
(a) A maximum benefit equal to the lesser of the policy limit of the group policy from which the individual converted or $500,000 per covered person for all covered medical expenses incurred during the covered person’s lifetime.
(b) Payment of benefits at the rate of 80 percent of covered medical expenses which are in excess of the deductible, until 20 percent of such expenses in a benefit period reaches $2,000, after which benefits will be paid at the rate of 90 percent during the remainder of the contract year unless the insured is in the insurer’s case management program, in which case benefits shall be paid at the rate of 100 percent during the remainder of the contract year. For the purposes of this paragraph, “case management program” means the specific supervision and management of the medical care provided or prescribed for a specific individual, which may include the use of health care providers designated by the insurer. Payment of benefits for outpatient treatment of mental illness, if provided in the converted policy, may be at a lesser rate but not less than 50 percent.
(c) A deductible for each calendar year that must be $500, $1,000, or $2,000, at the option of the policyholder.
(d) The term “covered medical expenses,” as used in this subsection, shall be consistent with those customarily offered by the insurer under group or individual health insurance policies but is not required to be identical to the covered medical expenses provided in the group policy from which the individual converted.
(11) ALTERNATIVE PLANS.—The insurer shall, in addition to the option required by subsection (10), offer the standard health benefit plan, as established pursuant to s. 627.6699(12). The insurer may, at its option, also offer alternative plans for group health conversion in addition to the plans required by this section.
(12) RETIREMENT COVERAGE.—If coverage would be continued under the group policy on an employee following the employee’s retirement prior to the time he or she is or could be covered by Medicare, the employee may elect, instead of such continuation of group insurance, to have the same conversion rights as would apply had his or her insurance terminated at retirement by reason or termination of employment or membership.
(13) REDUCTION OF COVERAGE DUE TO MEDICARE.—The converted policy may provide for reduction of coverage on any person upon his or her eligibility for coverage under Medicare or under any other state or federal law providing for benefits similar to those provided by the converted policy.
(14) CONVERSION PRIVILEGE ALLOWED.—The conversion privilege shall also be available to any of the following:
(a) The surviving spouse, if any, at the death of the employee or member, with respect to the spouse and the children whose coverages under the group policy terminate by reason of the death, otherwise to each surviving child whose coverage under the group policy terminates by reason of such death, or, if the group policy provides for continuation of dependents’ coverages following the employee’s or member’s death, at the end of such continuation.
(b) The former spouse whose coverage would otherwise terminate because of annulment or dissolution of marriage, if the former spouse is dependent for financial support.
(c) The spouse of the employee or member upon termination of coverage of the spouse, while the employee or member remains insured under the group policy, by reason of ceasing to be a qualified family member under the group policy, with respect to the spouse and the children whose coverages under the group policy terminate at the same time.
(d) A child solely with respect to himself or herself upon termination of his or her coverage by reason of ceasing to be a qualified family member under the group policy, if a conversion privilege is not otherwise provided in this subsection with respect to such termination.
(15) BENEFIT LEVELS.—If the benefit levels required in subsection (10) exceed the benefit levels provided under the group policy, the conversion policy may offer benefits which are substantially similar to those provided under the group policy in lieu of those required in subsection (10).
(16) GROUP COVERAGE INSTEAD OF INDIVIDUAL COVERAGE.—The insurer may elect to provide group insurance coverage instead of issuing a converted individual policy.
(17) NOTIFICATION.—A notification of the conversion privilege shall be included in each certificate of coverage. The insurer shall mail an election and premium notice form, including an outline of coverage, on a form approved by the office, within 14 days after an individual who is eligible for a converted policy gives notice to the insurer that the individual is considering applying for the converted policy or otherwise requests such information. The outline of coverage must contain a description of the principal benefits and coverage provided by the policy and its principal exclusions and limitations, including, but not limited to, deductibles and coinsurance.
(18) OUTSIDE CONVERSIONS.—A converted policy that is delivered outside of this state must be on a form that could be delivered in the other jurisdiction as a converted policy had the group policy been issued in that jurisdiction.
(19) APPLICABILITY.—This section does not require conversion on termination of eligibility for a policy or contract that provides benefits for specified diseases, or for accidental injuries only, disability income, Medicare supplement, hospital indemnity, limited benefit, nonconventional, or excess policies.
(20) Nothing in this section or in the incorporation of it into insurance policies shall be construed to require insurers to provide benefits equal to those provided in the group policy from which the individual converted; provided, however, that comprehensive benefits are offered which shall be subject to approval by the office.