HB 616-FN – AS INTRODUCED
HOUSE BILL 616-FN
This bill clarifies insurance coverage for divorced spouses.
This bill is a request of the insurance department.
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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.
Matter removed from current law appears [
in brackets and struckthrough.]
Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Eleven
AN ACT relative to coverage for divorced spouses.
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
1 Group Health Insurance; Continuation of Coverage for Divorced or Legally Separated Spouses. Amend RSA 415:18, XVI(c) to read as follows:
(c) Periods of coverage shall be as follows:
(1) Eighteen month period--When any individual loses coverage under a group health insurance plan for any reason except dismissal from employment for gross misconduct or carrier termination, coverage shall continue subject to this section for a period of 18 months, unless the individual is eligible for coverage under subparagraphs (2), (3), (4), or (5).
(2) Thirty-nine week period (entire group insurance termination)--Whenever the entire group is terminated, coverage shall continue subject to this section for a period of 39 weeks. Where an individual has continuation coverage, coverage shall continue until it would have expired had the plan not been terminated or for 39 weeks, whichever occurs first.
(3) Twenty-nine month period (disability)--An individual who is determined to be disabled within the first 60 days of the date such individual loses coverage shall be entitled to 29 months of continuation coverage. Determination of disability shall be under Title II or XVI of the federal Social Security Act or any future act that has the same purpose.
(4) Seventy-two month period--Subject to subparagraph (e), coverage shall continue subject to this section for a period of 72 months if any individual loses coverage under a group health insurance plan due to the divorce or the legal separation of the covered employee.
(5) Thirty-six month period--Subject to subparagraph (e), coverage shall continue subject to this section for a period of 36 months if any individual loses coverage under a group health insurance plan for one of the following reasons:
(A) Death of a covered employee;
The divorce or the legal separation of the covered employee or, if the employee’s former spouse has been covered pursuant to RSA 415:18, VII-b, the first occurring of any of the following events: (i) The remarriage of the covered employee; (ii) The death of the covered employee; (iii) The 3-year anniversary of the final decree of divorce or legal separation; or (iv) Such earlier time as provided by said decree; (C)] A substantial loss of coverage by retirees and dependents within one year of the employer filing for protection under the bankruptcy provisions of Title 11 of the United States Code; or
(D)] (C) A dependent child ceasing to be a dependent child.
(5)] (6) Eligible for Medicare--When the surviving spouse, divorced spouse, or legally separated spouse is 55 years of age or older and loses coverage because of the death, divorce, or legal separation of the covered employee, coverage shall continue subject to this section until such time as the spouse becomes eligible for participation in another employer-based group plan or becomes eligible for Medicare.
2 Group Health Insurance; Election Requirements and Procedures. Amend RSA 415:18(g)(2) to read as follows:
(2) Where the employee’s spouse is also covered by the group plan, and there is a divorce or legal separation, the employee shall notify the employer of the divorce or separation within 30 days, and shall provide the employer and carrier with the employee’s spouse’s mailing address. In case of a divorce or legal separation, the carrier shall provide a separate notice of the right to continue to the divorced or separated spouse. The divorced or separated spouse may elect to continue coverage pursuant to this section by notifying the carrier within 45 days of the date of the notice and remitting the premium payment. [
The notice and election provisions of this paragraph shall also apply if the divorced or legally separated spouse of the employee has been covered pursuant to RSA 415:18, VII-b, upon the occurrence of any of the following events: (A) The remarriage of the employee; (B) The death of the employee; (C) The 3-year anniversary of the final decree of divorce or legal separation; or (D) Such earlier time as provided by the final decree of divorce or legal separation.]
3 Student Insurance; Reference Deletion. Amend RSA 415:19-a, III to read as follows:
III. Be considered large group coverage, subject to all applicable laws and rules that generally apply to large group accident and health insurance coverage, except those set forth in RSA 420-G and RSA 415:18, VII, VII-a, [
VII-b,] XVI, and XVII.
4 Group Insurance Plans; Divorce. Amend RSA 458:18-a to read as follows:
458:18-a Group Insurance Plans. Upon a decree of nullity, divorce, or legal separation, if one spouse is a member of a group health insurance plan and the employer or any other sponsor is responsible for the payment of the premium required by the insurer as the consideration for providing coverage to an ex-spouse, such premium shall be paid either by the health insurance plan member, the ex-spouse of the member, or by both the member and the ex-spouse as they shall agree or as shall be ordered in the decree of divorce by the court. The provisions of this section shall apply to dental coverage provided by such group health insurance plan and shall apply whether or not the ex-spouse is receiving child support payments. This section shall apply only to continued coverage under RSA 415:18, XVI or 29 U.S.C. section 1161[
, and shall not affect or limit any rights of the former spouse under RSA 415:18, VII-b].
5 Repeal. RSA 415:18, VII-b, relative to insurance coverage for divorced or legally separated spouses, is repealed.
6 Effective Date. This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.
HB 616 FISCAL NOTE
AN ACT relative to coverage for divorced spouses.
The New Hampshire Association of Counties states this bill may increase county expenditures by an indeterminable amount in FY 2012 and each year thereafter. The New Hampshire Municipal Association states this bill may increase local expenditures by an indeterminable amount in FY 2012 and each year thereafter. There will be no fiscal impact on state, county and local revenues, or state expenditures.
The New Hampshire Association of Counties states this bill expands the period for continuation of coverage for divorced or legally separated spouses from 36 to 72 months. The Association states because county employers contribute a percentage of health plan costs, in cases where an employee health plan would have changed from a two person plan to a one person plan but did not as a result of the proposed legislation, county expenditures would be increased. The Association also states any resulting increase in utilization of health plan benefits that could arise as a result of the proposed legislation could potentially have an adverse effect on the county’s future premiums as well. The Association is unable to determine to what extent county expenditures would be increased as they are unable to determine the number of individuals whose coverage would be extended as a result of the proposed legislation.
The New Hampshire Municipal Association states although the proposed legislation may not have a direct impact on municipal expenditures, it may affect health insurance premiums and thus have an indirect impact on local expenditures. The Association states they are unable to determine the amount of any such impact.
The Insurance Department states the proposed legislation would not affect state expenditures as the state is self insured and therefore would not be obligated to provide the expanded period of continuation of coverage to divorced or legally separated spouses.
The Department of Administrative Services states the proposed legislation will have no fiscal impact on state revenues or expenditures. The Department states because the State’s health insurance program is self funded, it is not generally subject to insurance laws and therefore would not be required to provide the extended coverage to divorced or legally separated spouses dictated by the proposed legislation. The Department notes current policy provides 36 months of continued coverage to divorced or legally separated spouses at their own expense. If the Department voluntarily adopted a 72 month period of continued coverage to divorced or legally separated spouses, those individuals would remain responsible for the payment of the associated premium and therefore there would be no fiscal impact to the Department as a result of the adoption of an extended period of coverage.