California Insurance Code on Long Term Care Insurance
with annotation’s and highlights by Steve
Table of Contents
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In addition to any other requirements of law, the following shall apply to a long-term care insurance policy:
(a) The insurer shall not require an amount greater than one month’ s premium to be submitted with an application for the policy of insurance if interim coverage is not provided. If interim coverage is provided, the insurer shall not require an amount greater than two months’ premium for that purpose. No further premiums may be collected until the policy is delivered to the applicant.
(b) The insurer shall notify the applicant within 60 days from the date the insurer or insurer’s authorized representative or producer receives the application and the amount as to whether or not the applicant will be issued a policy of insurance. If the applicant is not so notified, the insurer or insurer’s authorized representative or producer shall pay interest to the applicant on the funds that the applicant submitted with the application, at the legal rate of interest on judgments as provided in Section 685.010 of the Code of Civil Procedure, from the date the insurer or insurer’s authorized representative or producer received those funds until they are refunded to the applicant or are applied toward the premium.
(a) No long-term care insurance policy or certificate other than a group policy or certificate, as described in subdivision (a) of Section 10231.6, shall use a definition of preexisting condition which is more restrictive than a condition for which medical advice or treatment was recommended by, or received from a provider of health care services, within six months preceding the effective date of coverage of an insured person.
(b) Every long-term care insurance policy or certificate shall cover preexisting conditions that are disclosed on the application no later than six months following the effective date of the coverage of an insured, regardless of the date the loss or confinement begins.
(c) The definition of preexisting condition does not prohibit an insurer from using an application form designed to elicit the complete health history of an applicant, and on the basis of the answers on that application, from underwriting in accordance with that insurer’s established underwriting standards. Unless otherwise provided in the policy or certificate a preexisting condition, regardless of whether it is disclosed on the application, need not be covered until the waiting period described in subdivision (b) expires. Unless a waiver or rider has been specifically approved by the commissioner, no long-term care insurance policy or certificate may exclude or use waivers or riders of any kind to exclude, limit, or reduce coverage or benefits for specifically named or described preexisting diseases or physical conditions beyond the waiting period described in subdivision (b).
10231.2. “Long-term care insurance”
10231.4. “Applicant” means either of the following: General Provisions
SB 527 (tax favor treatment of premiums) adds section 10232.2 and deletes 10232.25
10232. (a) No group l
10232.1. (a) Every policy that is intended to be a [tax] qualified long-term care insurance be called “comprehensive long-term care” insurance.
10232.3. (a) All applications for long-term care insurance except that which is guaranteed issue, shall contain clear, unambiguous, short, simple questions designed to ascertain the health condition of the applicant. Each question shall contain only one health status inquiry and shall require only a “yes” or “no” answer, except that the application may include a request for the name of any prescribed medication and the name of a prescribing physician. If the application requests the name of any prescribed medication or prescribing physician, then any mistake or omission shall not be used as a basis for the denial of a claim or the rescission of a policy or certificate.
(b) The following warning shall be printed conspicuously and in close conjunction with the applicant’s signature block: “Caution: If your answers on this application are misstated or untrue, the insurer may have the right to deny benefits or rescind your coverage.”
(4) The long-term care insurance shoppers guide pursuant to paragraph (9) of subdivision (a) of Section 10234.93.
Shopper’s Guide to Long Term Care Insurance 2013 National Assoc. of Insurance Commissioners
It’s posted in the right hand column along with the CA Guide
(5) The “Long-Term Care Insurance Personal Worksheet” pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 10234.95. . (d) If an insurer does not complete medical underwriting and resolve all reasonable questions arising from information submitted
10232.5. On or after January 1, 1990, no long-term care insurance policy may be delivered or issued for delivery in this state which does any of the following:
(a) Preconditions the availability of benefits on prior hospitalization.
(b) Conditions eligibility for benefits provided in an institutional care setting on the receipt of a higher level of institutional care.
(c) Preconditions the availability of benefits for community-based care, home health care, or home care on prior institutionalization.
(d) Conditions eligibility for noninstitutional benefits, other than those in subdivision (c), on a prior institutional stay of more than 30 days.
10232.6. The commissioner may adopt regulations establishing loss ratio standards f
(c) Home care benefits shall not be limited or excluded by any of the following: 10232.96. When a policy or certificate holder of an insurance contract issued prior to December 31, 1996, requests a material modification to the contract as defined by federal law or regulations, the insurer, prior to approving such a request, shall provide written notice to the policy or certificate holder that the contract change requested may constitute a material modification that jeopardizes the federal tax status of the contract and appropriate tax advice should therefore be sought.
10232.97. In every long-term care policy or certificate that covers care in a nursing facility, the threshold establishing eligibility for nursing facility care shall be no more restrictive than a provision that the insured will qualify if either one of two criteria are met:
(a) Impairment in two activities of daily living.
b) Impairment in cognitive ability.
10233. Precedent to the payment of benefits for any care covered by the terms of the policy, any insurer offering long-term care insurance as described in Section 10231.2 may obtain a written declaration by a physician, independent needs assessment agency, or any other source of independent judgment suitable to the insurer that services are necessary.
10234.6. (a) (b) The consumer rate guide to be prepared by the commissioner shall consist of two parts: a history of the rates for all policies issued in California for the current year and for four preceding years, and a comparison of the policies, benefits, and sample premiums for all policies currently being issued for delivery in California. Consumer Protection
10234.8. (a) With regard to long-term care insurance, all insurers, brokers, agents, and others engaged in the business of insurance owe a policyholder or a prospective policyholder a duty of honesty, and a duty of good faith and fair dealing.
(b) Conduct of an insurer, broker, or agent during the offer and sale of a policy previous to the purchase is relevant to any action alleging a breach of the duty of honesty, and a duty of good faith and fair dealing. 10234.85. No insurer, broker, agent, or other person shall cause a policyholder to replace a long term care insurance policy unnecessarily.
10234.9. (a) Every insurer providing long-term care coverage in California shall provide a copy of any advertisement intended for use in California to the commissioner for review at least 30 days before dissemination. The advertisement shall comply with all laws in California. In addition, the advertisement shall be retained by the insurer in accordance with Section 10508 for at least three years.
10234.93. (a) Every insurer of long-term care in California shall:
(1) Establish marketing procedures to assure that any comparison of policies by its agents or other producers will be fair and accurate.
(2) Establish marketing procedures to assure excessive insurance is not sold or issued.
(3) Submit to the commissioner within six months of the effective date of this act, a list of all agents or other insurer representatives authorized to solicit individual consumers for the sale of long-term care insurance. These submissions shall be updated at least semiannually.
(4) Provide the following training and require that each agent or other insurer representative authorized to solicit individual consumers for the sale of long-term care insurance shall satisfactorily complete the following training requirements that, for resident licensees, shall count toward the licensee’s continuing education requirement, but may still result in completing more than the minimum number of continuing education hours set forth in this section:
(A) For licensees issued a license after January 1, 1992, eight hours of training in each of the first four 12-month periods beginning from the date of original license issuance and thereafter eight hours of training prior to each license renewal. Every agent shall provide the name, address, and telephone number of the local HICAP program and the statewide HICAP number, 1-800-434-0222.
(9) Provide a copy of the long-term care insurance shoppers guide developed by the California Department of Aging to each prospective applicant prior to the presentation of an application or enrollment form for insurance.
(a) Every insurer or other entity marketing long-term care insurance shall:
(1) Develop and use suitability standards to determine whether the purchase or replacement of long-term care insurance is appropriate for the needs of the applicant.
(2) Train its agents in the use of its suitability standards.
(3) Maintain a copy of its suitability standards and make them available for inspection upon request by the commissioner.
(b) The agent and insurer shall develop procedures that take into consideration, when determining whether the applicant meets the standards developed by the insurer, the following:
(1) The ability to pay for the proposed coverage and other pertinent financial information related to the purchase of the coverage.
(2) The applicant’s goals or needs with respect to long-term care and the advantages and disadvantages of insurance to meet these goals or needs.
(3) The value, benefits, and costs of the applicant’s existing insurance, if any, when compared to the values, benefits, and costs of the recommended purchase or replacement.
(g) Agents shall use the suitability standards developed by the insurer in marketing long-term care insurance.
(h) If the issuer determines that the applicant does not meet its financial suitability standards, or if the applicant has declined to provide the information, the issuer may reject the application. Alternatively, the issuers shall send the applicant a letter similar to the “Long-Term Care Insurance Suitability Letter” contained in the Long-Term Care Model Regulations of the National Association of Insurance Commissioner.
10234.97. (a) Any time long-term care coverage is replaced, the sales commission that is paid by the insurer and that represents the percentage of the sale normally paid for first year sales of long-term care policies or certificates shall be calculated based on the difference between the annual premium of the replacement coverage and that of the original coverage. If the premium on the replacement product is less than or equal to the premium for the product being replaced, the sales commission shall be limited to the percentage of sale normally p
10235. Except as provided in Section 10235.95, this article applies to all long-term care insurance policies delivered or issued for delivery in this state on or after January 1, 1990.
10235.2. No long-term care insurance policy delivered or issued for delivery in this state shall use the terms set forth below, unless the terms are defined in the policy and the definitions satisfy the following requirements: (
10235.8. No policy may be delivered or issued for delivery in this state as long-term care insurance if the policy limits or excludes coverage by type of illness, treatment, medical condition, or accident, except as to the following:
(a) Preexisting conditions or diseases.
(b) Alcoholism and drug addiction.
(c) Illness, treatment, or a medical condition arising out of any of the following:
(1) War or act of war, whether declared or undeclared.
(a) Every insurer shall report annually by June 30 the total number of claims denied by each class of business in the state and the number of these claims denied for failure to meet the waiting period or because of a preexisting condition as of the end of the preceding calendar year.
(b) The insurer shall provide every policyholder or certificate holder whose claim is denied a written notice within 40 days of the date of denial of the reasons for the denial and all information directly related to the denial. Insurers shall annually report to the department the number of denied claims.
(c) The department shall make available to the public, upon request, the denial rate of claims by insurer.
10235.20. The commissioner may waive a specific provision or provisions of this article with respect to a specific long-term care insurance policy or certificate upon making written findings specified in subdivisions (a), (b), and (c), as follows:
(a) The waiver would be in the best interest of the insured’s.
(b) The underlying purposes of this article could not be effectively or efficiently achieved without the waiver.
(c) Any of the following:
(1) The waiver is necessary to the development of an innovative and reasonable approach for insuring long-term care.
(2) The policy or certificate is to be issued to residents of a life care or continuing care retirement community or some other residential community for the elderly and the waiver is reasonably related to the special needs or nature of such a community.
(3) The waiver is necessary to permit long-term care insurance to be sold as part of, or in conjunction with, another insurance product. The commissioner may condition any waiver upon compliance with alternative requirements to achieve the purposes of this article.
SB 898 Dunn 9/2000
1. (b) “Continuation coverage” means the maintenance of coverage under an existing group policy when that coverage would be or has been terminated and which is subject only to continued timely payment of the premium. Any insured individual whose eligibility for group coverage is based on his or her relationship to another person, shall be entitled to continuation coverage under the group policy if the qualifying relationship terminates by dissolution of marriage or death.
(c) “Conversion coverage” means an individual policy of long-term care insurance, issued by the insurer of the terminating group coverage, without considering insurability, containing benefits which are identical, or which have been determine
10236.8. If a group long-term care policy is replaced by another policy to the same master policyholder issued, the replacing insurer shall do all of the following:
(a) Provide benefits identical to the terminating coverage or benefits determined by the commissioner to be at least substantially equivalent to the terminating coverage. Lesser or greater benefits may be provided if the commissioner determine
10237. This article applies to all long-term care insurance policies delivered or issued for delivery in this state on or after January 1, 1991. 10237.1. No insurer may deliver or issue for delivery a long-term care insurance policy or certificate in this state unless the insurer offers to each policyholder and certificate holder, in addition to any other inflation protection, the option to purchase a long-term care insurance policy or certificate that provides for benefit levels and benefit maximums to increase to account for reasonably anticipated increases in the costs of long-term care services covered by the policy. Insurers shall offer to each policyholder and certificate holder, at the time of purchase, the option to purchase a long-term care insurance policy or certificate containing an inflation protection feature which is no less favorable than one that does one or more of the following:
(a) Increases benefit levels annually in a manner so that the increases are compounded annually at a rate of not less than 5 percent.
(b) Guarantees the insured individual the right to periodically increase benefit levels without providing evidence of insurability or health status and without regard to claim status or history so long as the option for the previous period has not been declined. The amount of the additional benefit shall be no less than the difference between the existing policy benefit and that benefit compounded annually at a rate of at least 5 percent for the period beginning with the purchase of the existing benefit and extending until the year in which the offer is made.
(c) Covers a specified percentage of actual or reasonable charges and does not include a maximum specified indemnity amount limit.
(d) The insurer of a group long-term care insurance policy as defined in subdivision (a), (b), or (c) of Section 10231.6, shall offer the holder of the group policy the opportunity to have the inflation protection pursuant to this section extended to existing certificate holders, but the insurer is relieved of the obligations imposed by this section if the holder of the group policy declines the insurer’s offer.
(a) An inflation protection provision that increases benefit levels annually in a manner so that the increases are compounded annually at a rate not less than 5 percent shall be included in a long-term care insurance policy unless an insurer obtains a rejection of inflation protection signed by the policyholder.
(b) The rejection, to be included in the application or on a separate form, shall state: “I have reviewed the outline of coverage and the graphs that compare the benefits and premiums of this policy with and without inflation protection. Specifically, I have reviewed the plan, and I reject 5 percent annual compound inflation protection. _______________________________ __________________ Signature of Applicant Date”
(a) An insurer shall include the following information in or with the outline of coverage:
(1) A graphic comparison of the benefit levels of a policy that increases benefits at a compounded annual rate of not less than 5 percent over the policy period with a policy that does not increase benefits. The graphic comparison shall show benefit levels over at least a 20-year period.
(2) Any expected premium increases or additional premiums to pay for automatic or optional benefit increases.
(b) An insurer may use a reasonable hypothetical or graphic demonstration for purposes of this disclosure.
4.29.2015 24 bills are pending in the legislature on Long Term Care Issues – CA Health Line
to get the right coverage for your situation
1. Seven percent of my annual income is approximately $_______________. (This is the maximum amount of annual income experts advise spending on a premium.)
2. The cash value of my non-housing assets* is $____________. (This is the amount you would otherwise have to spend for long-term care.)
3. My non-housing assets would last _____________ years if I needed care today. (This is the approximate number of years of coverage you might consider buying.)
4. I can afford to pay $____________ a day towards the cost of my own care. The difference between the amount I can afford and the cost of care today is $_________. (This is the approximate amount of daily benefit you will need.)
5. I can afford to pay a total of $____________ for the first days of care in a nursing home. Therefore, I will need a waiting period no longer than:
30 days $__________ 60 days $__________ 90 days $____________.
(To determine the amount you would pay, multiply the daily nursing home cost times the number of days in the waiting period.) Copied from Taking Care of Tomorrow *
10233.2. Long-term care insurance may not:
(a) Be canceled, nonrenewed, or otherwise terminated on the grounds of the age or the deterioration of the mental or physical health of the insured individual or certificate holder.
(b) Contain a provision establishing a new waiting period in the event existing coverage is converted to, or replaced by, a new or other form within the same insurer, except with respect to an increase in benefits voluntarily selected by the insured individual or group policyholder.
(c) Provide coverage for skilled nursing care only or provide significantly more coverage for skilled care in a facility than coverage for lower levels of care.
(d) Provide for payment of benefits based on a standard described as “usual and customary,” “reasonable and customary,” or words of similar import.
(e) Terminate a policy, certificate, or rider, or contain a provision that allows the premium for an in-force policy, certificate, or rider, to be increased due to the divorce of a policyholder or certificate holder.
Administration & Enforcement
10234. The commissioner shall, as required by this chapter, or from time to time as conditions warrant, pursuant to Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, adopt reasonable regulations, and amendments and additions thereto, as are necessary to administer this chapter.
10234.2. (a) In addition to all other powers and remedies vested in the commissioner by law, the commissioner shall have administrative authority to assess the penalties prescribed in this article for violation of any
10234.3. (a) Any broker, agent, or other entity determined by the commissioner to engage in the business of insurance, other than an insurer, who violates this chapter is liable for an administrative penalty of not less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250) for each first violation. T
(a) Suspend or revoke the license of any broker, agent, or other producer licensed by the department.
(b) Suspend an insurer’s certificate of authority to transact disability insurance.
(c) Order any broker, agent, insurer, or other entity determined by the commissioner to be engaged in the business of insurance, to cease marketing in California a particular policy form of long-term care insurance, to cease marketing any long-term care insurance, or to take such actions as are necessary to comply with this chapter.
10234.5. (a) Any broker, agent, insurer, or other entity within the jurisdiction of the department who is charged with a violation of this chapter shall be afforded due process th
Outline of Coverage
(a) An outline of coverage shall be delivered to a prospective applicant for long-term care insurance at the time of initial solicitation through means which prominently direct the attention of the recipient to the document and its purpose.
(b) In the case of agent solicitations, an agent shall deliver the outline of coverage prior to the presentation of an application or enrollment form.
(c) In the case of direct response solicitations, the outline of coverage shall be presented in conjunction with any application or enrollment form.
(d) The outline of coverage shall be a freestanding document, using no smaller than 10-point type.
(e) The outline of coverage shall contain no material of an advertising nature.
(f) Use of the text and sequence of the text of the outline of coverage set forth in this section is mandatory, unless otherwise specifically indicated.
(g) Text which is capitalized or underscored in the outline of coverage may be emphasized by other means which provide prominence equivalent to capitalization or underscoring.
(h) The outline of coverage shall be in the following form: “(COMPANY NAME) (ADDRESS–CITY AND STATE) (TELEPHONE NUMBER) LONG-TERM CARE INSURANCE OUTLINE OF COVERAGE (Policy Number or Group Master Policy and Certificate Number)
1. This policy is (an individual policy of insurance) ((a group policy) which was issued in the (indicate jurisdiction in which group policy was issued)).
2. PURPOSE OF OUTLINE OF COVERAGE. This outline of coverage provides a very brief description of the important features of the policy. You should compare this outline of coverage to outlines of coverage for other policies available to you. This is not an insurance contract, but only a summary of coverage. Only the individual or group policy contains governing contractual provisions. This means that the policy or group policy sets forth in detail the rights and obligations of both you and the insurance company. Therefore, if you purchase this coverage, or any other coverage, it is important that you READ YOUR POLICY (OR CERTIFICATE) CAREFULLY!
3. TERMS UNDER WHICH THE POLICY OR CERTIFICATE MAY BE RETURNED AND PREMIUM REFUNDED.
(a) Provide a brief description of the right to return–“free look” provision of the policy.
(b) Include a statement that the policy either does or does not contain provisions providing for a refund or partial refund of premium upon the death of an insured or surrender of the policy or certificate. If the policy contains those provisions, include a description of them.
(a) (For agents) Neither (insert company name) nor its agents represent Medicare, the federal government or any state government.
(b) (For direct response) (insert company name) is not representing Medicare, the federal government or any state government.
5. LONG-TERM CARE COVERAGE. Policies of this category are designed to provide coverage for one or more necessary or medically necessary diagnostic, preventive, therapeutic, rehabilitative, maintenance, or personal care services, provided in a setting other than an acute care unit of a hospital, such as in a nursing home, in the community, or in the home. This policy provides coverage in the form of a fixed dollar indemnity benefit for covered long-term care expenses, subject to policy (limitations) (waiting periods) and (coinsurance) requirements. (Modify this paragraph if the policy is not an indemnity policy.)
13. INFORMATION AND COUNSELING. The California Department of Insurance has prepared a Consumer Guide to Long-Term Care Insurance. This guide can be obtained by calling the Department of Insurance toll-free telephone number. This number is 1-800-927-HELP. Additionally, the Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP) administered by the California Department of Aging, provides long-term care insurance counseling to California senior citizens. Call the HICAP toll-free telephone number 1-800-434-0222 for a referral to your local HICAP office.”
(a) Every long-term care policy or certificate that purports to provide benefits of home care or community-based services,
shall provide at least
(1) Home health care.
(2) Adult day care.
(3) Personal care.
(4) Homemaker services.
(5) Hospice services.
(6) Respite care.
(b) For purposes of this section,
of these benefits may be no more restrictive than the following:
(1) “Home health care” is skilled nursing or other professional services in the residence, including, but not limited to, part-time and intermittent skilled nursing services, home health aid services, physical therapy, occupational therapy, or speech therapy and audiology services, and medical social services by a social worker.
(2) “Adult day care” is medical or nonmedical care on a less than 24-hour basis, provided in a licensed facility outside the residence, for persons in need of personal services, supervision, protection, or assistance in sustaining daily needs, including eating, bathing, dressing, ambulating, transferring, toileting, and taking medications.
(3) “Personal care” is assistance with the activities of daily living, including the instrumental activities of daily living, provided by a skilled or unskilled person under a plan of care developed by a physician or a multidisciplinary team under medical direction. “Instrumental activities of daily living” include using the telephone, managing medications, moving about outside, shopping for essentials, preparing meals, laundry, and light housekeeping.
(4) “Homemaker services” is assistance with activities necessary to or consistent with the insured’s ability to remain in his or her residence, that is provided by a skilled or unskilled person under a plan of care developed by a physician or a multidisciplinary team under medical direction.
(5) “Hospice services” are outpatient services not paid by Medicare, that are designed to provide palliative care, alleviate the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual discomforts of an individual who is experiencing the last phases of life due to the existence of a terminal disease, and to provide supportive care to the primary care giver and the family. Care may be provided by a skilled or unskilled person under a plan of care developed by a physician or a multidisciplinary team under medical direction.
(6) “Respite care” is short-term care provided in an institution, in the home, or in a community-based program, that is designed to relieve a primary care giver in the home. This is a separate benefit with its own conditions for eligibility and maximum benefit levels.
Right to Return Policy
10232.7. (a) An applicant for a long-term care insurance policy or a certificate, other than an applicant for a certificate issued under a group long-term care insurance policy issued to a group as described in subdivisions (a) and (b) of Section 10231.6, shall have the right to return the policy or certificate by first-class United States mail within 30 days of its delivery and to have the premium refunded if, after examination of the policy or certificate, the applicant is not satisfied for any reason. (b) The return of a policy or certificate shall void the policy or certificate from the beginning and the parties shall be in the same position as if no policy, certificate, or contract had been issued. All premiums paid and any policy fee paid for the policy shall be fully refunded directly to the applicant by the insurer within 30 days after the policy or certificate is returned. (c) Notwithstanding Section 10276 or any other law, long-term care insurance policies or certificates to which this section applies shall have a notice prominently printed on the first page of the policy or certificate, or attached thereto, stating in substance the conditions described in subdivisions (a) and (b).
Unfair trade practices
(b) In addition to other unfair trade practices, including those identified in this code, the following acts and practices are prohibited:
(1) Twisting. Knowingly making any misleading representation or incomplete or fraudulent comparison of any insurance policies or insurers for the purpose of inducing, or tending to induce, any person to lapse, forfeit, surrender, terminate, retain, pledge, assign, borrow on, or convert any insurance policy or to take out a policy of insurance with another insurer.
(2) High pressure tactics. Employing any method of marketing having the effect of or tending to induce the purchase of insurance through force, fright, threat, whether explicit or implied, or undue pressure to purchase or recommend the purchase of insurance.
(3) Cold lead advertising. Making use directly or indirectly of any method of marketing which fails to disclose in a conspicuous manner that a purpose of the method of marketing is solicitation of insurance and that contact will be made by an insurance agent or insurance company.