2011 ORS § 743.804¹
Required notices to applicants and enrollees
  • grievances, internal appeals and external reviews

All insurers offering a health benefit plan in this state shall:

(1) Provide to all enrollees directly or in the case of a group policy to the employer or other policyholder for distribution to enrollees, to all applicants, and to prospective applicants upon request, the following information:

(a) The insurers written policy on the rights of enrollees, including the right:

(A) To participate in decision making regarding the enrollees health care.

(B) To be treated with respect and with recognition of the enrollees dignity and need for privacy.

(C) To have grievances handled in accordance with this section.

(D) To be provided with the information described in this section.

(b) An explanation of the procedures described in subsection (2) of this section for making coverage determinations and resolving grievances. The explanation must be culturally and linguistically appropriate, as prescribed by the department by rule, and must include:

(A) The procedures for requesting an expedited response to an internal appeal under subsection (2)(d) of this section or for requesting an expedited external review of an adverse benefit determination;

(B) A statement that if an insurer does not comply with the decision of an independent review organization under ORS 743.862 (Duties of independent review organizations), the enrollee may sue the insurer under ORS 743.864 (Private right of action);

(C) The procedure to obtain assistance available from the insurer, if any, and from the Department of Consumer and Business Services in filing grievances; and

(D) A description of the process for filing a complaint with the department.

(c) A summary of benefits and an explanation of coverage in a form and manner prescribed by the department by rule.

(d) A summary of the insurers policies on prescription drugs, including:

(A) Cost-sharing differentials;

(B) Restrictions on coverage;

(C) Prescription drug formularies;

(D) Procedures by which a provider with prescribing authority may prescribe drugs not included on the formulary;

(E) Procedures for the coverage of prescription drugs not included on the formulary; and

(F) A summary of the criteria for determining whether a drug is experimental or investigational.

(e) A list of network providers and how the enrollee can obtain current information about the availability of providers and how to access and schedule services with providers, including clinic and hospital networks.

(f) Notice of the enrollees right to select a primary care provider and specialty care providers.

(g) How to obtain referrals for specialty care in accordance with ORS 743.856 (Referrals to specialists).

(h) Restrictions on services obtained outside of the insurers network or service area.

(i) The availability of continuity of care as required by ORS 743.854 (Continuity of care).

(j) Procedures for accessing after-hours care and emergency services as required by ORS 743A.012 (Emergency services).

(k) Cost-sharing requirements and other charges to enrollees.

(L) Procedures, if any, for changing providers.

(m) Procedures, if any, by which enrollees may participate in the development of the insurers corporate policies.

(n) A summary of how the insurer makes decisions regarding coverage and payment for treatment or services, including a general description of any prior authorization and utilization control requirements that affect coverage or payment.

(o) Disclosure of any risk-sharing arrangement the insurer has with physicians or other providers.

(p) A summary of the insurers procedures for protecting the confidentiality of medical records and other enrollee information.

(q) An explanation of assistance provided to non-English-speaking enrollees.

(r) Notice of the information available from the department that is filed by insurers as required under ORS 743.807 (Utilization review requirements for insurers offering health benefit plan), 743.814 (Requirements for insurers offering managed health insurance) and 743.817 (Requirements for insurers offering managed health or preferred provider organization insurance).

(2) Establish procedures for making coverage determinations and resolving grievances that provide for all of the following:

(a) Timely notice of adverse benefit determinations in a form and manner approved by the department or prescribed by the department by rule.

(b) A method for recording all grievances, including the nature of the grievance and significant action taken.

(c) Written decisions meeting criteria established by the Director of the Department of Consumer and Business Services by rule.

(d) An expedited response to a request for an internal appeal that accommodates the clinical urgency of the situation.

(e) At least one but not more than two levels of internal appeal for group health benefit plans and one level of internal appeal for individual and portability health benefit plans. If an insurer provides:

(A) Two levels of internal appeal, a person who was involved in the consideration of the initial denial or the first level of internal appeal may not be involved in the second level of internal appeal; and

(B) No more than one level of internal appeal, a person who was involved in the consideration of the initial denial may not be involved in the internal appeal.

(f)(A) An external review that meets the requirements of ORS 743.857 (External review), 743.859 (Notice to enrollee of right to sue if insurer does not follow decision of independent review organization) and 743.861 (Enrollee application for external review) and is conducted in a manner approved by the department or prescribed by the department by rule, after the enrollee has exhausted internal appeals or after the enrollee has been deemed to have exhausted internal appeals.

(B) An enrollee shall be deemed to have exhausted internal appeals if an insurer fails to strictly comply with this section and federal requirements for internal appeals.

(g) The opportunity for the enrollee to receive continued coverage under the health benefit plan pending the conclusion of the internal appeal process.

(h) The opportunity for the enrollee or any authorized representative chosen by the enrollee to:

(A) Submit for consideration by the insurer any written comments, documents, records and other materials relating to the adverse benefit determination; and

(B) Receive from the insurer, upon request and free of charge, reasonable access to and copies of all documents, records and other information relevant to the adverse benefit determination.

(3) Establish procedures for notifying affected enrollees of:

(a) A change in or termination of any benefit; and

(b)(A) The termination of a primary care delivery office or site; and

(B) Assistance available to enrollees in selecting a new primary care delivery office or site.

(4) Provide the information described in subsection (2) of this section and ORS 743.859 (Notice to enrollee of right to sue if insurer does not follow decision of independent review organization) at each level of internal appeal to an enrollee who is notified of an adverse benefit determination or to an enrollee who files a grievance.

(5) Upon the request of an enrollee, applicant or prospective applicant, provide:

(a) The insurers annual report on grievances and internal appeals submitted to the department under subsection (8) of this section.

(b) A description of the insurers efforts, if any, to monitor and improve the quality of health services.

(c) Information about the insurers procedures for credentialing network providers.

(6) Provide, upon the request of an enrollee, a written summary of information that the insurer may consider in its utilization review of a particular condition or disease, to the extent the insurer maintains such criteria. Nothing in this subsection requires an insurer to advise an enrollee how the insurer would cover or treat that particular enrollees disease or condition. Utilization review criteria that are proprietary shall be subject to oral disclosure only.

(7) Maintain for a period of at least six years written records that document all grievances described in ORS 743.801 (Definitions) (4)(a) and make the written records available for examination by the department or by an enrollee or authorized representative of an enrollee with respect to a grievance made by the enrollee. The written records must include but are not limited to the following:

(a) Notices and claims associated with each grievance.

(b) A general description of the reason for the grievance.

(c) The date the grievance was received by the insurer.

(d) The date of the internal appeal or the date of any internal appeal meeting held concerning the appeal.

(e) The result of the internal appeal at each level of appeal.

(f) The name of the covered person for whom the grievance was submitted.

(8) Provide an annual summary to the department of the insurers aggregate data regarding grievances, internal appeals and requests for external review in a format prescribed by the department to ensure consistent reporting on the number, nature and disposition of grievances, internal appeals and requests for external review.

(9) Allow the exercise of any rights described in this section by an authorized representative. [1997 c.343 §3; 2001 c.266 §15; 2003 c.87 §22; 2011 c.500 §27]