Notice of Hearing

Docket No. G2011-02

Pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 30A and the authority granted to the Commissioner of Insurance by certain sections of Chapter 288 of the Acts of 2010 ("Chapter 288"), a hearing will be held at the offices of the Division of Insurance, 1000 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02118-6200 on February 28, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. The purpose of this hearing is to afford all interested persons an opportunity to provide oral and/or written comment regarding the proposed amendments to 211 CMR 66.00, Small Group Health Insurance.

The Division of Insurance ("Division") proposes amendments to 211 CMR 66.00 Proposed (Clean) pdf format of 211_66_Clean.pdf , Proposed (Redlined) pdf format of 211_66_Redlined.pdf pursuant to M.G.L. c. 30A, § 3 in part because Chapter 288 instructs the Division to adopt regulations in order to carry out the provisions of SECTION 29, which include requiring all carriers, as defined in M.G.L. c. 176J, to submit small group rate filings for enhanced review by the Division. The Division also proposes amendments to 211 CMR 66.00 in order to establish the amount to which carriers are limited in applying rate adjustment factors identified in M.G.L. c. 176J, § 3, as required under SECTION 66 of Chapter 288. Finally, the Division is proposing amendments to other portions of 211 CMR 66.00 in order to further implement or clarify new requirements under Chapter 288, including SECTION 20 which amends the definition of "eligible individual" in M.G.L. c. 176J, § 1 to restrict eligibility for individual coverage to individuals who are not seeking to replace employer-sponsored coverage and SECTION 26 which amends M.G.L. c. 176J, § 3 to limit the time of year during which an eligible individual may enroll in an individual health plan to a designated open enrollment period.

Pursuant to SECTION 68 of Chapter 240 of the Acts of 2010, a small business impact statement is required to be included in this Notice of Hearing. The Division estimates that the proposed amendments to 211 CMR 66.00 will be applicable to approximately 50 small businesses in the Commonwealth. This number includes all Massachusetts domestic insurance companies licensed to write health insurance (all kinds), health maintenance organizations, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Inc. The Division estimates that the projected reporting, record keeping and administrative costs required for compliance with the proposed amendments to 211 CMR 66.00 will have an effect on small businesses as the proposed amendments will require health insurance carriers that offer products in the merged market to submit detailed rate filing information not previously reported to the Division and temporarily impose a limit on the total premium health insurance carriers may collect from small businesses in the merged market. The Division also anticipates, however, that health insurance carriers offering products in the merged market will experience a decrease in costs over time as a result of the change to the definition of "eligible individual" in SECTION 20 of Chapter 288 and the new open enrollment periods set forth in SECTION 26 of Chapter 288. 211 CMR 66.00 is drafted in a performance standards format because SECTION 29 requires the Division to establish the specific information to be reported by health insurance carriers in order for the Division to complete its rate review processes. The Division is not aware of any conflicts between 211 CMR 66.00 and existing Division regulations or existing regulations of another agency or department of the Commonwealth. The Division is not aware of whether 211 CMR 66.00 is likely to deter or encourage the formation of new businesses in the Commonwealth. The Division invites and encourages comments from small businesses in the Commonwealth concerning the final promulgation of 211 CMR 66.00, particularly as to the following: (1) whether 211 CMR 66.00 could establish less stringent compliance or reporting requirements for small businesses; (2) whether 211 CMR 66.00 could establish less stringent schedules or deadlines for compliance or reporting requirements for small businesses; (3) whether 211 CMR 66.00 could consolidate or simplify compliance or reporting requirements for small businesses; (4) whether 211 CMR 66.00 is likely to deter or encourage the formation of new businesses in the Commonwealth; and (5) what alternative regulatory methods, if any, may be used to minimize the adverse impact 211 CMR 66.00 on small businesses.

The proceedings concerning the promulgation of amendments to 211 CMR 66.00 shall be designated as Docket No. G2011-02. Any person who wishes to provide oral comment concerning this regulation must file a Notice of Intent to Comment with the Docket Clerk no later than February 25, 2011. Persons wishing to submit written comments may do so until the record of the hearing is closed. All submissions must be sent to the Docket Clerk, Hearings and Appeals, Division of Insurance, 1000 Washington Street, Suite 810, Boston, MA 02118-6200, or by electronic mail to doidocket.mailbox@state.ma.us and must refer to Docket No. G2011-02 in the subject line. Persons who do not file a Notice of Intent to Comment will be heard after those who notify the Division in advance of the hearing.

A copy of the regulation with proposed amendments is available from the Division and also is posted on its website at: www.mass.gov/doi.



Dated: February 4, 2011

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Joseph G. Murphy

Commissioner of Insurance