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WEST VIRGINIA CODE
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WVC 33 - 16 D- 5 §33-16D-5. Premium rates for small employers; classes; maximum rates; eligibility for rate increases.
(a) Premium rates for health benefit plans subject to this article shall be subject to the following provisions:

(1) The index rate for a rating period for any class of business shall not exceed the index rate for any other class of business by more than twenty percent: Provided, That this subdivision shall not apply to a class of business if all of the following apply:

(A) The class of business is one for which the carrier does not reject, and never has rejected, small employers included within the definition of employers eligible for the class of business or otherwise eligible employees and dependents who enroll on a timely basis, based upon their claim experience or health status;

(B) The carrier does not involuntarily transfer, and never has involuntarily transferred, a health benefit plan into or out of the class of business; and

(C) The class of business is currently available for purchase.

(2) For a class of business, the premium rates charged during a rating period to small employers with similar case characteristics for the same or similar coverage, or the rates which could be charged to such employers under the rating system for that class of business, shall not vary from the index rate by more than thirty percent of the index rate.

(3) The percentage increase in the premium rate charged to asmall employer for a new rating period may not exceed the sum of the following:

(A) The percentage change in the new business premium rate measured from the first day of the prior rating period to the first day of the new rating period. In the case of a class of business for which the small employer carrier is not issuing new policies, the carrier shall use the percentage change in the base premium rate;

(B) An adjustment, not to exceed fifteen percent annually and adjusted pro rata for rating periods of less than one year, due to the claim experience, health status or duration of coverage of the employees or dependents of the small employer as determined from the carrier's rate manual for the class of business; and

(C) Any adjustment due to change in coverage or change in the case characteristics of the small employer as determined from the carrier's rate manual for the class of business.

(4) In the case of health benefit plans issued prior to the effective date of this article, a premium rate for a rating period may exceed the ranges described in subdivision (1) or (2) of this subsection for a period of five years following the effective date of this article. In that case, the percentage increase in the premium rate charged to a small employer in such a class of business for a new rating period may not exceed the sum of the following:

(A) The percentage change in the new business premium ratemeasured from the first day of the prior rating period to the first day of the new rating period. In the case of a class of business for which the small employer carrier is not issuing new policies, the carrier shall use the percentage change in the base premium rate; and

(B) Any adjustment due to change in coverage or change in the case characteristics of the small employer as determined from the carrier's rate manual for the class of business.

(b) Nothing in this section is intended to affect the use by a small employer carrier of legitimate rating factors other than claim experience, health status or duration of coverage in the determination of premium rates. Small employer carriers shall apply rating factors, including case characteristics, consistently with respect to all small employers in a class of business.

(c) Adjustments in rates for claim experience, health status and duration of coverage may not be charged to individual employees or dependents. Any such adjustment shall be applied uniformly to the rates charged for all employees and dependents of the small employer.

(d) A small employer carrier shall utilize industry as a case characteristic in establishing premium rates: Provided, That the highest rate factor associated with any industry classification shall not exceed the lowest rate factor associated with any industry classification by more than fifteen percent.

(e) Small employer carriers shall apply rating factors,including case characteristics, consistently with respect to all small employers in a class of business. Rating factors shall produce premiums for identical groups which differ only by amounts attributable to plan design and do not reflect differences due to the nature of the groups assumed to select particular health benefit plans.

(f) A small employer carrier may not involuntarily transfer a small employer into or out of a class of business. A small employer carrier may not offer to transfer a small employer into or out of a class of business unless such offer is made to transfer all small employers in the class of business without regard to case characteristics, claim experience, health status or duration since issue.

(g) To be eligible to make a rate increase request after the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred ninety-three, a carrier shall have a minimum anticipated loss ratio of seventy-three percent. In calculating its minimum anticipated loss ratio, an insurer shall include in its actual incurred claims the amount of premium taxes for the same experience period which are attributable to the policy forms or certificates affected by this section and which were paid to the state of West Virginia pursuant to the provisions of article three of this chapter.

(h) All insurance carriers subject to this article, effective the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred ninety-three, shall be prohibited from distinguishing more than four classes ofbusiness within its small group insurance coverage.

(i) If any health benefit plan is provided by a carrier through a bona fide association of small employers not in the business of selling insurance and with not fewer than two hundred cumulative employees, and if such association is rated on the basis of the number of employees and not on the basis of the individual small employers, such association or group is exempt from the provisions of this article.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2014 1st Special Session
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