Section 108: Accident and health insurance policies; commissioner's approval; contents
Section 108. 1. The term ''policy of accident and sickness insurance'' as used herein includes any policy or contract covering the kind or kinds of insurance described in subdivisions (a) and (d) of the sixth paragraph of section forty-seven.
2. (a) No policy of accident and sickness insurance shall be delivered or issued for delivery to any person in this commonwealth: until a copy of the policy and the table of rates or manual of risks of the company has been on file with the commissioner for at least thirty days, unless before the expiration of said thirty days the commissioner shall have approved the policy in writing; nor if the commissioner notifies the company in writing that in his opinion the form of said policy does not comply with the laws of the commonwealth, specifying the reasons for his opinion, provided that such action of the commissioner shall be subject to review by the supreme judicial court; nor unless:
(1) The entire money and other considerations therefor are expressed therein; and
(2) The time at which the insurance takes effect and terminates is expressed therein; and
(2A) It provides that if the insurer denies liability and refuses to make payment on the basis of any provision contained in the policy relating to a pre-existing condition, illness or injury, the insurer shall transmit to the insured together with the notice of denial of liability documented evidence of specific instances of actual treatment or observation of such pre-existing condition, illness or injury in all cases except those of a confidential nature.
(3) It purports to insure only 1 person, except that a policy, excluding contracts that are not health benefit plans, as defined in section 1 of chapter 176J, shall insure, originally or by subsequent amendment, upon the application of an adult member of a family who shall be considered the policyholder, 2 or more eligible members of that family, including the policyholder, spouse, dependent children and other dependent persons, children during pendency of adoption procedures under chapter 210, children under 26 years of age and children who are mentally or physically incapable of earning their own living, if due proof of the incapacity is received by the insurer within 31 days of the date upon which the coverage would otherwise be terminated; and
(4) The style, arrangement and over-all appearance of the policy give no undue prominence to any portion of the text, and unless every printed portion of the text of the policy and of any endorsements or attached papers is plainly printed in light-faced type of a style in general use, the size of which shall be uniform and not less than ten-point with a lowercase unspaced alphabet length not less than one hundred and twenty-point (the text shall include all printed matter except the name and address of the insurer, name or title of the policy, the brief description if any, and captions and subcaptions); and
(5) The exceptions and reductions of indemnity are set forth in the policy and, except those which are set forth in paragraph three, are printed, at the insurer's option, either included with the benefit provision to which they apply, or under an appropriate caption such as ''EXCEPTIONS'', or ''EXCEPTIONS AND REDUCTIONS''; provided, that if an exception or reduction specifically applies only to a particular benefit of the policy, a statement of such exception or reduction shall be included with the benefit provision to which it applies; and
(6) Each such form, including riders and endorsements, shall be identified by a form number in the lower left-hand corner of the first page thereof; and
(7) It contains no provision purporting to make any portion of the charter, rules, constitution, or by-laws of the insurer a part of the policy unless such portion is set forth in full in the policy, except in the case of the incorporation of, or reference to, a statement of rates or classification of risks, or short-rate table filed with the commissioner.
(b) If any policy is issued by an insurer domiciled in this commonwealth for delivery to a person residing in another state, and if the official having responsibility for the administration of the insurance laws of such other state shall have advised the commissioner that any such policy is not subject to approval or disapproval by such official, the commissioner may by ruling require that such policy meet the standards set forth in paragraph (a) and in subdivision three.
3. (a) Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this subdivision each such policy delivered or issued for delivery to any person in the commonwealth shall contain the provisions specified in this paragraph in the words in which they appear; provided, however, that the insurer may, at its option, substitute for one or more of such provisions corresponding provisions of different wording approved by the commissioner which are in each instance not less favorable in any respect to the insured or the beneficiary. Such provisions shall be preceded individually by the caption appearing in this paragraph or, at the option of the insurer, by such appropriate individual or group captions or subcaptions as the commissioner may approve.
(1) Entire Contract; Changes. ? This policy, including the endorsements and the attached papers, if any, constitutes the entire contract of insurance. No change in this policy shall be valid until approved by an executive officer of the insurer and unless such approval be endorsed hereon or attached hereto. No agent has authority to change this policy or to waive any of its provisions.
(2) Time Limit on Certain Defenses. ? After two years from the date of issue of this policy no misstatements, except fraudulent misstatements, made by the applicant in the application for such policy shall be used to void the policy or to deny a claim for loss incurred or disability as defined in the policy commencing after the expiration of such two-year period.
The foregoing policy provision shall not be so construed as to affect any legal requirement for avoidance of a policy or denial of a claim during such initial two-year period, nor to limit the application of provisions (1) to (5), inclusive, of paragraph (b) of this subdivision, in the event of misstatement with respect to age or occupation or other insurance.
A policy which the insured has the right to continue in force subject to its terms by the timely payment of premium until at least age fifty, or, in the case of a policy issued after age forty-four, for at least five years from its date of issue, may contain in lieu of the foregoing provision the following provision from which the clause in parentheses may be omitted at the insurer's option, under the caption ''INCONTESTABLE'':?
After this policy has been in force for a period of two years during the lifetime of the insured (excluding any period during which the insured is disabled), it shall become incontestable as to the statements contained in the application.
No claim for loss incurred or disability (as defined in the policy) commencing after two years from the date of issue of this policy shall be reduced or denied on the ground that a disease or physical condition not excluded from coverage by name or specific description effective on the date of loss had existed prior to the effective date of coverage of this policy.
(3) Grace Period. ? A grace period of [insert a number not less than ''7'' for weekly premium policies, ''10'' for monthly premium policies and ''31'' for all other policies] days will be granted for the payment of each premium falling due after the first premium during which grace period the policy shall continue in force.
A policy in which the insurer reserves the right to refuse renewal shall have, at the beginning of the above provision:? Unless not less than thirty days prior to the premium due date the insurer has delivered to the insured or has mailed to his last address as shown by the records of the insurer written notice of its intention not to renew this policy beyond the period for which the premium has been accepted.
(4) Reinstatement. ? If any renewal premium be not paid within the time granted the insured for payment, a subsequent acceptance of premium by the insurer or by any agent duly authorized by the insurer to accept such premium, without requiring in connection therewith an application for reinstatement, shall reinstate the policy; provided, however, that if the insurer or such agent requires an application for reinstatement and issues a conditional receipt for the premium tendered, the policy will be reinstated upon approval of such application by the insurer or, lacking such approval, upon the forty-fifth day following the date of such conditional receipt unless the insurer has previously notified the insured in writing of its disapproval of such application. The reinstated policy shall cover only loss resulting from such accidental injury as may be sustained after the date of reinstatement and loss due to such sickness as may begin more than ten days after such date. In all other respects the insured and insurer shall have the same rights thereunder as they had under the policy immediately before the due date of the defaulted premium, subject to any provisions endorsed hereon or attached hereto in connection with the reinstatement. Any premium accepted in connection with a reinstatement shall be applied to a period for which premium has not been previously paid, but not to any period more than sixty days prior to the date of reinstatement.
The last sentence of the above provision may be omitted from any policy which the insured has the right to continue in force subject to its terms by the timely payment of premiums until at least age fifty, or, in the case of a policy issued after age forty-four, for at least five years from its date of issue.
(5) Notice of Claim. ? Written notice of claim must be given to the insurer within twenty days after the occurrence or commencement of any loss covered by the policy, or as soon thereafter as is reasonably possible. Notice given by or on behalf of the insured or the beneficiary to the insurer at [insert the location of such office as the insurer may designate for the purpose] or to any authorized agent of the insurer, with information sufficient to identify the insured, shall be deemed notice to the insurer.
In a policy providing a loss-of-time benefit which may be payable for at least two years, an insurer may at its option insert after the first sentence of provision (5) the following three sentences:?
Subject to the qualifications set forth below, if the insured suffers loss of time on account of disability for which indemnity may be payable for at least two years, he shall, at least once in every six months after having given notice of claim, give to the insurer notice of continuance of said disability, except in the event of legal incapacity. The period of six months following any filing of proof by the insured or any payment by the insurer on account of such claim or any denial of liability in whole or in part by the insurer shall be excluded in applying this provision. Delay in the giving of such notice shall not impair the insured's right to any indemnity which would otherwise have accrued during the period of six months preceding the date on which such notice is actually given.
(6) Claim Forms. ? The insurer, upon receipt of a notice of claim, will furnish to the claimant such forms as are usually furnished by it for filing proofs of loss. If such forms are not furnished within fifteen days after the giving of such notice the claimant shall be deemed to have complied with the requirements of this policy as to proof of loss upon submitting, within the time fixed in the policy for filing proofs of loss, written proof covering the occurrence, the character and the extent of the loss for which claim is made.
(7) Proof of Loss. ? Written proof of loss must be furnished to the insurer at its said office in case of claim for loss for which this policy provides any periodic payment contingent upon continuing loss within ninety days after the termination of the period for which the insurer is liable and in case of claim for any other loss within ninety days after the date of such loss. Failure to furnish such proof within the time required shall not invalidate nor reduce any claim if it was not reasonably possible to give proof within such time, provided such proof is furnished as soon as reasonably possible and in no event, except in the absence of legal capacity, later than one year from the time proof is otherwise required.
(8) Time of Payment of Claims. ? Indemnities payable under this policy for any loss other than loss for which this policy provides any periodic payment will be paid immediately upon receipt of due written proof of such loss. Subject to due written proof of loss, all accrued indemnities for loss for which this policy provides periodic payment will be paid [insert period for payment which must not be less frequently than monthly] and any balance remaining unpaid upon the termination of liability will be paid immediately upon receipt of due written proof.
(9) Payment of Claims. ? Indemnity for loss of life will be payable in accordance with the beneficiary designation and the provisions respecting such payment which may be prescribed herein and effective at the time of payment. If no such designation or provision is then effective, such indemnity shall be payable to the estate of the insured. Any other accrued indemnities unpaid at the insured's death may, at the option of the insurer, be paid either to such beneficiary or to such estate. All other indemnities will be payable to the insured.
The following two paragraphs, or either of them, may be added to provision (9) at the option of the insurer:?
If any indemnity of this policy shall be payable to the estate of the insured, or to an insured or beneficiary who is a minor or otherwise not competent to give a valid release, the insurer may pay such indemnity, up to an amount not exceeding [insert an amount which shall not exceed $1,000], to any relative by blood or connection by marriage of the insured or beneficiary who is deemed by the insurer to be equitably entitled thereto. Any payment made by the insurer in good faith pursuant to this provision shall fully discharge the insurer to the extent of such payment.
Subject to any written direction of the insured in the application or otherwise all or a portion of any indemnities provided by this policy on account of hospital, nursing, medical, or surgical services may, at the insurer's option and unless the insured requests otherwise in writing not later than the time of filing proofs of such loss, be paid directly to the hospital or person rendering such services; but it is not required that the service be rendered by a particular hospital or person.
(10) Physical Examinations. ? The insurer at its own expense shall have the right and opportunity to examine the person of the insured when and as often as it may reasonably require during the pendency of a claim hereunder.
(11) Legal Actions. ? No action at law or in equity shall be brought to recover on this policy prior to the expiration of sixty days after written proof of loss has been furnished in accordance with the requirements of this policy. No such action shall be brought after the expiration of three years after the time written proof of loss is required to be furnished.
(12) Change of Beneficiary. ? Unless the insured makes an irrevocable designation of beneficiary, the right to change of beneficiary is reserved to the insured and the consent of the beneficiary or beneficiaries shall not be requisite to surrender or assignment of this policy or to any change of beneficiary or beneficiaries, or to any other changes in this policy.
The first clause of provision (12), relating to the irrevocable designation of beneficiary, may be omitted at the insurer's option.
(b) Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this subdivision, no such policy delivered or issued for delivery to any person in this commonwealth shall contain provisions respecting the matters set forth below unless they are in the words in which the same appear in this paragraph; provided, however, that the insurer may, at its option, use in lieu of any such provision a corresponding provision of different wording approved by the commissioner which is not less favorable in any respect to the insured or the beneficiary. Any such provision contained in the policy shall be preceded individually by the appropriate caption appearing in this paragraph or, at the option of the insurer, by such appropriate individual or group captions or subcaptions as the commissioner may approve.
(1) Change of Occupation. ? If the insured be injured or contract sickness after having changed his occupation to one classified by the insurer as more hazardous than that stated in this policy or while doing for compensation anything pertaining to an occupation so classified, the insurer will pay only such portion of the indemnities provided in this policy as the premium paid would have purchased at the rates and within the limits fixed by the insurer for such more hazardous occupation. If the insured changes his occupation to one classified by the insurer as less hazardous than that stated in this policy, the insurer, upon receipt of proof of such change of occupation, will reduce the premium rate accordingly, and will return the excess pro-rata unearned premium from the date of change of occupation or from the policy anniversary date immediately preceding receipt of such proof, whichever is the more recent. In applying this provision, the classification of occupational risk and the premium rates shall be such as have been last filed by the insurer prior to the occurrence of the loss for which the insurer is liable or prior to date of proof of change in occupation with the state official having supervision of insurance in the state where the insured resided at the time this policy was issued; but if such filing was not required, then the classification of occupational risk and the premium rates shall be those last made effective by the insurer in such state prior to the occurrence of the loss or prior to the date of proof of change in occupation.
(2) Misstatement of Age. ? If the age of the insured has been misstated, all amounts payable under this policy shall be such as the premium paid would have purchased at the correct age.
(3) Other Insurance in This Insurer. ? If an accident or sickness or accident and sickness policy or policies previously issued by the insurer to the insured be in force concurrently herewith, making the aggregate indemnity for [insert type of coverage or coverages] in excess of [insert maximum limit of indemnity or indemnities] the excess insurance shall be void and all premiums paid for such excess shall be returned to the insured or to his estate.
or, in lieu thereof:?
Insurance effective at any one time on the insured under a like policy or policies in this insurer is limited to the one such policy elected by the insured, his beneficiary or his estate, as the case may be, and the insurer will return all premiums paid for all other such policies.
(4) Insurance with Other Insurers. ? If there be other valid coverage, not with this insurer, providing benefits for the same loss on a provision of service basis or on an expense incurred basis and of which this insurer has not been given written notice prior to the occurrence or commencement of loss, the only liability under any expense incurred coverage of this policy shall be for such proportion of the loss as the amount which would otherwise have been payable hereunder plus the total of the like amounts under all such other valid coverages for the same loss of which this insurer had notice bears to the total like amounts under all valid coverages for such loss, and for the return of such portion of the premiums paid as shall exceed the pro-rata portion for the amount so determined. For the purpose of applying this provision when other coverage is on a provision of service basis, the like amount of such other coverage shall be taken as the amount which the services rendered would have cost in the absence of such coverage.
If the above policy provision (4) is included in a policy which also contains the next following policy provision there shall be added to the caption of said provision (4) the phrase C EXPENSE INCURRED BENEFITS. The insurer may, at its option, include in this provision a definition of other valid coverage, approved as to form by the commissioner, which definition shall be limited in subject matter to coverage provided by organizations subject to regulation by insurance law or by insurance authorities of this or any other state of the United States or any province of Canada, and by hospital or medical service organizations, and to any other coverage the inclusion of which may be approved by the commissioner. In the absence of such definition such term shall not include group insurance, automobile medical payments insurance, or coverage provided by hospital or medical service organizations or by union welfare plans or employer or employee benefit organizations. For the purpose of applying policy provision (4) with respect to any insured, any amount of benefit provided for such insured pursuant to any compulsory benefit statute including any workers' compensation or employer's liability statute whether provided by a governmental agency or otherwise shall in all cases be deemed to be other valid coverage of which the insurer has had notice. In applying said policy provision (4) no third party liability coverage shall be included as other valid coverage.
(5) Insurance with Other Insurers. ? If there be other valid coverage, not with this insurer, providing benefits for the same loss on other than an expense incurred basis and of which this insurer has not been given written notice prior to the occurrence or commencement of loss, the only liability for such benefits under this policy shall be for such proportion of the indemnities otherwise provided hereunder for such loss as the like indemnities of which the insurer had notice (including the indemnities under this policy) bear to the total amount of all like indemnities for such loss, and for the return of such portion of the premium paid as shall exceed the pro-rata portion for the indemnities thus determined.
If policy provision (5) is included in a policy which also contains policy provision (4) there shall be added to the caption of said provision (5) the phrase C OTHER BENEFITS. The insurer may, at its option, include in this provision a definition of other valid coverage, approved as to form by the commissioner, which definition shall be limited in subject matter to coverage provided by organizations subject to regulation by insurance law or by insurance authorities of this or any other state of the United States or any province of Canada, and to any other coverage the inclusion of which may be approved by the commissioner. In the absence of such definition such term shall not include group insurance, or benefits provided by union welfare plans or by employer or employee benefit organizations. For the purpose of applying said policy provisions (5) with respect to any insured, any amount of benefit provided for such insured pursuant to any compulsory benefit statute including any workers' compensation or employer's liability statute whether provided by a governmental agency or otherwise shall in all cases be deemed to be other valid coverage of which the insurer has had notice. In applying the said policy provision (5) no third party liability coverage shall be included as other valid coverage.
(6) Overinsurance. ? After the loss-of-time benefit of this policy has been payable for 90 days, the benefit shall be adjusted, as provided below, if the total amount of unadjusted loss-of-time benefits provided in all valid loss-of-time coverage upon the insured should exceed (insert amount) per cent of the insured's earned income; provided, however, that if the information contained in the application discloses that the total amount of loss-of-time benefits under this policy and under all other valid loss-of-time coverage expected to be effective upon the insured in accordance with the application for this policy exceeded (insert amount) of the insured's earned income at the time of such application, the higher percentage will be used in place of (insert amount). The adjusted loss-of-time benefit under this policy for any month shall be only such proportion of the loss-of-time benefit otherwise payable under this policy as (i) the product of the insured's earned income and (insert amount) per cent or, if higher, the alternative percentage described at the end of the first sentence of this provision bears to (ii) the total amount of loss-of-time benefits payable for such month under this policy and all other valid loss-of-time coverage on the insured, without giving effect to the overinsurance provision, in this or any other coverage, less in both (i) and (ii) any amount of loss-of-time benefits payable under other valid loss-of-time coverage which does not contain an overinsurance provision. In making the computation, all benefits and earnings shall be converted to a consistent (insert ''weekly'' if the loss-of-time benefit of this policy is payable weekly, ''monthly'' if the benefit is payable monthly, etc.) basis. If the numerator of the foregoing ratio is zero or is a negative, no benefit shall be payable under this policy. In no event shall this provision operate to reduce the total combined amount of loss-of-time benefits for such month payable under this policy and all other valid loss-of-time coverage below the less of $300 and the total combined amount of loss-of-time benefits determined without giving effect to any overinsurance provision, or operate to increase the amount of benefits payable under this policy above the amount which would have been paid in the absence of this provision, or take into account or operate to reduce any benefit other than the loss-of-time benefit.
For the purposes of this provision the following words shall have the following meanings:
''Earned income'', except where otherwise specified, means the greater of the monthly earnings of the insured at the time disability commences and ones average monthly earnings for a period of 2 years immediately preceding the commencement of disability, and shall not include any investment income or any other income not derived from the insured's vocational abilities.
''Overinsurance provisions'', shall include this provision and any other provision with respect to any loss-of-time coverage which may have the effect of reducing an insurer's liability if the amount of loss-of-time benefits under all coverage exceeds a stated relationship to the insured's earnings.
Policy provision (6) may be included only in a policy which provides a loss-of-time benefit which may be payable for at least 52 weeks, which is issued on the basis of selective underwriting of each individual application, and for which the application includes a question designed to elicit information necessary either to determine the ratio of the total loss-of-time benefits of the insured to the insured's earned income or to determine that such ratio does not exceed the percentage of earnings not less than 60 per cent, selected by the insurer and inserted in lieu of the blank factor specified in this section. The insurer may require, as part of the proof of claim, the information necessary to administer this provision. If the application indicates that other loss-of-time coverage is to be discontinued, the amount of the other coverage shall be excluded in computing the alternative percentage in the first sentence of the overinsurance provision. The policy shall include a definition of ''valid loss-of-time coverage'' approved as to form by the commissioner, which definition may include coverage provided by governmental agencies and by organizations subject to regulation by insurance law and by insurance authority of this or any other state of the United States or of any other country or subdivision thereof, coverage provided for the insured pursuant to any disability benefits statute or any workmen's compensation or employer's liability statute, benefits provided by labor-management trustee plans or union welfare plans or by employer or employee benefit organizations, or by salary continuance or pension programs, and any other coverage the inclusion of which may be approved by the commissioner.
(7) Unpaid Premium. ? Upon the payment of a claim under this policy, any premium then due and unpaid or covered by any note or written order may be deducted therefrom.
[There is no provision (8).]
(9) Conformity with State Statutes. ? Any provision of this policy which, on its effective date, is in conflict with the statutes of the state in which the insured resides on such date is hereby amended to conform to the minimum requirements of such statutes.
(10) Illegal Occupation. ? The insurer shall not be liable for any loss to which a contributing cause was the insured's commission of or attempt to commit a felony or to which a contributing cause was the insured's being engaged in an illegal occupation.
(b1/2) Each such policy in which the insurer reserves the right to refuse renewal on an individual basis shall provide, in substance, in a provision thereof or in an endorsement thereon or in a rider attached thereto, that subject to the right to terminate the policy upon nonpayment of premium when due, such right to refuse renewal shall not be exercised before the renewal date occurring on, or after and nearest, each anniversary, or in the case of lapse and reinstatement at the renewal date occurring on, or after and nearest, each anniversary of the last reinstatement, and that any refusal of renewal shall be without prejudice to any claim originating while the policy is in force. The preceding sentence shall not apply to accident insurance only policies.
(c) If any provision of this paragraph is in whole or part inapplicable to or inconsistent with the coverage provided by a particular form of policy the insurer, with the approval of the commissioner, shall omit from such policy any inapplicable provision or part of a provision, and shall modify any inconsistent provision or part of the provision in such manner as to make the provision as contained in the policy consistent with the coverage provided by the policy.
(d) The provisions which are the subject of paragraphs (a) and (b) of this subdivision or any corresponding provisions which are used in lieu thereof in accordance with such paragraphs shall be printed in the consecutive order of the provisions in such paragraphs or, at the option of the insurer, any such provision may appear as a unit in any part of the policy, with other provisions to which it may be logically related, provided the resulting policy shall not be in whole or in part unintelligible, uncertain, ambiguous, abstruse, or likely to mislead a person to whom the policy is offered, delivered or issued.
(e) The word insured, as used in this section, shall not be construed as preventing a person other than the insured with a proper insurable interest from making application for and owning a policy covering the insured or from being entitled under such a policy to any indemnities, benefits and rights provided therein.
(f)(1) Any policy of a foreign or alien insurer, when delivered or issued for delivery to any person in this commonwealth, may contain any provision which is not less favorable to the insured or the beneficiary than the provisions of this section and which is prescribed or required by the law of the state under which the insurer is organized.
(2) Any policy of a domestic insurer may, when issued for delivery in any other state or country, contain any provision permitted or required by the laws of such other state or country.
(g) The commissioner may make such reasonable rules and regulations concerning the procedure for the filing or submission of policies subject to this section as are necessary, proper or advisable to the administration of this section. This provision shall not abridge any other authority granted the commissioner by law.
4. (a) No policy provision which is not subject to subdivision three of this section shall make a policy, or any portion thereof, less favorable in any respect to the insured or the beneficiary than the provisions thereof which are subject to this section.
(b) A policy delivered or issued for delivery to any person in this commonwealth in violation of this section shall be held valid but shall be construed as provided in this section. When any provision in a policy subject to this section is in conflict with any provision of this section, the rights, duties and obligations of the insurer, the insured and the beneficiary shall be governed by the provisions of this section.
(c) Within fifteen days after an insurer's receipt of notice of claim by a claimant or provider under a policy of accident and sickness insurance which is delivered or issued for delivery in the commonwealth, and which provides hospital expense, medical expense, surgical expense or dental expense insurance, the insurer shall furnish such forms as are usually furnished by it for filing proofs of loss. Within forty-five days from said receipt of notice if payment is not made the insurer shall notify the claimant in writing specifying the reasons for the nonpayment or whatever further documentation is necessary for payment of said claim within the terms of the policy. If the insurer fails to comply with the provisions of this paragraph, said insurer shall pay, in addition to any benefits which inure to such claimant or provider, interest on such benefits, which shall accrue beginning forty-five days after the insurer's receipt of notice of claim at the rate of one and one-half percent per month, not to exceed eighteen percent per year. The provisions of this paragraph relating to interest payments shall not apply to a claim which an insurer is investigating because of suspected fraud.
5. (a) The insured shall not be bound by any statement made in an application for a policy unless a copy of such application is attached to or endorsed on the policy when issued as a part thereof. If any such policy delivered or issued for delivery to any person in the commonwealth shall be reinstated or renewed, and the insured or the beneficiary or assignee of such policy shall make written request to the insurer for a copy of the application, if any, for such reinstatement or renewal, the insurer shall within fifteen days after the receipt of such request at its home office or any branch office of the insurer, deliver or mail to the person making such request, a copy of such application. If such copy shall not be so delivered or mailed, the insurer shall be precluded from introducing such application as evidence in any action or proceeding based upon or involving such policy or its reinstatement or renewal.
(b) No alteration of any written application for any such policy shall be made by any person other than the applicant without his written consent, except that insertions may be made by the insurer, for administrative purposes only, in such manner as to indicate clearly that such insertions are not to be ascribed to the applicant.
(c) The falsity of any statement in the application for any policy covered by this section may not bar the right to recovery thereunder unless such false statement materially affected either the acceptance of the risk or the hazard assumed by the insurer.
6. The acknowledgment by any insurer of the receipt of notice given under any policy covered by this section, or the furnishing of forms for filing proofs of loss, or the acceptance of such proofs, or the investigation of any claim thereunder shall not operate as a waiver of any of the rights of the insurer in defense of any claim arising under such policy.
7. If any such policy contains a provision establishing, as an age limit or otherwise, a date after which the coverage provided by the policy will not be effective, and if such date falls within a period for which premium is accepted by the insurer or if the insurer accepts a premium after such date, the coverage provided by the policy will continue in force subject to any right of cancellation until the end of the period for which premium has been accepted. In the event the age of the insured has been misstated and if, according to the correct age of the insured, the coverage provided by the policy would not have become effective, or would have ceased prior to the acceptance of such premium or premiums, then the liability of the insurer shall be limited to the refund, upon request, of all premiums paid for the period not covered by the policy.
8. Nothing in this section shall apply to or affect any policy of workers' compensation insurance or any policy of liability insurance with or without supplementary expense coverage therein; or any policy or contract of reinsurance; or any blanket or group policy of insurance; or life insurance, endowment or annuity contracts, or contracts supplemental thereto which contain only such provisions relating to accident and sickness insurance as provide additional benefits in case of death or dismemberment or loss of sight by accident, or as operate to safeguard such contracts against lapse, or to give a special surrender value or special benefit or an annuity in the event that the insured or annuitant shall become totally and permanently disabled, as defined by the contract or supplemental contract.
Nothing herein shall be construed to prevent the approval and use of a policy containing multiple optional benefits and the provisions applicable thereto; provided, that such policy otherwise complies with the provisions of this section; and provided, further, that the schedule of benefits appears in the policy and a reference to said schedule of benefits appears on the first page of the policy.
A. The commissioner may, within thirty days after the filing of a copy or form of such a policy, disapprove such form of policy if the benefits provided therein are unreasonable in relation to the premium charged, or if it contains any provision which is unjust, unfair, inequitable, misleading or deceptive, or which encourages misrepresentation as to such policy. If the commissioner shall notify the insurer which has filed any such form that it does not comply with the provisions of this section it shall be unlawful thereafter for such insurer to issue such form or use it in connection with any policy. In such notice the commissioner shall specify the reasons for his disapproval and state that a hearing will be granted within twenty days after request in writing by the insurer.
B. The commissioner may at any time after a hearing, of which not less than twenty days written notice shall have been given to the insurer, withdraw his approval of any such form on any of the grounds stated in paragraph A of this subdivision. It shall be unlawful for the insurer to issue such form or use it in connection with any policy after the effective date of such withdrawal of approval. The notice of any such hearing shall specify the matters to be considered at such hearing and any decision affirming disapproval or directing withdrawal of approval under this section shall be in writing and shall specify the reasons therefor.
C. Any person or company aggrieved by any action, order, finding or decision of the commissioner under paragraph B of this subdivision may, within twenty days from the filing of a memorandum thereof in his office, file a petition in the supreme judicial court for the county of Suffolk for a review of such action, order, finding or decision. The action, order, finding or decision of the commissioner shall remain in full force and effect pending the final decision of the court unless the court or a justice thereof after notice to the commissioner shall by a special order otherwise direct. The court shall have jurisdiction in equity to modify, amend, annul, review or affirm such action, order, finding or decision, shall review all questions in accordance with the standards for review provided in paragraph (8) of section fourteen of chapter thirty A and may make any appropriate order or decree.
D. Notwithstanding any provision of any policy of insurance issued by a company, whenever such a policy provides for reimbursement for any visual services which are within the lawful scope of the practice of a duly registered optometrist, reimbursement thereunder shall be made to either the registered optometrist or the registered physician of the insured's selection. Visual services, as such term appears in the preceding sentence, shall mean the optometric services ordinarily provided by registered optometrists and physicians as set forth in chapter one hundred and twelve.
9. No policy of accident insurance shall be delivered or issued for delivery to any person in this commonwealth unless the following statement is printed on the first page in either contrasting color or in bold face type at least four points larger than the type size of the largest type on that page as follows: This is a policy which insures persons against injury or death from accident only and does not pay benefits for losses from sickness.
10. To the extent that this section is inconsistent with the provisions of chapter one hundred and seventy-six K, and any regulations promulgated thereunder, medicare supplement insurance and medicare select insurance plans as defined in said chapter one hundred and seventy-six K shall be subject to the provisions of said chapter one hundred and seventy-six K.
11. An insurer shall not refuse to contract with or compensate for covered services an otherwise eligible provider or nonparticipating provider solely because such provider has in good faith communicated with one or more of his current, former or prospective patients regarding the provisions, terms or requirements of the insurer's products as they relate to the needs of such provider's patients. In contracting with a provider of home health services or a licensed hospice agency, an insurer shall not require the provider or agency to be accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations or other national accrediting body if the provider is certified for participation in the Medicare program, Title XVIII of the federal Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. Sections 1395 et seq.
12. To the extent that this section is inconsistent with the provisions of chapter one hundred and seventy-six M and any regulations promulgated thereunder, the provisions of said chapter one hundred and seventy-six M and any such regulations shall govern the terms, conditions, rates and all other matters concerning any policy form that is within the definition of a guaranteed issue health plan in said chapter one hundred and seventy-six M.
13. Any policy of accident and sickness insurance that is a health benefit plan, as defined in section 1 of chapter 176J, shall include a premium rate adjustment based on employee participation in a qualified wellness program. The division shall determine by regulation the criteria for a qualified wellness program to determine eligibility for the rate discount. The criteria may require (i) a minimum participation in the programs by percentage, (ii) promoting healthy workplace habits, (iii) promoting health screenings, (iv) promoting health education, and (v) any other criteria that the commissioner of insurance deems reasonable.