Section 27-21A-32

HMO enrollment requirements.

(a) The state government, or any agency, board, commission, institution, or political subdivision thereof, and any city or county, or board of education, which offers its employees a health benefits plan may make available to and inform its employees or members of the option to enroll in at least one health maintenance organization holding a valid certificate of authority which provides health care services in the geographic areas in which such employees or members reside.

(b) The first time a health maintenance organization is offered by an employer, either public or private, each covered employee must make an affirmative written selection among the different alternatives included in the health benefits plan. Thereafter, those who wish to change from one plan to another will be allowed to do so annually, provided, that nothing in this section shall prevent any health maintenance organization or insurer from requiring evidence of insurability or imposing underwriting restrictions on the acceptance of any such employee. In addition to the annual group enrollment period, the employer shall make available the opportunity to select among different existing alternatives within a health benefits plan to eligible employees, who are new employees or have changed their place of residence resulting in eligibility for the plan.

(c) This section shall impose no responsibilities or duties upon any employer, either public or private, to offer health maintenance organization coverage as part of its health benefits plan.

(d) No employer shall in any way be required to pay more for health benefits as a result of the application of this section than would otherwise be required by a prevailing collective bargaining agreement or other legally enforceable contract or obligation for the provision of health benefits to its employees, or in any plan provided voluntarily by an employer.

(Acts 1986, No. 86-471, p. 854, §32.)