(a) The commissioner shall, by regulation, establish additional powers and duties of the plan and may adopt such rules as are necessary and proper to implement this article. For the purpose of this section, the term "insurer" means any entity covered by the Health Insurance Portability Act, including, but not limited to, as the terms are defined in the Health Insurance Portability Act, a health insurance issuer, a health maintenance organization and, notwithstanding Section 10-4-115, any health benefit plan. In the case of a self-funded health benefit plan operating through a third party administrator, the third party administrator shall be the insurer for the purpose of this section. The commissioner may, by regulation, define health insurance premiums consistent with the purpose of this section.
(b) The regulations shall set forth coverage eligibility criteria consistent with the requirements of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 and any and all federal regulations adopted pursuant thereto, establish the criteria for the evaluation of any plan administrator selected through the competitive bid process to administer the plan, and establish the guidelines for the funding of the plan, including the establishment of premium rate schedules and the authority to assess participating insurers based upon their health insurance premiums written in this state.
(c) Each participating insurer may offset any applicable premium taxes otherwise payable in respect of health insurance premiums paid to them by the amount of any assessments in respect of premiums paid in the same calendar year as the assessment. If the participating insurer is not subject to premium taxes on health insurance premiums it receives, the assessment made under this subsection may be reduced by the premium taxes which would otherwise have been payable had it been so subject.