The Office of General Counsel issued the following opinion on May 20, 2005, representing the position of the New York State Insurance Department.
Re: Community Rated group health insurance Notification of employees termination
Is there a Department regulation or Insurance Law provision specifying the amount of notice that the group must provide the health insurance carrier to avoid being charged insurance premium to cover an employee who has terminated his employment?
No. There are no statutory or regulatory requirements in the New York Insurance Law or Department Regulations governing the issue. The language in the insurance policy in this matter controls.
The inquirer postulates about a group covered by a community-rated health insurance carrier. The inquirer has observed that nearly all such carriers require notification within 30 days of an employees termination of employment so that the group would not have to pay the subsequent health insurance premiums due on such employee. The inquirer has learned of one carrier that requires a 15-day notification period in order to avoid such payment of premium on a terminated employee.
The amount of time a group has to notify the health insurance carrier in order to not be charged for such coverage after the employee leaves the job is controlled by the language in the health insurance policy, not by statute or regulation. It is the industry standard to permit a 30-day notice period but this period is based on custom and competitive factors and such period may differ among carriers.
For further information one may contact Associate Attorney Jeffrey A. Stonehill at the New York City Office.