(A) Every individual family sickness and accident insurance policy that provides hospital, surgical, and medical expense benefits or hospital confinement indemnity benefits, and that is delivered or issued for delivery in this state on or after January 1, 1981, shall provide covered family members the right to continue such coverage upon the death of the named insured and upon the divorce, the annulment or dissolution of marriage, or the legal separation of the spouse from the named insured. Such right shall not exist with respect to any covered family member who is eligible for medicare or any other similar federal or state health insurance program, or in the event the coverage terminates for nonpayment of premium, nonrenewal of the policy, or the expiration of the term for which the policy is issued.
(B) In the case of the divorce, annulment, or dissolution of marriage, or legal separation of the spouse from the named insured, the insurer shall satisfy the right to the continuation of coverage under this section by issuing either a converted or separate policy with the person who exercises the conversion right designated as the named insured. In the case of the death of the named insured, the insurer may satisfy the right to the continuation of the coverage under this section by continuing the original policy with the person who exercises the right of continuation designated as the named insured or by issuing either a converted or separate policy with the person who exercises the conversion right designated as the named insured. Where continuation of coverage or conversion is made in the name of the spouse of the named insured, such coverage may, at the option of the spouse, include covered dependent children for whom the spouse has responsibility for care and support.
(C) Coverage continued through the issuance of a converted or separate policy shall consist of a form of coverage then being offered by the insurer as a conversion policy in the jurisdiction where the person exercising the conversion right resides that most nearly approximates the coverage of the policy from which conversion is exercised. Continued and converted coverages shall contain renewal provisions that are not less favorable to the insured than those contained in the policy from which the conversion is made, except that the person who exercises the right of conversion is not entitled to have included a right to renew the coverage after the attainment of the age of eligibility for medicare or any other similar federal or state health insurance program.
(D) The eligible covered family member exercising the continuation or conversion right must notify the insurer and make payment of the applicable premium within thirty-one days following the date such coverage otherwise terminates as specified in the policy or contract from which continuation or conversion is being exercised.
(E) Coverage shall be provided through continuation or conversion without additional evidence of insurability, and shall not impose any preexisting condition limitations or other contractual time limitations other than those remaining unexpired under the policy or contract from which continuation or conversion is exercised.
(F) Benefits otherwise payable under a converted or separate policy may be reduced:
(1) So they are not, during the first policy year of the converted or separate policy, in excess of those that would have been payable had the coverage under the policy from which conversion is exercised not terminated; and
(2) By the amount of benefits, if any, payable as to the same loss under the policy from which conversion is exercised.
(G) Any probationary or waiting period set forth in the converted or separate policy is deemed to commence on the effective date of the applicant's coverage under the original policy.
Effective Date: 10-06-1980 .