2006 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Nunnelee
AN ACT TO DEFINE HEALTH DISCOUNT PLANS AND HEALTH DISCOUNT CARDS; TO PROVIDE LIMITATIONS ON THE DISTRIBUTION OF SUCH HEALTH DISCOUNT PLANS AND CARDS; TO DIRECT THE MISSISSIPPI COMMISSIONER OF INSURANCE TO ISSUE REGULATIONS REGARDING THE LIMITATIONS ON SUCH PLANS AND CARDS; TO AMEND SECTION 83-5-85, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, IN CONFORMITY THERETO; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) "Health discount plan" means a card, program, device, arrangement, contract or mechanism that purports to offer discounts or access to discounts on health care services or supplies that is not insurance or that does not provide coverage for services or benefits regulated under Section 83-9-1 et seq., Mississippi Code of 1972.
(2) A person may not sell, market, promote, advertise or otherwise distribute a health discount plan unless:
(a) Each advertisement, policy, document, information, statement or other communication regarding the health discount plan and the plan itself contain a statement, in bold and prominent type, that the health discount plan is not insurance;
(b) The discounts offered under the health discount plan are specifically authorized by a contract with each provider of the services or supplies listed in conjunction with the plan;
(c) The health discount plan states the name, address and telephone number of the administrator of the plan;
(d) The person makes readily available to the consumer a complete, accurate and up-to-date list of providers participating in the plan that offer discounted health care services or supplies in the consumer's local area and the discounts offered by the providers;
(e) The person provides the consumer the right to cancel the health discount plan within thirty (30) days after purchase of the plan; and
(f) The person provides the consumer with a full refund of all payments made, except for a nominal processing fee, within thirty (30) days after notification of cancellation of the plan under paragraph (e) of this subsection.
(3) The Mississippi Commissioner of Insurance may adopt regulations to implement this section and to establish additional requirements intended to prohibit unfair or deceptive practices relating to health discount plans.
SECTION 2. Section 83-5-85, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
83-5-85. For violation of any provisions of the insurance laws of Mississippi, including the provisions of Senate Bill No. 2083, 2006 Regular Session, relating to the issuance of health discount plans, the penalty whereof is not specifically provided, the offender shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, on conviction, shall be punished by a fine of not more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00). For expenses in seeking out, detecting and punishing violations of such laws, the commissioner may assess an additional penalty to be paid by the offender as restitution in an amount to cover such expenses as may be approved by the court.
The penalties authorized by this section are cumulative and supplemental to any other penalty, fine or other sanction, and shall not be a bar to any other civil cause of action or criminal prosecution.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2006.