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Conaway Bill to Require Insurers to Notify Patients when Health Coverage is Cut Off by Subscribers Clears Assembly Panel

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Herb Conaway, M.D., (D-Burlington) requiring health insurance companies to inform individuals covered under a health benefit plan that the plan’s subscriber has terminated their coverage was released Monday by an Assembly committee.”

“No one should have to learn they no longer have health benefits in the emergency room,” said Conaway, who chairs the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee, which released the bill. “Having insurance companies inform individuals that a subscriber has canceled their coverage would help prevent these nightmare scenarios by giving individuals time to find alternative coverage before medical treatment becomes necessary.”

The bill (A-4532) would require health insurance companies that offer health benefits plans to New Jersey residents to notify individuals covered under these plans, when the insurance company is notified by the plan’s subscriber that the person’s coverage is being terminated. The notice would inform the covered person that the subscriber has terminated his or her coverage. The carrier would have to notify the individual within seven days of receiving the cancelation notice from the subscriber. Under the bill, the notification could be made via regular mail, electronic mail or telephone.

“This simple notification could make a real difference in serious medical situations,” said Conaway. “Finding out that you have lost your health benefits while at the doctor’s office is not the type of surprise anyone wants to get, especially when dealing with a serious health concern.”

The bill would take effect 90 days after enactment and would apply to health benefit plans issued, delivered, executed, or renewed on or after the effective date.