45 C.F.R. §§ 150.201-.221 § 150.201 State enforcement. Except as provided in subpart C of this part, each State enforces PHS Act requirements with respect to health insurance issuers that issue, sell, renew, or offer health insurance coverage in the State. [ 64 FR 45795, Aug. 20, 1999, as amended at 78 FR 13440, Feb. 27, 2013] § 150.203 Circumstances requiring CMS enforcement. CMS enforces PHS Act requirement to the extent warranted (as determined by CMS) in any of the following circumstances: (a)Notification by State. A State notifies CMS that it has not enacted legislation to enforce or that it is not otherwise enforcing PHS Act requirements. (b)Determination by CMS. If CMS receives or obtains information that a State may not be substantially enforcing PHS Act requirements, it may initiate the process described in this subchapter to determine whether the State is failing to substantially enforce these requirements. (c)Special rule for guaranteed availability in the individual market. If a State has notified CMS that it is implementing an acceptable alternative mechanism in accordance with § 148.128 of this subchapter instead of complying with the guaranteed availability requirements of § 148.120, CMS's determination focuses on the following: (1) Whether the State's mechanism meets the requirements for an acceptable alternative mechanism. (2) Whether the State is implementing the acceptable alternative mechanism. (d)Consequence of a State not implementing an alternative mechanism. If a State is not implementing an acceptable alternative mechanism, CMS determines whether the State is substantially enforcing the requirements of §§ 148.101 through 148.126 and § 148.170 of this subchapter. [ 64 FR 45795, Aug. 20, 1999, as amended at 78 FR 13440, Feb. 27, 2013] § 150.205 Sources of information triggering an investigation of State enforcement. Information that may trigger an investigation of State enforcement includes, but is not limited to, any of the following: (a) A complaint received by CMS.
(b) Information learned during informal contact between CMS and State officials. (c) A report in the news media. (d) Information from the governors and commissioners of insurance of the various States regarding the status of their enforcement of PHS Act requirements. (e) Information obtained during periodic review of State health care legislation. CMS may review State health care and insurance legislation and regulations to determine whether they are: (1) Consistent with PHS Act requirements. (2) Not pre-empted as provided in § 146.143 (relating to group market provisions) and § 148.120 (relating to individual market requirements) on the basis that they prevent the application of a HIPAA requirement. (f) Any other information that indicates a possible failure to substantially enforce. [ 64 FR 45795, Aug. 20, 1999, as amended at 78 FR 13440, Feb. 27, 2013] § 150.207 Procedure for determining that a State fails to substantially enforce PHS Act requirements. Sections 150.209 through 150.219 describe the procedures CMS follows to determine whether a State is substantially enforcing PHS Act requirements. [ 64 FR 45795, Aug. 20, 1999, as amended at 78 FR 13440, Feb. 27, 2013] § 150.209 Verification of exhaustion of remedies and contact with State officials. If CMS receives a complaint or other information indicating that a State is failing to enforce PHS Act requirements, CMS assesses whether the affected individual or entity has made reasonable efforts to exhaust available State remedies. As part of its assessment, CMS may contact State officials regarding the questions raised. [ 64 FR 45795, Aug. 20, 1999, as amended at 78 FR 13440, Feb. 27, 2013] § 150.211 Notice to the State. If CMS is satisfied that there is a reasonable question whether there has been a failure to substantially enforce PHS Act requirements, CMS sends, in writing, the notice described in § 150.213 of this part, to the following State officials: (a) The governor or chief executive officer of the State.
(b) The insurance commissioner or chief insurance regulatory official. (c) If the alleged failure involves HMOs, the official responsible for regulating HMOs if different from the official listed in paragraph (b) of this section. [ 64 FR 45795, Aug. 20, 1999, as amended at 78 FR 13440, Feb. 27, 2013] § 150.213 Form and content of notice. The notice provided to the State is in writing and does the following: (a) Identifies the PHS Act requirement or requirements that have allegedly not been substantially enforced. (b) Describes the factual basis for the allegation of a failure or failures to enforce HIPAA requirements. (c) Explains that the consequence of a State's failure to substantially enforce PHS Act requirements is that CMS enforces them. (d) Advises the State that it has 30 days from the date of the notice to respond, unless the time for response is extended as described in § 150.215 of this subpart. The State's response should include any information that the State wishes CMS to consider in making the preliminary determination described in § 150.217. [ 64 FR 45795, Aug. 20, 1999, as amended at 78 FR 13440, Feb. 27, 2013] § 150.215 Extension for good cause. CMS may extend, for good cause, the time the State has for responding to the notice described in § 150.213 of this subpart. Examples of good cause include an agreement between CMS and the State that there should be a public hearing on the State's enforcement, or evidence that the State is undertaking expedited enforcement activities. § 150.217 Preliminary determination. If, at the end of the 30-day period (and any extension), the State has not established to CMS's satisfaction that it is substantially enforcing the PHS Act requirements described in the notice, CMS takes the following actions: (a) Consults with the appropriate State officials identified in § 150.211 (or their designees). (b) Notifies the State of CMS's preliminary determination that the State has failed to substantially enforce the requirements and that the failure is continuing.
(c) Permits the State a reasonable opportunity to show evidence of substantial enforcement. [ 64 FR 45795, Aug. 20, 1999, as amended at 78 FR 13440, Feb. 27, 2013] § 150.219 Final determination. If, after providing notice and a reasonable opportunity for the State to show that it has corrected any failure to substantially enforce, CMS finds that the failure to substantially enforce has not been corrected, it will send the State a written notice of its final determination. The notice includes the following: (a) Identification of the PHS Act requirements that CMS is enforcing. (b) The effective date of CMS's enforcement. [ 64 FR 45795, Aug. 20, 1999, as amended at 78 FR 13440, Feb. 27, 2013] § 150.221 Transition to State enforcement. (a) If CMS determines that a State for which it has assumed enforcement authority has enacted and implemented legislation to enforce PHS Act requirements and also determines that it is appropriate to return enforcement authority to the State, CMS will enter into discussions with State officials to ensure that a transition is effected with respect to the following: (1) Consumer complaints and inquiries. (2) Instructions to issuers. (3) Any other pertinent aspect of operations. (b) CMS may also negotiate a process to ensure that, to the extent practicable, and as permitted by law, its records documenting issuer compliance and other relevant areas of CMS's enforcement operations are made available for incorporation into the records of the State regulatory authority that will assume enforcement responsibility. [ 64 FR 45795, Aug. 20, 1999, as amended at 78 FR 13440, Feb. 27, 2013]