Code of the District of Columbia

§ 31–3508. Filing of subscriber contract forms and rates.

(a) Contract form filings. —

(1) The form and content of all subscriber contracts between corporation and its contractholders issued in the District of Columbia, including any group certificates and any riders, endorsements, amendments, or other forms made a part of the subscriber contract, shall, at all times, be subject to the prior approval of the Mayor.

(2) The Mayor shall disapprove a proposed form of subscriber contract if the form contains provisions which are unjust, unfair, inequitable, inadequate, misleading, or deceptive, which encourage misrepresentation of the coverage, or which are otherwise not in compliance with applicable provisions of this chapter.

(3) Each subscriber contract, group certificate, or other contract form shall plainly state the services, benefits, and indemnification to which the subscriber is entitled as well as the services, benefits, and indemnification to which the subscriber is not entitled.

(4) Each proposed form of a subscriber contract shall be on file for a waiting period of 60 days before it becomes effective. When, in the Mayor’s opinion, a filing is not accompanied by the information needed to support it and the Mayor does not have sufficient information to determine whether the filing meets the requirements of this section, a corporation shall be required to furnish the needed information. In such event the waiting period shall be suspended and shall recommence as of the date the information is furnished. Upon written application by the corporation, the Mayor may authorize a filing which the Mayor has reviewed to become effective before the expiration of the waiting period or any extension thereof, or at any later date. A filing shall be deemed approved unless disapproved by the Mayor within the waiting period or any extension thereof requested by the corporation.

(b) Rate filings for individual subscriber contracts. — All rates for individual subscriber contracts issued in the District of Columbia shall be subject to the prior approval of the Mayor. Each proposed rate filing shall be on file for a waiting period of 60 days before it becomes effective. When, in the Mayor’s opinion, a rate filing is not accompanied by the information needed to support it and the Mayor does not have sufficient information to determine whether the rate filing meets the requirements of this section, a corporation shall be required to furnish the needed information. In such event, the waiting period shall be suspended and shall recommence as of the date the information is furnished. Upon written application by the corporation, the Mayor may authorize a rate filing which the Mayor has reviewed to become effective before the expiration of the waiting period or any extension thereof. A filing shall be deemed approved unless disapproved by the Mayor within the waiting period or any extension thereof requested by the corporation. All approved rate filings for individual subscriber contracts submitted in other jurisdictions shall be filed with the Mayor for information purposes only.

(c) Rate filings for group subscriber contracts. — All rates for group subscriber contracts, other than experience rated groups, issued in the District of Columbia shall be filed with the Mayor no later than the date on which a corporation proposes to make such rates effective. The rate filing shall be subject to review and disapproval by the Mayor for a period of 60 days after the filing date. If not disapproved before the expiration of the review period or any extension thereof requested by the corporation, the filing shall be deemed approved. Any disapproval under this subsection shall be applied retrospectively to the date the corporation made such rates effective. Upon application by the corporation, the Mayor may affirmatively approve a filing prior to the end of the review period. All approved rate filings for group subscriber contracts, other than experience rated groups, submitted in other jurisdictions shall be filed with the Mayor for information purposes only.

(d) Contract form and rate filings generally. —

(1) Application for approval shall be made to the Mayor in the format, and with the information, that the Mayor requires.

(2) The Mayor may, at any time, require any corporation issued a certificate of authority under this chapter to demonstrate that its filings, including the terms and provisions of its subscriber contract forms, its rates, and its method for setting rates, are in compliance with this section, notwithstanding that the filings then in effect had previously been approved by the Mayor. Any subscriber contract forms and rates previously approved by the Mayor, but subsequently disapproved under this section, shall be considered disapproved on a prospective basis only from the date of such notice of disapproval, unless the corporation made a material misrepresentation in its contract form or rate filings.

(3) If at any time subsequent to the applicable waiting or review period provided for in this section, the Mayor finds that a filing does not meet the requirements of this section, the Mayor shall issue an order to the filer specifying in what respects the Mayor finds that the filing fails to meet the requirements of this section, and stating when, within a reasonable period thereafter, the filing shall be no longer effective. The order shall not affect any subscriber contract, group certificate, or other contract made or issued prior to the expiration of the period set forth in the order. However, the Mayor may, prior to issuing the order and if requested by the filer, hold a hearing upon not less than 10 days written notice to the filer specifying the matters to be considered at the hearing.

(e) Rate filings generally. —

(1) Rate filings shall be inclusive of all rates, rating plans, and other documents utilized by a corporation to determine rates.

(2) Rates shall not be excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory in relation to the services and benefits offered.

(3) In determining whether to disapprove a rate filing, the Mayor shall give due consideration to past and prospective loss experience within and outside the District of Columbia, to underwriting practice and judgment to the extent appropriate, to a reasonable margin for surplus needs, to past and prospective expenses both nationwide and within the District of Columbia, and to all other relevant factors within and outside the District of Columbia. In establishing the rates to be charged individuals with open enrollment subscriber contracts, including individual conversion subscriber contracts, the revenue which would have been otherwise collected by the District of Columbia government through the imposition of the 1% premium tax pursuant to § 31-3514(j), but which a corporation has contributed to a Rate Stabilization Fund in accordance with § 31-3514(j)(1), shall be credited by the corporation to the benefit of this class of subscribers in an amount which assures competitive rates.

(4) A corporation filing a rate pursuant to this section shall also comply with the Reasonable Health Insurance Ratemaking Reform Act of 2010 [D.C. Law 18-360].

(f) Transition provision for contract forms and rates. —

(1) As to any corporation heretofore existing and operating on April 9, 1997, and subject to § 31-3523, all subscriber contracts, group certificates, and other contracts issued in the District of Columbia after April 9, 1997, shall be on forms that have been filed and approved under this chapter. The requirement of this section shall not affect the validity of subscriber contracts, group certificates, and other contracts issued in the District of Columbia by such a corporation which are outstanding on April 9, 1997, and have not previously been filed with and approved by the Mayor, but these contracts shall be replaced, at the next contract anniversary date following April 9, 1997, by forms filed and approved under this chapter.

(2) As to any corporation heretofore existing and operating on April 9, 1997, and subject to § 31-3523, all rates applied to subscriber contracts after April 9, 1997 shall be such rates as have been filed and approved under this chapter. The requirements of this section shall not affect the validity of rates applied to subscriber contracts issued by such a corporation which are outstanding on April 9, 1997, and have not previously been filed with and approved by the Mayor, but these rates shall be replaced, at the next contract anniversary date following April 9, 1997, by rates filed and approved under this chapter.

(g) A corporation whose proposed form of subscriber contract or proposed contract rate has been disapproved by the Mayor may contest the Mayor’s action in accordance with the procedures of § 31-3522.


(Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-245, § 9, 44 DCR 1158; Apr. 8, 2011, D.C. Law 18-360, § 503(b), 58 DCR 896.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 35-4708.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 31-3505, § 31-3506, and § 31-3514.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 18-360 added subsec. (e)(4).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 3 of Reasonable Health Insurance Premium Increase Emergency Amendment Act of 2010 (D.C. Act 18-328, March 18, 2010, 57 DCR 2546).