417.156 When the HMO must be offered to employees.§ 417.156 When the HMO must be offered to employees.
(a) General rules. (1) The employing entity or designee must offer eligible employees the option of enrollment in a qualified HMO at the earliest date permitted under the terms of existing agreements or contracts.
(2) If the HMO's request for inclusion in a health benefits plan is received at a time when existing contracts or agreements do not provide for inclusion, the employing entity must include the HMO option in the health benefits plan at the time that new agreements or contracts are offered or negotiated.
(b) Specific requirements. Unless mutually agreed otherwise, the following rules apply:
(1) Collective bargaining agreement. The employing entity or designee must raise the HMO's request during the collective bargaining process -
(i) When a new agreement is negotiated;
(ii) At the time prescribed, in an agreement with a fixed term of more than 1 year, for discussion of change in health benefits; or
(iii) In accordance with a specific process for review of HMO offers.
(2) Contracts. For employees not covered by a collective bargaining agreement, the employing entity or designee must include the HMO option in any health benefits plan offered to eligible employees when the existing contract is renewed or when a new health benefits contract or other arrangement is negotiated.
(i) If a contract has no fixed term or has a term in excess of 1 year, the contract must be treated as renewable on its earliest anniversary date.
(ii) If the employing entity or designee is self-insured, the budget year must be treated as the term of the existing contract.
(3) Multiple arrangements. In the case of a health benefits plan that includes multiple contracts or other arrangements with varying expiration or renewal dates, the employing entity must include the HMO option, in accordance with paragraphs (b)(1) and (b)(2) of this section, -
(i) At the time each contract or arrangement is renewed or reissued; or
(ii) The benefits provided under the contract or arrangement are offered to employees.[59 FR 49841, Sept. 30, 1994]