Understanding the Uniform Individual Accident and Sickness Policy Provisions Act
article-551

Understanding the Uniform Individual Accident and Sickness Policy Provisions Act

Health insurance policies incorporate Uniform Policy Provisions, consisting of 12 mandatory and 11 optional clauses utilized by insurance companies. Each state has developed its own laws dictating uniform individual accident and sickness coverage, specifying the required and optional provisions for such policies.

Basics

The Uniform Individual Accident and Sickness Policy Provisions Act is a law that has been enacted by all U.S. states. It mandates specific provisions that must be included in individual health insurance policies to ensure their validity.

Detailed Look

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), a non-governmental organization consisting of insurance commissioners from every state and territory, crafted legislation to set a quality standard and ensure sufficient coverage in health insurance policies. This legislation mandates the inclusion of specific provisions in all policies. While the NAIC is not a regulator, insurance markets are regulated independently at the state level.

Mandatory Provisions

The 12 mandatory provisions encompass the rights and obligations of both the insurer and the insured. The insurer's responsibilities include incorporating all relevant information in the original policy or official amendments, establishing a grace period for delinquent premium payments, and providing guidelines for reinstating a policyholder who misses the grace period. On the other hand, the policyholder's duties consist of promptly notifying the insurer about a claim within 20 days of a loss, furnishing evidence of the extent of the loss, and updating beneficiary details when changes occur.

Optional Provisions

After the mandatory provisions, insurers can choose from 11 optional clauses to include in a policy. The policyholder and insurer negotiate which optional provisions are added, with the insurer having the final say. These optional clauses often place more responsibility on the insured, such as reporting changes in income or occupation. Misrepresentations regarding age, illegal substance use, or illegal occupations can impact the insured's ability to claim benefits covered by the policy.

Conclusion

The Uniform Individual Accident and Sickness Policy Provisions Act sets standards for individual health insurance policies in the United States. It mandates 12 mandatory provisions and 11 optional clauses, which ensure a quality standard and sufficient coverage. Insurers and policyholders should be aware of these provisions to ensure the validity of their policies and to avoid any issues when filing claims.

Uniform Individual Accident and Sickness Policy Provisions Act
National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC)
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