Regulation and Monitoring
Beyond simply enforcing Rhode Island law in individual cases, OHIC adds substance to the law by creating its own market regulations. Based on legislation passed by Rhode Island's legislature, these regulations provide more detail on each law's interpretation and implementation. When the legislature simply gives the commissioner authority to oversee a particular aspect of the health insurance market, regulations create clear, consistent standards for both OHIC and insurers to follow. And when a loophole or vague provision in a state law allows insurers to avoid particular requirements, OHIC can sometimes create or amend a regulation to fill in the gaps. These regulations then become a legally binding part of Rhode Island's regulatory system.
From requiring insurers to cover nicotine patches, to setting standards for the readability of health insurance forms, OHIC's regulations have a far-reaching impact on Rhode Island's consumers. Working on a larger scale, OHIC has also created regulations to enforce the Small Employer Health Insurance Availability Act and to set minimum standards for Medicare supplement insurance.
To keep the commissioner's office from becoming too powerful, however, the state sets limits on OHIC's authority. All regulations must arise from specific clauses of Rhode Island law, and the public has an opportunity to provide input before a regulation is adopted. To see how new regulations are created, please view the documents below.
The Process of Developing Regulations
To ensure transparency, OHIC releases all regulations and publicizes every stage of the regulation development process. The process begins when the health insurance commissioner writes a proposal for a regulation or an amendment to a regulation that's already on the books. OHIC then releases a letter announcing the proposed changes and inviting the public to comment. This letter may be referred to as a solicitation of public comment, a hearing notice, or simply a notice. When proposing an amendment, OHIC may also release a “redlined” version of the regulation with all potential changes marked.
Once the public has provided its input, OHIC continues the process by releasing a list of public comments. In its concise explanatory statement of the regulation, OHIC reiterates the intent of the new regulation or amendment and may also respond directly the concerns raised by the public. Finally, after making any changes to the proposal that he or she feels to be necessary, the commissioner signs the final regulation and it essentially becomes law.
Updates to Regulations
The State of Rhode Island is reorganizing regulations to a uniform code system. This chart will be updated as the regulations are reformatted. Questions or inquiries regarding this matter may be submitted to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Chapter/Sub Chapter||Part||New Citation||Form|
|20 - Insurance/ 30 - Health Insurance||4 - Powers and Duties of the Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner||230-RICR-20-30-4||n/a|
|20 - Insurance/ 30 - Health Insurance||5 - Standards for Readability of Health Insurance Forms||230-RICR-20-30-5||n/a|
|20 - Insurance/ 30 - Health Insurance||7 - Medicare Supplement Insurance Minimum Standards||230-RICR-20-50-7||OHIC Bulletin 2018-1|
|20 - Insurance/ 30 - Health Insurance||8 - Advertisements of Medicare Supplement Insurance||230-RICR-20-30-8||Guidelines|
|20 - Insurance/ 30 - Health Insurance||11 - Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements||230-RICR-20-30-11||
|20 - Insurance/ 30 - Health Insurance||12 - Tobacco Cessation Treatment Coverage||230-RICR-20-30-12||n/a|
|20 - Insurance/ 30 - Health Insurance||13 - Discount Medical Plan Organizations||230-RICR-20-30-13||Application|
Regulations 1, 4 and 10
Effective July 27, 2018 the following regulations have been repealed:
Regulation 4 - Declaratory Rulings and Petitions
Regulation 10 - Cafeteria Plans
Regulation 11 Small Employer Health Insurance Availability Regulation
This regulation is adopted to implement the provisions of Title 27, Chapter 50, the "Small Employer Health Insurance Availability Act" (the "Act") and replaces Regulation 82 of the Department of Business Regulation ("DBR Regulation 82"), which had been adopted by OHIC.
Regulation 17 Filing and Review of Health Insurance Plan Forms and Rates
Bulletins do not have the force and effect of law but are designed to place interested persons on notice of interpretations of statutes that are under the jurisdiction of the Office.