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215 ILCS 124/10

    (215 ILCS 124/10)
    Sec. 10. Network adequacy.
    (a) An insurer providing a network plan shall file a description of all of the following with the Director:
        (1) The written policies and procedures for adding
    
providers to meet patient needs based on increases in the number of beneficiaries, changes in the patient-to-provider ratio, changes in medical and health care capabilities, and increased demand for services.
        (2) The written policies and procedures for making
    
referrals within and outside the network.
        (3) The written policies and procedures on how the
    
network plan will provide 24-hour, 7-day per week access to network-affiliated primary care, emergency services, and woman's principal health care providers.
    An insurer shall not prohibit a preferred provider from discussing any specific or all treatment options with beneficiaries irrespective of the insurer's position on those treatment options or from advocating on behalf of beneficiaries within the utilization review, grievance, or appeals processes established by the insurer in accordance with any rights or remedies available under applicable State or federal law.
    (b) Insurers must file for review a description of the services to be offered through a network plan. The description shall include all of the following:
        (1) A geographic map of the area proposed to be
    
served by the plan by county service area and zip code, including marked locations for preferred providers.
        (2) As deemed necessary by the Department, the names,
    
addresses, phone numbers, and specialties of the providers who have entered into preferred provider agreements under the network plan.
        (3) The number of beneficiaries anticipated to be
    
covered by the network plan.
        (4) An Internet website and toll-free telephone
    
number for beneficiaries and prospective beneficiaries to access current and accurate lists of preferred providers, additional information about the plan, as well as any other information required by Department rule.
        (5) A description of how health care services to be
    
rendered under the network plan are reasonably accessible and available to beneficiaries. The description shall address all of the following:
            (A) the type of health care services to be
        
provided by the network plan;
            (B) the ratio of physicians and other providers
        
to beneficiaries, by specialty and including primary care physicians and facility-based physicians when applicable under the contract, necessary to meet the health care needs and service demands of the currently enrolled population;
            (C) the travel and distance standards for plan
        
beneficiaries in county service areas; and
            (D) a description of how the use of
        
telemedicine, telehealth, or mobile care services may be used to partially meet the network adequacy standards, if applicable.
        (6) A provision ensuring that whenever a beneficiary
    
has made a good faith effort, as evidenced by accessing the provider directory, calling the network plan, and calling the provider, to utilize preferred providers for a covered service and it is determined the insurer does not have the appropriate preferred providers due to insufficient number, type, or unreasonable travel distance or delay, the insurer shall ensure, directly or indirectly, by terms contained in the payer contract, that the beneficiary will be provided the covered service at no greater cost to the beneficiary than if the service had been provided by a preferred provider. This paragraph (6) does not apply to: (A) a beneficiary who willfully chooses to access a non-preferred provider for health care services available through the panel of preferred providers, or (B) a beneficiary enrolled in a health maintenance organization. In these circumstances, the contractual requirements for non-preferred provider reimbursements shall apply unless Section 356z.3a of the Illinois Insurance Code requires otherwise. In no event shall a beneficiary who receives care at a participating health care facility be required to search for participating providers under the circumstances described in subsections (b) or (b-5) of Section 356z.3a of the Illinois Insurance Code except under the circumstances described in paragraph (2) of subsection (b-5).
        (7) A provision that the beneficiary shall receive
    
emergency care coverage such that payment for this coverage is not dependent upon whether the emergency services are performed by a preferred or non-preferred provider and the coverage shall be at the same benefit level as if the service or treatment had been rendered by a preferred provider. For purposes of this paragraph (7), "the same benefit level" means that the beneficiary is provided the covered service at no greater cost to the beneficiary than if the service had been provided by a preferred provider. This provision shall be consistent with Section 356z.3a of the Illinois Insurance Code.
        (8) A limitation that, if the plan provides that the
    
beneficiary will incur a penalty for failing to pre-certify inpatient hospital treatment, the penalty may not exceed $1,000 per occurrence in addition to the plan cost sharing provisions.
    (c) The network plan shall demonstrate to the Director a minimum ratio of providers to plan beneficiaries as required by the Department.
        (1) The ratio of physicians or other providers to
    
plan beneficiaries shall be established annually by the Department in consultation with the Department of Public Health based upon the guidance from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The Department shall not establish ratios for vision or dental providers who provide services under dental-specific or vision-specific benefits. The Department shall consider establishing ratios for the following physicians or other providers:
            (A) Primary Care;
            (B) Pediatrics;
            (C) Cardiology;
            (D) Gastroenterology;
            (E) General Surgery;
            (F) Neurology;
            (G) OB/GYN;
            (H) Oncology/Radiation;
            (I) Ophthalmology;
            (J) Urology;
            (K) Behavioral Health;
            (L) Allergy/Immunology;
            (M) Chiropractic;
            (N) Dermatology;
            (O) Endocrinology;
            (P) Ears, Nose, and Throat (ENT)/Otolaryngology;
            (Q) Infectious Disease;
            (R) Nephrology;
            (S) Neurosurgery;
            (T) Orthopedic Surgery;
            (U) Physiatry/Rehabilitative;
            (V) Plastic Surgery;
            (W) Pulmonary;
            (X) Rheumatology;
            (Y) Anesthesiology;
            (Z) Pain Medicine;
            (AA) Pediatric Specialty Services;
            (BB) Outpatient Dialysis; and
            (CC) HIV.
        (2) The Director shall establish a process for the
    
review of the adequacy of these standards, along with an assessment of additional specialties to be included in the list under this subsection (c).
    (d) The network plan shall demonstrate to the Director maximum travel and distance standards for plan beneficiaries, which shall be established annually by the Department in consultation with the Department of Public Health based upon the guidance from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. These standards shall consist of the maximum minutes or miles to be traveled by a plan beneficiary for each county type, such as large counties, metro counties, or rural counties as defined by Department rule.
    The maximum travel time and distance standards must include standards for each physician and other provider category listed for which ratios have been established.
    The Director shall establish a process for the review of the adequacy of these standards along with an assessment of additional specialties to be included in the list under this subsection (d).
    (d-5)(1) Every insurer shall ensure that beneficiaries have timely and proximate access to treatment for mental, emotional, nervous, or substance use disorders or conditions in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (4) of subsection (a) of Section 370c of the Illinois Insurance Code. Insurers shall use a comparable process, strategy, evidentiary standard, and other factors in the development and application of the network adequacy standards for timely and proximate access to treatment for mental, emotional, nervous, or substance use disorders or conditions and those for the access to treatment for medical and surgical conditions. As such, the network adequacy standards for timely and proximate access shall equally be applied to treatment facilities and providers for mental, emotional, nervous, or substance use disorders or conditions and specialists providing medical or surgical benefits pursuant to the parity requirements of Section 370c.1 of the Illinois Insurance Code and the federal Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the network adequacy standards for timely and proximate access to treatment for mental, emotional, nervous, or substance use disorders or conditions shall, at a minimum, satisfy the following requirements:
        (A) For beneficiaries residing in the metropolitan
    
counties of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will, network adequacy standards for timely and proximate access to treatment for mental, emotional, nervous, or substance use disorders or conditions means a beneficiary shall not have to travel longer than 30 minutes or 30 miles from the beneficiary's residence to receive outpatient treatment for mental, emotional, nervous, or substance use disorders or conditions. Beneficiaries shall not be required to wait longer than 10 business days between requesting an initial appointment and being seen by the facility or provider of mental, emotional, nervous, or substance use disorders or conditions for outpatient treatment or to wait longer than 20 business days between requesting a repeat or follow-up appointment and being seen by the facility or provider of mental, emotional, nervous, or substance use disorders or conditions for outpatient treatment; however, subject to the protections of paragraph (3) of this subsection, a network plan shall not be held responsible if the beneficiary or provider voluntarily chooses to schedule an appointment outside of these required time frames.
        (B) For beneficiaries residing in Illinois
    
counties other than those counties listed in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, network adequacy standards for timely and proximate access to treatment for mental, emotional, nervous, or substance use disorders or conditions means a beneficiary shall not have to travel longer than 60 minutes or 60 miles from the beneficiary's residence to receive outpatient treatment for mental, emotional, nervous, or substance use disorders or conditions. Beneficiaries shall not be required to wait longer than 10 business days between requesting an initial appointment and being seen by the facility or provider of mental, emotional, nervous, or substance use disorders or conditions for outpatient treatment or to wait longer than 20 business days between requesting a repeat or follow-up appointment and being seen by the facility or provider of mental, emotional, nervous, or substance use disorders or conditions for outpatient treatment; however, subject to the protections of paragraph (3) of this subsection, a network plan shall not be held responsible if the beneficiary or provider voluntarily chooses to schedule an appointment outside of these required time frames.
    (2) For beneficiaries residing in all Illinois counties, network adequacy standards for timely and proximate access to treatment for mental, emotional, nervous, or substance use disorders or conditions means a beneficiary shall not have to travel longer than 60 minutes or 60 miles from the beneficiary's residence to receive inpatient or residential treatment for mental, emotional, nervous, or substance use disorders or conditions.
    (3) If there is no in-network facility or provider available for a beneficiary to receive timely and proximate access to treatment for mental, emotional, nervous, or substance use disorders or conditions in accordance with the network adequacy standards outlined in this subsection, the insurer shall provide necessary exceptions to its network to ensure admission and treatment with a provider or at a treatment facility in accordance with the network adequacy standards in this subsection.
    (e) Except for network plans solely offered as a group health plan, these ratio and time and distance standards apply to the lowest cost-sharing tier of any tiered network.
    (f) The network plan may consider use of other health care service delivery options, such as telemedicine or telehealth, mobile clinics, and centers of excellence, or other ways of delivering care to partially meet the requirements set under this Section.
    (g) Except for the requirements set forth in subsection (d-5), insurers who are not able to comply with the provider ratios and time and distance standards established by the Department may request an exception to these requirements from the Department. The Department may grant an exception in the following circumstances:
        (1) if no providers or facilities meet the specific
    
time and distance standard in a specific service area and the insurer (i) discloses information on the distance and travel time points that beneficiaries would have to travel beyond the required criterion to reach the next closest contracted provider outside of the service area and (ii) provides contact information, including names, addresses, and phone numbers for the next closest contracted provider or facility;
        (2) if patterns of care in the service area do not
    
support the need for the requested number of provider or facility type and the insurer provides data on local patterns of care, such as claims data, referral patterns, or local provider interviews, indicating where the beneficiaries currently seek this type of care or where the physicians currently refer beneficiaries, or both; or
        (3) other circumstances deemed appropriate by the
    
Department consistent with the requirements of this Act.
    (h) Insurers are required to report to the Director any material change to an approved network plan within 15 days after the change occurs and any change that would result in failure to meet the requirements of this Act. Upon notice from the insurer, the Director shall reevaluate the network plan's compliance with the network adequacy and transparency standards of this Act.
(Source: P.A. 102-144, eff. 1-1-22; 102-901, eff. 7-1-22.)