§33-51-8. Licensure of pharmacy benefit managers.
(a) A person or organization may not establish or operate as a pharmacy benefits manager in the state of West Virginia without first obtaining a license from the Insurance Commissioner pursuant to this section: Provided, That a pharmacy benefit manager registered pursuant to §33-5-7 of this code may continue to do business in the state until the Insurance Commissioner has completed the legislative rule as set forth in §33-55-10 of this code: Provided, however, That additionally the pharmacy benefit manager shall submit an application within six months of completion of the final rule. The Insurance Commissioner shall make an application form available on its publicly accessible internet website that includes a request for the following information:
(1) The identity, address, and telephone number of the applicant;
(2) The name, business address, and telephone number of the contact person for the applicant;
(3) When applicable, the federal employer identification number for the applicant; and
(4) Any other information the Insurance Commissioner considers necessary and appropriate to establish the qualifications to receive a license as a pharmacy benefit manager to complete the licensure process, as set forth by legislative rule promulgated by the Insurance Commissioner pursuant to §33-51-10 of this code.
(b) Term and fee. —
(1) The term of licensure shall be two years from the date of issuance.
(2) The Insurance Commissioner shall determine the amount of the initial application fee and the renewal application fee for the registration. The fee shall be submitted by the applicant with an application for registration. An initial application fee is nonrefundable. A renewal application fee shall be returned if the renewal of the registration is not granted.
(3) The amount of the initial application fees and renewal application fees must be sufficient to fund the Insurance Commissioner’s duties in relation to his/her responsibilities under this section, but a single fee may not exceed $10,000.
(4) Each application for a license, and subsequent renewal for a license, shall be accompanied by evidence of financial responsibility in an amount of $1 million.
(c) Licensure. —
(1) The Insurance Commissioner shall propose legislative rules, in accordance with §33-51-10 of this code, establishing the licensing, fees, application, financial standards, and reporting requirements of pharmacy benefit managers.
(2) Upon receipt of a completed application, evidence of financial responsibility, and fee, the Insurance Commissioner shall make a review of each applicant and shall issue a license if the applicant is qualified in accordance with the provisions of this section and the rules promulgated by the Insurance Commissioner pursuant to this section. The commissioner may require additional information or submissions from an applicant and may obtain any documents or information reasonably necessary to verify the information contained in the application.
(3) The license may be in paper or electronic form, is nontransferable, and shall prominently list the expiration date of the license.
(d) Network adequacy. —
(1) A pharmacy benefit manager’s network shall be reasonably adequate, shall provide for convenient patient access to pharmacies within a reasonable distance from a patient’s residence and shall not be comprised only of mail-order benefits but must have a mix of mail-order benefits and physical stores in this state.
(2) A pharmacy benefit manager shall provide a pharmacy benefit manager’s network report describing the pharmacy benefit manager’s network and the mix of mail-order to physical stores in this state in a time and manner required by rule issued by the Insurance Commissioner pursuant to this section.
(3) Failure to provide a timely report may result in the suspension or revocation of a pharmacy benefit manager’s license by the Insurance Commissioner.
(e) Enforcement. —
(1) The Insurance Commissioner shall enforce this section and may examine or audit the books and records of a pharmacy benefit manager providing pharmacy benefits management to determine if the pharmacy benefit manager is in compliance with this section: Provided, That any information or data acquired during the examination or audit is considered proprietary and confidential and exempt from disclosure under the West Virginia Freedom of Information Act pursuant to §29B-1-4(a)(1) of this code.
(2) The Insurance Commissioner may propose rules for legislative approval in accordance with §29A-3-1 et seq. of this code regulating pharmacy benefit managers in a manner consistent with this chapter. Rules adopted pursuant to this section shall set forth penalties or fines, including, without limitation, monetary fines, suspension of licensure, and revocation of licensure for violations of this chapter and the rules adopted pursuant to this section.
(f) Applicability. —
This section is applicable to any contract or health benefit plan issued, renewed, recredentialed, amended, or extended on or after July 1, 2019.