(a) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, a long-term care insurance policy may not be delivered or issued for delivery in this state unless the policyholder or certificate holder has been offered the option of purchasing a policy or certificate including a nonforfeiture benefit. The offer of a nonforfeiture benefit may be in the form of a rider that is attached to the policy. In the event the policyholder or certificate holder declines the nonforfeiture benefit, the insurer shall provide a contingent benefit upon lapse that shall be available for a specified period of time following a substantial increase in premium rates.
(b) When a group long-term care insurance policy is issued, the offer required in subsection (a) of this section shall be made to the group policyholder. However, if the policy is issued as group long-term care insurance as defined in subdivision (4), subsection (e), section four of this article, other than to a continuing care retirement community or other similar entity, the offering shall be made to each proposed certificate holder.
(c) The commissioner may promulgate rules pursuant to chapter twenty-nine-a of this code specifying the type or types of nonforfeiture benefits to be offered as part of long-term care insurance policies and certificates, the standards for nonforfeiture benefits and the rules regarding contingent benefit upon lapse, including a determination of the specified period of time during which a contingent benefit upon lapse will be available and the substantial premium rate increase that triggers a contingent benefit upon lapse as described in subsection (a) of this section.