(a) No domestic, foreign or alien society licensed in this state shall issue or deliver in this state any certificate or other evidence of any contract of accident and sickness insurance unless and until the form thereof, together with the form of application and all riders or endorsements for use in connection therewith, shall have been filed with the commissioner and approved by him or her as conforming to reasonable rules from time to time in effect and as not inconsistent with any other provisions of law applicable thereto. The commissioner shall, within a reasonable time after the filing of any form, notify the society filing the form of the approval or disapproval of the form. The commissioner may in his or her discretion approve any form which contains provisions more favorable to the members than the ones required.
(b) Pursuant to chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, the commissioner may promulgate rules necessary to implement the provisions of this section, and such rules shall conform, as far as practicable, to the provisions of article fifteen (Accident and Sickness Insurance) and article sixteen (Group Accident and Sickness Insurance) of this chapter.
(1) For any certificate or other evidence of coverage issued before July 1, 1997, and for any certificate or other evidence of coverage under a health benefit plan issued on or after July 1, 1997, other than in connection with a group health plan, where the commissioner deems inapplicable, either in part or in their entirety, the provisions of articles fifteen or sixteen of this chapter, the commissioner may prescribe the portions or summary thereof of the contract to be printed on the certificate issued to the member. For purposes of this subsection, the terms "group health plan" and "health benefit plan" have the meanings set forth in section one-a, article sixteen of this chapter.
(2) For any certificate or other evidence of individual coverage issued or renewed on or after July 1, 1997, the society shall comply with all provisions of article fifteen of this chapter. For any certificate or other evidence of coverage under a health benefit plan issued in connection with a group health plan on or after July 1, 1997, the society shall comply with all provisions of article sixteen of this chapter, and for a health benefit plan issued to a small employer, as defined in section two, article sixteen-d of this chapter, with all provisions of article sixteen-d of this chapter.
(c) Any filing made hereunder shall be deemed approved unless disapproved within sixty days from the date of such filing.