38. No insurer may, in transacting insurance of persons, conclude or maintain in force a group insurance contract including coverage for accident, illness or disability for a group of persons referred to in section 16 unless, for the duration of the contract, coverage at least equal to the coverage under the basic plan is provided to the group under the clauses of
(1) the contract;
(2) a group insurance contract otherwise binding the policy-holder; or
(3) an employee benefit plan administered by or on behalf of the policy-holder.
In addition, insurers must accept the membership of every eligible person 65 years of age or over who applies therefor and of every eligible person required to become a member of such a contract pursuant to section 16, as regards basic plan coverage, on payment of the applicable premium.
Such insurers must also provide coverage to the persons to whom an eligible person referred to in the second paragraph is required, under section 18, to ensure that coverage is provided.
The following provisions are not in force:
The words “otherwise binding the policy-holder” in subparagraph 2 of the first paragraph and
the words “administered by or on behalf of the policy-holder” in subparagraph 3 of the same paragraph.
The above provisions will come into force on the date or dates to be fixed by the Government (1996, c. 32, s. 119).