39. No person may establish or maintain in force an employee benefit plan including coverage for accident, illness or disability for a group of persons referred to in section 16 unless, for the period of application of the plan, coverage at least equal to the coverage under the basic plan is provided to the group under the clauses of
(1) the employee benefit plan;
(2) an employee benefit plan otherwise binding the plan administrator; or
(3) a group insurance contract binding the plan administrator.
In addition, plan administrators must, as regards basic plan coverage, accept the membership of every eligible person 65 years of age or over who applies for membership and of every eligible person required to become a member of such a plan pursuant to section 16, on payment of the applicable contribution.
Such plan administrators 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 plan administrator” in subparagraph 2 of the first paragraph and
the words “binding the plan administrator” in subparagraph 3 of the first paragraph.
The above provisions will come into force on the date or dates to be fixed by the Government (1996, c. 32, s. 119).