chap 38 referred to is for a law in the State of NJ, not the federal law....the section in question says: The rating system shall provide that the premium rate charged by the carrier for the highest rated individual or class of individuals shall not be greater than 350% of the premium rate charged for the lowest rated individual or class of individuals purchasing the same individual health benefits plan. The rate differential among the premium rates charged to individuals covered under the same individual health benefits plans shall be based on the actual or expected experience of persons covered under that plan; provided, however, that the rate differential may also be based upon age. The factors upon which the rate differential is applied shall be consistent with regulations promulgated by the commissioner, which shall include age classifications established, at a minimum, in five-year increments. There may be a reasonable differential among the premium rates charged for different family structure rating tiers within an individual health benefits plan or for different health benefits plans offered by the carrier.
The core of this is a limit of 3.5x between highest and lowest rates, and allows for age rating based on five year tiers. So a person who is 50 this year should see the same rates for the next five years, absent general rate increases.
Most states allow age banded rating tiers. Also, as people age they have more health problems, so if you are a for profit company, you want to link what you charge to the sections of your population of insureds who generate claims.
Retired -- 2001