(a) Requirements for minimum hospital stay following birth
(1) In general
A group health plan, and a health insurance issuer offering group health insurance coverage, may not—
(A)except as provided in paragraph (2)—
(i)restrict benefits for any hospital length of stay in connection with childbirth for the mother or newborn child, following a normal vaginal delivery, to less than 48 hours, or
(ii)restrict benefits for any hospital length of stay in connection with childbirth for the mother or newborn child, following a cesarean section, to less than 96 hours; or
(B)require that a provider obtain authorization from the plan or the issuer for prescribing any length of stay required under subparagraph (A) (without regard to paragraph (2)).
Paragraph (1)(A) shall not apply in connection with any group health plan or health insurance issuer in any case in which the decision to discharge the mother or her newborn child prior to the expiration of the minimum length of stay otherwise required under paragraph (1)(A) is made by an attending provider in consultation with the mother.
A group health plan, and a health insurance issuer offering group health insurance coverage in connection with a group health plan, may not—
(1)deny to the mother or her newborn child eligibility, or continued eligibility, to enroll or to renew coverage under the terms of the plan, solely for the purpose of avoiding the requirements of this section;
(2)provide monetary payments or rebates to mothers to encourage such mothers to accept less than the minimum protections available under this section;
(3)penalize or otherwise reduce or limit the reimbursement of an attending provider because such provider provided care to an individual participant or beneficiary in accordance with this section;
(4)provide incentives (monetary or otherwise) to an attending provider to induce such provider to provide care to an individual participant or beneficiary in a manner inconsistent with this section; or
(5)subject to subsection (c)(3) of this section, restrict benefits for any portion of a period within a hospital length of stay required under subsection (a) of this section in a manner which is less favorable than the benefits provided for any preceding portion of such stay.
(c) Rules of construction
(1)Nothing in this section shall be construed to require a mother who is a participant or beneficiary—
(A)to give birth in a hospital; or
(B)to stay in the hospital for a fixed period of time following the birth of her child.
(2)This section shall not apply with respect to any group health plan, or any group health insurance coverage offered by a health insurance issuer, which does not provide benefits for hospital lengths of stay in connection with childbirth for a mother or her newborn child.
(3)Nothing in this section shall be construed as preventing a group health plan or issuer from imposing deductibles, coinsurance, or other cost-sharing in relation to benefits for hospital lengths of stay in connection with childbirth for a mother or newborn child under the plan (or under health insurance coverage offered in connection with a group health plan), except that such coinsurance or other cost-sharing for any portion of a period within a hospital length of stay required under subsection (a) of this section may not be greater than such coinsurance or cost-sharing for any preceding portion of such stay.
(d) Notice under group health plan
The imposition of the requirements of this section shall be treated as a material modification in the terms of the plan described in section
1022(a)(1) of this title, for purposes of assuring notice of such requirements under the plan; except that the summary description required to be provided under the last sentence of section
1024(b)(1) of this title with respect to such modification shall be provided by not later than 60 days after the first day of the first plan year in which such requirements apply.
(e) Level and type of reimbursements
Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent a group health plan or a health insurance issuer offering group health insurance coverage from negotiating the level and type of reimbursement with a provider for care provided in accordance with this section.
(f) Preemption; exception for health insurance coverage in certain States
(1) In general
The requirements of this section shall not apply with respect to health insurance coverage if there is a State law (as defined in section
1191(d)(1) of this title) for a State that regulates such coverage that is described in any of the following subparagraphs:
(A)Such State law requires such coverage to provide for at least a 48-hour hospital length of stay following a normal vaginal delivery and at least a 96-hour hospital length of stay following a cesarean section.
(B)Such State law requires such coverage to provide for maternity and pediatric care in accordance with guidelines established by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Academy of Pediatrics, or other established professional medical associations.
(C)Such State law requires, in connection with such coverage for maternity care, that the hospital length of stay for such care is left to the decision of (or required to be made by) the attending provider in consultation with the mother.
1191(a)(1) of this title shall not be construed as superseding a State law described in paragraph (1).
Section applicable with respect to group health plans for plan years beginning on and after Jan. 1, 1998, see section 603(c) ofPub. L. 104–204, set out as an Effective Date of 1996 Amendment note under section
1003 of this title.
The table below lists the classification updates, since Jan. 3, 2012, for this section. Updates to a broader range of sections may be found at the update page for containing chapter, title, etc.
The most recent Classification Table update that we have noticed was Tuesday, August 13, 2013
An empty table indicates that we see no relevant changes listed in the classification tables. If you suspect that our system may be missing something, please double-check with the Office of the Law Revision Counsel.