29 U.S. Code § 1185b - Required coverage for reconstructive surgery following mastectomies
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(a) In general
A group health plan, and a health insurance issuer providing health insurance coverage in connection with a group health plan, that provides medical and surgical benefits with respect to a mastectomy shall provide, in a case of a participant or beneficiary who is receiving benefits in connection with a mastectomy and who elects breast reconstruction in connection with such mastectomy, coverage for—
in a manner determined in consultation with the attending physician and the patient. Such coverage may be subject to annual deductibles and coinsurance provisions as may be deemed appropriate and as are consistent with those established for other benefits under the plan or coverage. Written notice of the availability of such coverage shall be delivered to the participant upon enrollment and annually thereafter.
A group health plan, and a health insurance issuer providing health insurance coverage in connection with a group health plan shall provide notice to each participant and beneficiary under such plan regarding the coverage required by this section in accordance with regulations promulgated by the Secretary. Such notice shall be in writing and prominently positioned in any literature or correspondence made available or distributed by the plan or issuer and shall be transmitted—
whichever is earlier.
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 a patient 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; and
(d) Rule of construction
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.
(e) Preemption, relation to State laws
(1) In general
Nothing in this section shall be construed to preempt any State law in effect on October 21, 1998, with respect to health insurance coverage that requires coverage of at least the coverage of reconstructive breast surgery otherwise required under this section.
Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect or modify the provisions of section 1144 of this title with respect to group health plans.
Source(Pub. L. 93–406, title I, § 713, as added Pub. L. 105–277, div. A, § 101(f) [title IX, § 902(a)], Oct. 21, 1998, 112 Stat. 2681–337, 2681–436.)
Pub. L. 105–277, div. A, § 101(f) [title IX, § 902(c)], Oct. 21, 1998, 112 Stat. 2681–337, 2681–438, provided that:
“(1) In general.—The amendments made by this section [enacting this section] shall apply with respect to plan years beginning on or after the date of enactment of this Act [Oct. 21, 1998].
“(2) Special rule for collective bargaining agreements.—In the case of a group health plan maintained pursuant to 1 or more collective bargaining agreements between employee representatives and 1 or more employers, any plan amendment made pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement relating to the plan which amends the plan solely to conform to any requirement added by this section shall not be treated as a termination of such collective bargaining agreement.”
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