Section 27-54-4

Illnesses covered; requirements of benefit plans, etc.

(a) All group health benefit plans shall offer to provide, at a minimum, additional benefits according to this chapter for a person receiving medical treatment for any of the following mental illnesses diagnosed by an appropriately licensed provider.

(1) Schizophrenia, schizophrenia form disorder, schizo affective disorder.

(2) Bipolar disorder.

(3) Panic disorder.

(4) Obsessive-compulsive disorder.

(5) Major depressive disorder.

(6) Anxiety disorders.

(7) Mood disorders.

(8) Any condition or disorder involving mental illness, excluding alcohol and substance abuse, that falls under any of the diagnostic categories listed in the mental disorders section of the International Classification of Disease, as periodically revised.

(b) All group health benefit plans, policies, contracts, and certificates executed, delivered, issued for delivery, continue, or renewed in this state on or after January 1, 2001, shall offer, at the time of proposal, sale, or renewal of a policy subject to this chapter, to provide additional mental health benefits which meet the requirements of this chapter. For purposes of this subsection, all contracts are deemed renewed no later than the next yearly anniversary of the contract date.

(1) The group health benefit plan shall offer to provide benefits for the treatment and diagnosis of mental illnesses under terms and conditions that are no less extensive than the benefits provided for medical treatment for physical illnesses.

(2) At the request of a reimbursing group health benefit plan, a provider of medical treatment for mental illness shall furnish data substantiating that initial or continued treatment is medically necessary and appropriate. When making the determination of whether treatment is medically necessary and appropriate, the insurer or other issuer of the group health benefit plan shall use the same criteria for medical treatment for mental illness as for medical treatment for physical illness under the contract.

(3) This chapter does not apply to group health benefit plans covering employers with 50 or fewer employees, whether the group policy is issued to the employer, to an association, to a multiple-employer trust, or to another entity.

(4) This chapter does not require and shall not be construed to require coverage and benefits for the treatment of alcoholism and other drug dependencies through the diagnosis of a mental illness listed in subsection (a).

(5) This chapter does not require and shall not be construed to require the coverage of services of providers who are not designated as covered providers, or who are not selected as a participating provider, by a group health benefit plan or issuer having a participating network of service providers. Provided, however, reasonable effort shall be made to include a sufficient number of qualified providers to insure reasonable access to services.

(6) Insurers and other issuers of limited or restricted mental health provider networks shall continue to be able to establish and apply selection criteria and utilization protocols for mental health providers including the designation of types of providers for which coverage is provided as well as credentialing criteria used in the selection of providers.

(7) Provided further, employer sponsors of group health benefit plans are not required to purchase additional coverage for mental health services that are offered pursuant to this chapter.

(Act 2000-386, p. 605, §5.)