Section 47C: Dependent coverage for newborn infants or adoptive children; inclusion in policies of accident and sickness insurance
Section 47C. Any blanket or general policy of insurance described in subdivision (A), (C), or (D) of section one hundred and ten which provides hospital expense and surgical expense insurance, which provides for dependent coverage, and which is delivered or issued for delivery or subsequently renewed by agreement between the insurer and the policyholder, within or without the commonwealth, or any policy of accident and sickness insurance as described in section one hundred and eight which provides hospital expense and surgical expense insurance, which provides for dependent coverage, and which is delivered or issued for delivery or subsequently renewed by agreement between the insurer and the policyholder in the commonwealth, or any employees' health and welfare fund which provides hospital expense and surgical expense benefits, which provides for dependent coverage, and which is issued or renewed to any person or group of persons in the commonwealth shall include as insured members of the blanket general policy, policy of accident and sickness, or fund, newborn infants and newborn infants of a dependent of a policyholder domiciled in the commonwealth or a beneficiary domiciled in the commonwealth of a fund immediately from the moment of birth and thereafter. Any such policy shall also include as insured members of the blanket general policy, policy of accident or sickness, or fund, adoptive children of a policyholder domiciled in the commonwealth or beneficiary of a fund domiciled in the commonwealth immediately from the date of the filing of a petition to adopt under chapter two hundred and ten and thereafter if the child has been residing in the home of the policyholder or beneficiary as a foster child for whom the holder or beneficiary has been receiving foster care payments, or, in all other cases, immediately from the date of placement by a licensed placement agency of the child for purposes of adoption in the home of a policyholder or beneficiary and thereafter. The coverage for newly born infants and adoptive children shall consist of coverage of injury or sickness including the necessary care and treatment of medically diagnosed congenital defects and birth abnormalities, or premature birth. Such coverage shall also include those special medical formulas which are approved by the commissioner of the department of public health, prescribed by a physician, and are medically necessary for treatment of phenylketonuria, tyrosinemia, homocystinuria, maple syrup urine disease, propionic acidemia, or methylmalonic acidemia in infants and children or medically necessary to protect the unborn fetuses of pregnant women with phenylketonuria. Such coverage shall also include screening for lead poisoning as required by the regulations promulgated pursuant to section one hundred and ninety-three of chapter one hundred and eleven. If payment of a specific premium is required to provide coverage for a child, the policy or contract may require that notification of birth of a newly born child or of filing of a petition to adopt a foster child or of placement of a child for purposes of adoption and payment of the required premium must be furnished to the insurer or indemnity corporation. For the purposes of this section ''notification'' may mean submission of a claim.
Any policy of insurance or any employers' health and welfare fund, as described in this section, shall provide in addition to the coverage described in the preceding paragraph benefits for expense of residents of the commonwealth covered under such policy or fund, for the provision of preventive and primary care services for children. For the purposes of this paragraph preventive care services shall mean services rendered to a dependent child of an insured from the date of birth through the attainment of six years of age and shall include physical examination, history, measurements, sensory screening, neuropsychiatric evaluation and development screening, and assessment at the following intervals: six times during the child's first year after birth, three times during the next year, annually until age six. Such services shall also include hereditary and metabolic screening at birth, appropriate immunizations, and tuberculin tests, hematrocrit, hemoglobin or other appropriate blood tests, and urinalysis as recommended by the physician.
The dependent coverage of any such policy shall also provide coverage for medically necessary early intervention services delivered by certified early intervention specialists, as defined in the early intervention operational standards by the department of public health and in accordance with applicable certification requirements. Such medically necessary services shall be provided by early intervention specialists who are working in early intervention programs certified by the department of public health, as provided in sections 1 and 2 of chapter 111G, for children from birth until their third birthday. Reimbursement of costs for such services shall be part of a basic benefits package offered by the insurer or a third party and shall not require co-payments, coinsurance or deductibles; provided, however, that co-payments, coinsurance or deductibles shall be required if the applicable plan is governed by the Federal Internal Revenue Code and would lose its tax-exempt status as a result of the prohibition on co-payments, coinsurance or deductibles for these services.
In addition to such benefits, said policy shall provide coverage for the cost of a newborn hearing screening test to be performed before the newborn infant is discharged from the hospital or birthing center to the care of the parent or guardian or as provided by regulations of the department of public health. Nothing contained in this paragraph shall be construed to abrogate any obligation to provide coverage for a hearing screening test or any other hearing screening test or audiological diagnostic procedure pursuant to any law or regulation of the commonwealth or of the United States or under the terms or provisions of any policy or contract.