Section 8A. (a) A contract between a subscriber and the corporation under an individual or group hospital service plan which is issued or renewed within or without the commonwealth shall provide mental health benefits on a nondiscriminatory basis to residents of the commonwealth and to all individual subscribers and members and group members having a principal place of employment in the commonwealth for the diagnosis and treatment of the following biologically-based mental disorders, as described in the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association, referred to in this section as the DSM: (1) schizophrenia; (2) schizoaffective disorder; (3) major depressive disorder; (4) bipolar disorder; (5) paranoia and other psychotic disorders; (6) obsessive-compulsive disorder; (7) panic disorder; (8) delirium and dementia; (9) affective disorders; (10) eating disorders; (11) post traumatic stress disorder; (12) substance abuse disorders; and (13) autism.
A contract between a subscriber and the corporation under an individual or group hospital service plan which is issued or renewed within or without the commonwealth shall provide mental health benefits on a nondiscriminatory basis to residents of the commonwealth and to all individual subscribers and members and group members having a principal place of employment in the commonwealth for the diagnosis and medically necessary and active treatment of any mental disorder, as described in the most recent edition of the DSM, that is approved by the commissioner of mental health.
(b) In addition to the mental health benefits established pursuant to this section, any such contract shall also provide benefits on a non-discriminatory basis for the diagnosis and treatment of rape-related mental or emotional disorders to victims of a rape or victims of an assault with intent to commit rape, as defined by sections 22 and 24 of chapter 265, whenever the costs of such diagnosis and treatment exceed the maximum compensation awarded to such victims pursuant to subparagraph (C) of paragraph (2) of subsection (b) of section 3 of chapter 258C.
(c) In addition to the mental health benefits established pursuant to this section, any such contract shall also provide benefits on a non-discriminatory basis for children and adolescents under the age of 19 for the diagnosis and treatment of non-biologically-based mental, behavioral or emotional disorders, as described in the most recent edition of the DSM, which substantially interfere with or substantially limit the functioning and social interactions of such a child or adolescent; provided, that said interference or limitation is documented by and the referral for said diagnosis and treatment is made by the primary care provider, primary pediatrician or a licensed mental health professional of such a child or adolescent or is evidenced by conduct, including, but not limited to: (1) an inability to attend school as a result of such a disorder, (2) the need to hospitalize the child or adolescent as a result of such a disorder, or (3) a pattern of conduct or behavior caused by such a disorder which poses a serious danger to self or others. The nonprofit hospital service corporation shall continue to provide such benefits to any adolescent who is engaged in an ongoing course of treatment beyond the adolescent’s nineteenth birthday until said course of treatment, as specified in said adolescent’s treatment plan, is completed and while the benefit contract under which such benefits first became available remains in effect, or subject to a subsequent benefits contract which is in effect.
For the purposes of this subsection, the term “primary care provider” shall mean a health care professional qualified to provide general medical care for common health care problems who; (1) supervises, coordinates, prescribes, or otherwise provides or proposes health care services; (2) initiates referrals for specialist care; and (3) maintains continuity of care within the scope of practice.
(d) Any such contract shall be deemed to be providing such coverage on a non-discriminatory basis if the contract does not contain any annual or lifetime dollar or unit of service limitation on benefits for the diagnosis and treatment of said mental disorders which is less than any annual or lifetime dollar or unit of service limitation imposed on benefits for the diagnosis and treatment of physical conditions.
(e) Any such contract shall also provide medically necessary benefits for the diagnosis and treatment of all other mental disorders not otherwise provided for in this section and which are described in the most recent edition of the DSM during each 12 month period for a minimum of 60 days of inpatient treatment and for a minimum of 24 outpatient visits.
[There is no subsection (f).]
(g) Benefits authorized pursuant to this section shall consist of a range of inpatient, intermediate, and outpatient services that shall permit medically necessary and active and noncustodial treatment for said mental disorders to take place in the least restrictive clinically appropriate setting. For purposes of this section, inpatient services may be provided in a general hospital licensed to provide such services, in a facility under the direction and supervision of the department of mental health, in a private mental hospital licensed by the department of mental health, or in a substance abuse facility licensed by the department of public health. Intermediate services shall include, but not be limited to, Level III community-based detoxification, acute residential treatment, partial hospitalization, day treatment and crisis stabilization licensed or approved by the department of public health or the department of mental health. Outpatient services may be provided in a licensed hospital, a mental health or substance abuse clinic licensed by the department of public health, a public community mental health center, a professional office, or home-based services, provided, however, services delivered in such offices or settings are rendered by a licensed mental health professional acting within the scope of his license.
(h) A nonprofit hospital service corporation may, as a condition of providing coverage pursuant to this section, require consent to the disclosure of information regarding services for mental disorders only to the same or similar extent in which it requires consent for the disclosure of information for other medical conditions. Only licensed mental health professionals shall be allowed to deny services mandated by this section. The provisions of this subsection shall not be construed as applying to denials of service resulting from an insured’s lack of insurance coverage or the use of a facility or professional which, if applicable under the insured’s benefits contract, has not entered into a negotiated agreement with said hospital service corporation. The benefits provided in any contract pursuant to this section shall meet all other terms and conditions of the contract not inconsistent with this section.
(i) Nothing in this section shall be construed to require a non-profit hospital service corporation to pay for mental health benefits or services: which are provided to a person who has third party insurance and who is presently incarcerated, confined or committed to a jail, house of correction or prison, or custodial facility in the department of youth services within the commonwealth or one of its political subdivisions; which constitute educational services required to be provided by a school committee pursuant to section 5 of chapter 71B; or which constitute services provided by the department of mental health.
For the purposes of this section, “licensed mental health professional” shall mean a licensed physician who specializes in the practice of psychiatry, a licensed psychologist, a licensed independent clinical social worker, a licensed mental health counselor, a licensed nurse mental health clinical specialist or a licensed marriage and family therapist within the lawful scope of practice for such therapist.
For the purposes of this section, psychopharmacological services and neuropsychological assessment services shall be treated as a medical benefit and shall be covered in a manner identical to all other medical services.