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General Laws

Section 8B. Any contract, which provides for dependent coverage, between a subscriber and the corporation under an individual or group hospital service plan which shall be delivered or issued for delivery or subsequently renewed in this commonwealth shall include as insured members newborn infants and newborn infants of a dependent of a contract holder immediately from the moment of birth and thereafter. Any such contract shall also include as insured members adoptive children of a contract holder immediately from the date of 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 contract holder as a foster child for whom the contract holder 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 the contract holder and thereafter. Such insurance shall provide benefits for expense arising from illness, injury, congenital malformation, or premature birth. Such coverage shall include also 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 subscription fee 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 fees must be furnished to the non-profit service corporation. For the purposes of this section, “notification” may mean submission of a claim.

Any contract, as described in this section, shall provide as benefits to all subscribers and members in addition to the benefits described in the preceding paragraph the provision of preventive and primary care services for children. For the purposes of this paragraph preventive and primary care services shall mean services rendered to a dependent child or a subscriber or member 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 year annually until age six. Such services shall also include hereditary and metabolic screening at birth, appropriate immunizations, and tuberculin tests, hematocrit, hemoglobin or other appropriate blood test 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, any contract as described in this section, 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 contract or certificate.

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