Section 8H. Any contract, except contracts providing supplemental coverage to medicare or other governmental programs, between a subscriber and the corporation under an individual or group hospital service plan which shall be delivered or issued or renewed in the commonwealth shall provide, as a basic benefit to all individual subscribers and members within the commonwealth and to all group members having a principal place of employment within the commonwealth, for expense for prenatal care, childbirth and post partum care to the same extent that benefits are provided for medical conditions not related to pregnancy.
In addition to such benefits, such policy or plan shall provide coverage of a minimum of forty-eight hours of in-patient care following a vaginal delivery and a minimum of ninety-six hours of in-patient care following a caesarean section for a mother and her newly born child. Any decision to shorten these minimum coverages shall be made by the attending physician in consultation with the mother. Any such decision shall be made in accordance with rules and regulations promulgated by the department of public health. Said regulations shall be relative to early discharge, defined as less than forty-eight hours for a vaginal delivery and ninety-six hours for a caesarean delivery and post-delivery care and shall include, but not be limited to, home visits, parent education, assistance and training in breast or bottle feeding and the performance of any necessary and appropriate clinical tests; provided, however, that the first home visit shall be conducted by a registered nurse, physician, or certified nurse midwife; and provided, further, that any subsequent home visit determined to be clinically necessary shall be provided by a licensed health care provider.
For the purposes of this section, attending physician shall include the attending obstetrician, pediatrician, or certified nurse midwife attending the mother and newly born child.
Any subscriber or member who is aggrieved by a denial of benefits to be provided under this section may appeal said denial in accordance with regulations of the department of public health.