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Session Law

2000

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Chapter 345 AN ACT PROVIDING THAT CERTAIN HEALTH CARE PLANS AND POLICIES SHALL COVER PAYMENT FOR COSTS ARISING FROM SPEECH, HEARING AND LANGUAGE DISORDERS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:


SECTION 1. Chapter 32A of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding the following section:-

Section 23. The commission shall provide to any active or retired employee of the commonwealth who is insured under the commission coverage for expenses incurred in the medically necessary diagnosis and treatment of speech, hearing and language disorders by individuals licensed as speech-language pathologists or audiologists under chapter 112, if such services are rendered within the lawful scope of practice for such speech-language pathologists or audiologists regardless of whether the services are provided in a hospital, clinic or private office, and if such coverage shall not extend to the diagnosis or treatment of speech, hearing and language disorders in a school-based setting. The coverage provided by this section shall be subject to the same terms and conditions established for any other medical condition covered by the commission.

SECTION 2. Chapter 175 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 47T the following section:-

Section 47U. An individual policy of accident and sickness insurance issued pursuant to section 108 that provides hospital expense and surgical expense insurance and any group blanket policy of accident and sickness insurance issued pursuant to section 110 that provides hospital expense and surgical expense insurance, delivered, issued or renewed by agreement between the insurer and the policyholder, within or without the commonwealth, shall provide benefits for residents of the commonwealth and all group members having a principal place of employment within the commonwealth for the expenses incurred in the medically necessary diagnosis and treatment of speech, hearing and language disorders by individuals licensed as speech-language pathologists or audiologists under the provisions of chapter 112, if such services are rendered within the lawful scope of practice for such speech-language pathologists or audiologists regardless of whether the services are provided in a hospital, clinic or private office, and if such coverage shall not extend to the diagnosis or treatment of speech, hearing and language disorders in a school-based setting. The benefits provided by this section shall be subject to the same terms and conditions established for any other medical condition covered by such individual or group blanket policy.

SECTION 3. Chapter 176A of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 8T the following section:-

Section 8U. Any contract between a subscriber and the corporation under an individual or group hospital service plan that provides hospital expense and surgical expense insurance, delivered, issued or renewed by agreement between the insurer and the policyholder, within or without the commonwealth, shall provide benefits for residents of the commonwealth and all group members having a principal place of employment within the commonwealth for the expenses incurred in the medically necessary diagnosis and treatment of speech, hearing and language disorders by individuals licensed as speech-language pathologists or audiologists under chapter 112, if such services are within the lawful scope of practice for such speech-language pathologists or audiologists regardless of whether the services are provided in a hospital, clinic or private office, and if such coverage shall not extend to the diagnosis or treatment of speech, hearing and language disorders in a school-based setting. The benefits provided by this section shall be subject to the same terms and conditions established for any other medical condition covered by such individual or group hospital service plan.

SECTION 4. Chapter 176B of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 4T the following section:-

Section 4U. Any subscription certificate under an individual or group medical service agreement which provides hospital expense and surgical expense insurance, delivered, issued or renewed by agreement between the insurer and the policyholder, within or without the commonwealth, shall provide benefits for residents of the commonwealth and to all group members having a principal place of employment within the commonwealth for the expenses incurred in the medically necessary diagnosis and treatment of speech, hearing and language disorders by individuals licensed as speech-language pathologists or audiologists under chapter 112, if such services are rendered within the lawful scope of practice for such speech-language pathologists or audiologists regardless of whether the services are provided in a hospital, clinic or private office; and if such coverage shall not extend to the diagnosis or treatment of speech, hearing and language disorders in a school-based setting. The benefits provided by this section shall be subject to the same terms and conditions established for any other medical condition covered by such individual or group medical service agreement.

SECTION 5. Chapter 176G of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 4M the following section:-

Section 4N. Any individual or group health maintenance contract that provides hospital expense and surgical expense insurance, delivered, issued or renewed by agreement between the insurer and the policyholder, within or without the commonwealth, shall provide benefits for residents of the commonwealth and to all group members having a principal place of employment within the commonwealth for the expenses incurred in the medically necessary diagnosis and treatment of speech, hearing and language disorders by individuals licensed as speech-language pathologists or audiologists under chapter 112, if such services are rendered within the lawful scope of practice for such speech-language pathologists or audiologists regardless of whether the services are provided in a hospital, clinic or a private office, and if such coverage shall not extend to the diagnosis or treatment of speech, hearing and language disorders in a school-based setting. The benefits provided by this section shall be subject to the same terms and conditions established for any other medical condition covered by such individual or group health maintenance contract.

Approved December 21, 2000.

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