§ 27-18-40. Insurance coverage for mastectomy hospital stays.
(a) The Rhode Island general assembly recognizes that breast cancer is a unique illness with both a physical and emotional impact on patients. Except as otherwise provided, every individual or group hospital or medical services plan contract delivered, issued for delivery, as renewed in this state shall provide coverage for a minimum forty-eight (48) hour time period in a hospital after the surgical procedures known as a mastectomy, and a minimum twenty-four (24) hours after an axilary node dissection.
(b) This section shall not apply to insurance coverage providing benefits for: (1) hospital confinement indemnity; (2) disability income; (3) accident only; (4) long term care; (5) Medicare supplement; (6) limited benefit health; (7) specified disease indemnity; (8) sickness or bodily injury or death by accident or both, and (9) other limited benefit policies. Any decision to shorten these minimum coverages shall be made by the attending physician in consultation with and upon agreement by the patient. If the patient participates in an early discharge, defined as in-patient care following a mastectomy that is less than forty-eight (48) hours and in-patient care following an axilary node dissection that is less than twenty-four (24) hours, coverage shall include a minimum of one home visit conducted by a physician or registered nurse.
(c) Any subscriber who is aggrieved by a denial of benefits to be provided under this section may appeal the denial in accordance with regulations of the department of health, which have been promulgated pursuant to chapter 17.12 of title 23. No policy or plan covered under this chapter shall terminate the services, reduce capitation payment, or penalize an attending physician or other health care provider who orders care consistent with the provisions of this section.
(d) All plans subject to this section shall provide notice to each enrollee:
(1) In the next mass mailing made by the plan to the employee; or
(2) As part of any informational packet sent to the enrollee.
(P.L. 1997 ch. 24, § 1; P.L. 1997, ch. 25, § 1; P.L. 2002, ch. 292, § 33.)