Effective December 19, 2008, the final rules on complying with the Newborns’ and Mothers’ Health Protection Act of 1996 take effect.
The law provides protection on how long mothers and their newborn infants may stay in the hospital following childbirth. Group health plans and health issuers may not restrict benefits for a hospital stay following childbirth to less than 48 hours (96 hours following a cesarean section).
The issues clarified by the final regulations are:
1.) The attending provider determines that an admission is in connection with childbirth and when the hospital stay begins for purposes of applying the general rule. The provider will also determine when exceptions to the 48 or 96-hour rule will be made.
2.) ERISA-covered group health plans are required to comply with the ERISA notice regulations, whether insured or self-insured. Notice can be provided electronically in accordance with Labor regulations Section 2520.1-4b-.
3.) A state law exemption applies when a state law requires health insurance coverage in accordance with professional guidelines.
For additional information, go to the Department of Labor website:
http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/newsroom/fsnmhafs.html, or contact your insurance provider.