42 USC 300gg4 - Standards relating to benefits for mothers and newborns

(a) Requirements for minimum hospital stay following birth 

(1) In general 
A group health plan, and a health insurance issuer offering group health insurance coverage, may not
(A) except as provided in paragraph (2)
(i) restrict benefits for any hospital length of stay in connection with childbirth for the mother or newborn child, following a normal vaginal delivery, to less than 48 hours, or

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(ii) restrict benefits for any hospital length of stay in connection with childbirth for the mother or newborn child, following a cesarean section, to less than 96 hours, or
(B) require that a provider obtain authorization from the plan or the issuer for prescribing any length of stay required under subparagraph (A) (without regard to paragraph (2)).
(2) Exception 
Paragraph (1)(A) shall not apply in connection with any group health plan or health insurance issuer in any case in which the decision to discharge the mother or her newborn child prior to the expiration of the minimum length of stay otherwise required under paragraph (1)(A) is made by an attending provider in consultation with the mother.
(b) Prohibitions 
A group health plan, and a health insurance issuer offering group health insurance coverage in connection with a group health plan, may not
(1) deny to the mother or her newborn child eligibility, or continued eligibility, to enroll or to renew coverage under the terms of the plan, solely for the purpose of avoiding the requirements of this section;
(2) provide monetary payments or rebates to mothers to encourage such mothers to accept less than the minimum protections available under this section;
(3) penalize or otherwise reduce or limit the reimbursement of an attending provider because such provider provided care to an individual participant or beneficiary in accordance with this section;
(4) provide incentives (monetary or otherwise) to an attending provider to induce such provider to provide care to an individual participant or beneficiary in a manner inconsistent with this section; or
(5) subject to subsection (c)(3) of this section, restrict benefits for any portion of a period within a hospital length of stay required under subsection (a) of this section in a manner which is less favorable than the benefits provided for any preceding portion of such stay.
(c) Rules of construction 


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(1) Nothing in this section shall be construed to require a mother who is a participant or beneficiary
(A) to give birth in a hospital; or
(B) to stay in the hospital for a fixed period of time following the birth of her child.
(2) This section shall not apply with respect to any group health plan, or any group health insurance coverage offered by a health insurance issuer, which does not provide benefits for hospital lengths of stay in connection with childbirth for a mother or her newborn child.
(3) Nothing in this section shall be construed as preventing a group health plan or issuer from imposing deductibles, coinsurance, or other cost-sharing in relation to benefits for hospital lengths of stay in connection with childbirth for a mother or newborn child under the plan (or under health insurance coverage offered in connection with a group health plan), except that such coinsurance or other cost-sharing for any portion of a period within a hospital length of stay required under subsection (a) of this section may not be greater than such coinsurance or cost-sharing for any preceding portion of such stay.
(d) Notice 
A group health plan under this part shall comply with the notice requirement under section 1185 (d) of title 29 with respect to the requirements of this section as if such section applied to such plan.
(e) Level and type of reimbursements 
Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent a group health plan or a health insurance issuer offering group health insurance coverage from negotiating the level and type of reimbursement with a provider for care provided in accordance with this section.
(f) Preemption; exception for health insurance coverage in certain States 

(1) In general 
The requirements of this section shall not apply with respect to health insurance coverage if there is a State law (as defined in section 300gg–23 (d)(1) of this title) for a State that regulates such coverage that is described in any of the following subparagraphs:
(A) Such State law requires such coverage to provide for at least a 48-hour hospital length of stay following a normal vaginal delivery and at least a 96-hour hospital length of stay following a cesarean section.
(B) Such State law requires such coverage to provide for maternity and pediatric care in accordance with guidelines established by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Academy of Pediatrics, or other established professional medical associations.
(C) Such State law requires, in connection with such coverage for maternity care, that the hospital length of stay for such care is left to the decision of (or required to be made by) the attending provider in consultation with the mother.
(2) Construction 
Section 300gg–23 (a)(1) of this title shall not be construed as superseding a State law described in paragraph (1).