2017 New Jersey Revised Statutes
TITLE 17B - INSURANCE
Section 17B:27A-7.21 - Individual health benefits plan to provide benefits for treatment of substance use disorder.
17B:27A-7.21 Individual health benefits plan to provide benefits for treatment of substance use disorder.
6. a. An individual health benefits plan that provides hospital or medical expense benefits and is delivered, issued, executed or renewed in this State, or approved for issuance or renewal in this State by the Commissioner of Banking and Insurance, on or after the effective date of this act, shall provide unlimited benefits for inpatient and outpatient treatment of substance use disorder at in-network facilities. The services for the treatment of substance use disorder shall be prescribed by a licensed physician, licensed psychologist, or licensed psychiatrist and provided by licensed health care professionals or licensed or certified substance use disorder providers in licensed or otherwise State-approved facilities, as required by the laws of the state in which the services are rendered.
b. The benefits for the first 180 days per plan year of inpatient and outpatient treatment of substance use disorder shall be provided when determined medically necessary by the covered person's physician, psychologist or psychiatrist without the imposition of any prior authorization or other prospective utilization management requirements. The facility shall notify the carrier of both the admission and the initial treatment plan within 48 hours of the admission or initiation of treatment. If there is no in-network facility immediately available for a covered person, a carrier shall provide necessary exceptions to their network to ensure admission in a treatment facility within 24 hours.
c. Providers of treatment for substance use disorder to persons covered under a covered health benefits plan shall not require pre-payment of medical expenses during this 180 days in excess of applicable co-payment, deductible, or co-insurance under the plan.
d. The benefits for outpatient visits shall not be subject to concurrent or retrospective review of medical necessity or any other utilization management review.
e. (1) The benefits for the first 28 days of an inpatient stay during each plan year shall be provided without any retrospective review or concurrent review of medical necessity and medical necessity shall be as determined by the covered person's physician.
(2) The benefits for days 29 and thereafter of inpatient care shall be subject to concurrent review as defined in this section. A request for approval of inpatient care beyond the first 28 days shall be submitted for concurrent review before the expiration of the initial 28-day period. A request for approval of inpatient care beyond any period that is approved under concurrent review shall be submitted within the period that was previously approved. No carrier shall initiate concurrent review more frequently than at two-week intervals. If a carrier determines that continued inpatient care in a facility is no longer medically necessary, the carrier shall within 24 hours provide written notice to the covered person and the covered person's physician of its decision and the right to file an expedited internal appeal of the determination pursuant to an expedited process pursuant to sections 11 through 13 of P.L.1997, c.192 (C.26:2S-11 through 26:2S-13) and N.J.A.C.11:24A-3.5, as applicable. The carrier shall review and make a determination with respect to the internal appeal within 24 hours and communicate such determination to the covered person and the covered person's physician. If the determination is to uphold the denial, the covered person and the covered person's physician have the right to file an expedited external appeal with the Independent Health Care Appeals Program in the Department of Banking and Insurance pursuant to sections 11 through 13 of P.L.1997, c.192 (C.26:2S-11 through 26:2S-13) and N.J.A.C.11:24A-3.6, as applicable. An independent utilization review organization shall make a determination within 24 hours. If the carrier's determination is upheld and it is determined continued inpatient care is not medically necessary, the carrier shall remain responsible to provide benefits for the inpatient care through the day following the date the determination is made and the covered person shall only be responsible for any applicable co-payment, deductible and co-insurance for the stay through that date as applicable under the policy. The covered person shall not be discharged or released from the inpatient facility until all internal appeals and independent utilization review organization appeals are exhausted. For any costs incurred after the day following the date of determination until the day of discharge, the covered person shall only be responsible for any applicable cost-sharing, and any additional charges shall be paid by the facility or provider.
f. (1) The benefits for the first 28 days of intensive outpatient or partial hospitalization services shall be provided without any retrospective review of medical necessity and medical necessity shall be as determined by the covered person's physician.
(2) The benefits for days 29 and thereafter of intensive outpatient or partial hospitalization services shall be subject to a retrospective review of the medical necessity of the services.
g. Benefits for inpatient and outpatient treatment of substance use disorder after the first 180 days per plan year shall be subject to the medical necessity determination of the carrier and may be subject to prior authorization or, retrospective review and other utilization management requirements.
h. Medical necessity review shall utilize an evidence-based and peer reviewed clinical review tool to be designated through rulemaking by the Commissioner of Human Services in consultation with the Department of Health.
i. The benefits for outpatient prescription drugs to treat substance use disorder shall be provided when determined medically necessary by the covered person's physician, psychologist or psychiatrist without the imposition of any prior authorization or other prospective utilization management requirements.
j. The first 180 days per plan year of benefits shall be computed based on inpatient days. One or more unused inpatient days may be exchanged for two outpatient visits. All extended outpatient services such as partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient, shall be deemed inpatient days for the purpose of the visit to day exchange provided in this subsection.
k. Except as stated above, the benefits and cost-sharing shall be provided to the same extent as for any other medical condition covered under the health benefits plan.
l. The benefits required by this section are to be provided to all covered persons with a diagnosis of substance use disorder. The presence of additional related or unrelated diagnoses shall not be a basis to reduce or deny the benefits required by this section.
m. The provisions of this section shall apply to all individual health benefits plans in which the carrier has reserved the right to change the premium.
n. The Attorney General's Office shall be responsible for overseeing any violations of law that may result from P.L.2017, c.28 (C.17:48-6nn et al.), including fraud, abuse, waste, and mistreatment of covered persons. The Attorney General's Office is authorized to adopt, pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), rules and regulations to implement any of the provisions of P.L.2017, c.28 (C.17:48-6nn et al.).
o. The provisions of this section shall not apply to an individual health benefits plan which, pursuant to a contract between the carrier and the Department of Human Services, provides benefits to persons who are eligible for medical assistance under P.L.1968, c.413 (C.30:4D-1 et seq.), the "Family Health Care Coverage Act," P.L.2005, c.156 (C.30:4J-8 et seq.), or any other program administered by the Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services in the Department of Human Services.
p. As used in this section:
"Concurrent review" means inpatient care is reviewed as it is provided. Medically qualified reviewers monitor appropriateness of the care, the setting, and patient progress, and as appropriate, the discharge plans.
"Substance use disorder" is as defined by the American Psychiatric Association in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition and any subsequent editions and shall include substance use withdrawal.
L.2017, c.28, s.6.