8. a. Every enrollee agreement that provides hospital or medical expense benefits and is delivered, issued, executed, or renewed in this State pursuant to P.L.1973, c.337 (C.26:2J-1 et seq.) 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 health care services for a minimum of 72 hours of inpatient care following a modified radical mastectomy and a minimum of 48 hours of inpatient care following a simple mastectomy. The enrollee agreement shall not require a health care provider to obtain authorization from the health maintenance organization for prescribing 72 or 48 hours, as appropriate, of inpatient care as provided for in this section.
The provisions of this section shall not be construed to: require a patient to receive inpatient care for 72 or 48 hours, as appropriate, if the patient in consultation with the patient's physician determines that a shorter length of stay is medically appropriate; or relieve a patient or a patient's physician, if appropriate, of any notification requirements to the health maintenance organization under the enrollee agreement.
The health care services shall be provided to the same extent as for any other sickness under the enrollee agreement.
The provisions of this section shall apply to enrollee agreements in which the health maintenance organization has reserved the right to change the schedule of charges.
b.The Commissioner of Banking and Insurance shall adopt regulations pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.) to implement the provisions of this section.
L.1997, c.149, s.8; amended 2012, c.17, s.268.