TITLE XXXVII
INSURANCE

CHAPTER 415
ACCIDENT AND HEALTH INSURANCE

Section 415:18-a

    415:18-a Coverage for Mental or Nervous Conditions and Treatment for Chemical Dependency Required. –
I. (a) Each insurer that issues or renews any policy of group accident or health insurance providing benefits for medical or hospital expenses, shall provide to each group, or to the portion of each group comprised of certificate holders of such insurance who are residents of this state and whose principal place of employment is in this state, coverage for expenses arising from the treatment of mental illnesses and emotional disorders which, in the professional judgment of:
(1) Psychiatrists;
(2) Licensed psychologists;
(3) Licensed pastoral psychotherapists;
(4) Psychiatric/mental health advanced practice registered nurses;
(5) Licensed clinical mental health counselors;
(6) Licensed alcohol and drug counselors;
(7) Licensed marriage and family therapists;
(8) Licensed clinical social workers; and
(9) Licensed, psychiatrist-supervised physician assistants
are subject to significant improvement through short-term therapy, and benefits for expenses arising from diagnosis and evaluation of all other mental illnesses and emotional disorders.
(b) Benefits arising from treatment, diagnosis and evaluation of mental illnesses and disorders shall be at least as favorable to the certificate holder as the minimum benefits specified in paragraphs II, III, and IV.
(c) Policies written pursuant to this section shall include coverage for expenses arising from treatment for chemical dependency, including alcoholism, up to a specified limit which may be defined in terms of a dollar amount or a maximum number of days or visits. Coverage for expenses arising from treatment for chemical dependency, including alcoholism, shall include both an inpatient and an outpatient benefit for detoxification and rehabilitation.
II. In the case of policies or certificates providing benefits for hospital expenses on other than a major medical basis, benefits arising from treatment, diagnosis and evaluation of mental illnesses and disorders based upon confinement in a licensed or accredited general hospital, including psychiatric inpatient facilities included under the license of such a hospital, shall be at least as favorable as benefits provided for any other illness in such a hospital. Benefits based upon confinement in a public mental hospital shall be at least as favorable as benefits provided for confinement in a licensed or accredited general hospital.
III. In the case of policies or certificates providing benefits for medical expenses on other than a major medical basis:
(a) Benefits arising from treatment, diagnosis and evaluation of mental illnesses and disorders for services of a psychiatrist, licensed psychologist, licensed pastoral psychotherapist, psychiatric/mental health advanced practice registered nurse, licensed clinical mental health counselor, licensed alcohol and drug counselor, licensed marriage and family therapist, licensed clinical social worker who customarily bills patients directly, or of a licensed, psychiatrist-supervised physician assistant whose billing goes through their place of employment, shall be subject to terms and conditions at least as favorable as those which apply to the benefits for the services of physicians for other illnesses. The ratio of the benefits to the fees reasonably and customarily charged for the services of such:
(1) Psychiatrists;
(2) Licensed psychologists;
(3) Licensed pastoral psychotherapists;
(4) Psychiatric/mental health advanced practice registered nurses;
(5) Licensed clinical mental health counselors;
(6) Licensed alcohol and drug counselors;
(7) Licensed marriage and family therapists;
(8) Licensed clinical social workers; or
(9) Licensed, psychiatrist-supervised physician assistants
shall be substantially the same as the ratio of the benefits for services of physicians for other illnesses to the fees reasonably and customarily charged for the services of such physicians for other illnesses.
(b) Each insurer, including health maintenance organizations pursuant to RSA 420-B, that issues or renews any policy of group accident or health insurance providing benefits for medical or hospital expenses shall provide to each group, or to the portion of each group comprised of certificate holders of such insurance who are residents of this state and whose principal place of employment is in this state, benefits arising from treatment, diagnosis and evaluation of mental illnesses and disorders for services rendered at a community mental health center or psychiatric residential program approved by the department of health and human services. Those benefits shall be subject to terms and conditions at least as favorable as those which apply to the benefits for the treatment of other illnesses. The ratio of the benefits to the full reasonable charges for the services of such a center or program shall be substantially the same as the ratio of the benefits for services of physicians for other illnesses to the fees reasonably and customarily charged for the services of such physicians for other illnesses.
(c) Benefits arising from treatment, diagnosis and evaluation of mental illnesses and disorders for outpatient services rendered at a public mental hospital shall be subject to terms and conditions at least as favorable as those which apply to the benefits for the treatment of other illnesses. The ratio of the benefits to the fees reasonably and customarily charged for the services of such a hospital shall be substantially the same as the ratio of the benefits for services of physicians for other illnesses to the fees reasonably and customarily charged for the services of such physicians for other illnesses.
(d) Benefits arising from treatment, diagnosis and evaluation of mental illnesses and disorders for outpatient services under this paragraph need not be provided for the first or second visit providing such a limitation applies in the case of services for other illnesses. Benefits for outpatient treatment may be otherwise limited to not less than 15 full hours of treatment in any consecutive 12-month period.
IV. (a) In the case of policies or certificates providing benefits for hospital and medical expenses on a major medical basis, benefits arising from treatment, diagnosis and evaluation of mental illnesses and disorders shall be subject to deductibles and coinsurance at least as favorable as those which apply to the benefits for any other illness, provided that benefits payable for expenses incurred in any consecutive 12-month period may be limited to an amount not less than $3,000 per covered individual, and to a lifetime maximum of not less than $10,000 per covered individual.
(b) In this paragraph, covered major medical expenses include the reasonable charges for services and treatment on an inpatient, outpatient or partial hospitalization basis by:
(1) A psychiatrist;
(2) A licensed psychologist;
(3) A licensed pastoral psychotherapist;
(4) A psychiatric/mental health advanced practice registered nurse;
(5) A licensed clinical mental health counselor;
(6) A licensed alcohol and drug counselor;
(7) A licensed marriage and family therapist;
(8) A licensed clinical social worker;
(9) A licensed, psychiatrist-supervised physician assistant;
(10) A licensed general hospital;
(11) A public or licensed mental hospital; or
(12) A community mental health center or psychiatric residential program approved according to rules adopted by the commissioner of the department of health and human services.
IV-a. Each insurer that issues or renews any policy of group accident or health insurance providing benefits for medical or hospital expenses shall offer to each group, or to the portion of each group comprised of certificate holders of such insurance who are residents of this state and whose principal place of employment is in this state, the option of purchasing, for a separate and identifiable premium, additional coverage for expenses incurred as a result of treatment or counseling by a licensed clinical social worker.
V. In this section:
(a) " Psychiatrist " means a licensed physician who is board-certified or board-eligible according to the most recently promulgated regulations of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.
(b) " Psychologist " means a person who:
(1) Is licensed under RSA 329-B as a psychologist;
(2) Is certified or licensed under a statute in another state which meets or exceeds the standards under RSA 329-B; or
(3) Is certified or licensed in another state and is listed in the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology.
(c) " Licensed pastoral psychotherapist " means an individual who is licensed as a pastoral psychotherapist under RSA 330-A and is a fellow or diplomat in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors.
(d) " Psychiatric/mental health advanced practice registered nurse " means an individual who is licensed as an advanced practice registered nurse in psychiatric mental health nursing under RSA 326-B:18, who is defined by and whose scope of practice is described under the rules adopted pursuant to RSA 326-B, and who is a licensed registered nurse, educationally prepared in nursing at a minimum of the master's level, and certified in the specialty by a recognized national certifying agency, such as the American Nurses Credentialing Center.
(e) " Licensed clinical social worker " means an individual who is licensed as a clinical social worker under RSA 330-A:18.
(f) " Licensed clinical mental health counselor " means an individual who is licensed as a clinical mental health counselor under RSA 330-A:19.
(g) " Licensed marriage and family therapist " means an individual who is licensed as a marriage and family therapist under RSA 330-A:21.
(h) " Licensed alcohol and drug counselor " means an individual who is licensed as an alcohol and drug counselor under RSA 330-C and is practicing solely within the scope of practice of a licensed alcohol and drug counselor.
(i) " Mental or nervous conditions " or " mental illness and emotional disorders " means mental disorders, as defined in the most recent edition of the American Psychiatric Association's "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders" (DSM), excluding those disorders designated by a "V Code" and those disorders designated as criteria sets and axes provided for further study in the DSM. This term shall not include chemical dependency, including alcoholism.
(j) " Licensed, psychiatrist supervised physician assistant " means an individual who is licensed as a physician assistant under RSA 328-D whose supervising physician is a licensed psychiatrist.
VI. No services provided by a licensed pastoral psychotherapist to a member of his congregation in the course of the duties to which he has been called as a pastor, minister or staff person shall be covered under the provisions of this chapter. This limitation shall not apply to those licensed pastoral psychotherapists serving specifically and only as private, part-time consultants in pastoral psychotherapy to a parish under contract or otherwise for the purpose of providing services to individuals as a licensed pastoral psychotherapist. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as allowing a parish, church or temple to provide religious ministrations to their parishioners or members under the provisions of this chapter which would normally be the responsibility of the clergy, religious or other religious staff duly called and employed by such congregations.
VII. No group policy or certificate subject to RSA 415:18-a issued, renewed or continued on or after January 1, 1993, shall contain any provision denying insurance benefits for psychiatric or psychological services, including psychological examinations, solely because they are rendered to an insured or a dependent in compliance with the lawful order of any court of this state. Benefits for such services shall be as favorable as for other psychiatric or psychological services, including psychological examinations, and shall be subject to the same dollar limits, deductibles, co-payments, and co-insurance factors and to terms and conditions of the policy or certificate, including any managed care provisions.
VIII. The commissioner may adopt rules, under RSA 541-A, as may be necessary to effectuate any provisions of the Mental Health Parity Act of 2008 that relate to the business of insurance.

Source. 1975, 349:1. 1976, 57:1. 1979, 293:1-5. 1981, 492:30; 569:18, 21. 1983, 291:1, I; 413:1, 2; 453:11. 1986, 105:1. 1991, 343:1. 1992, 177:2. 1994, 396:1-4, 11-14. 1995, 310:181, 182. 1998, 234:8-14. 1999, 272:5-8; 310:1-4. 2002, 204:1. 2003, 276:4. 2005, 293:13. 2009, 54:5; 235:6. 2010, 188:13. 2012, 233:7, eff. July 1, 2013. 2019, 278:9, eff. Sept. 17, 2019.