Section 27-1-18

Contract providing for mental health services to entitle insured to reimbursement for outpatient and inpatient services by qualified psychiatrist or psychologist.

(a) Whenever any group, or blanket hospital or medical expense insurance policy or hospital or medical service contract issued for delivery in this state provides for the reimbursement of health or health related services which includes mental health services, and such services are within the lawful scope of practice of a duly qualified psychiatrist or psychologist, the insured or other person entitled to benefits under such policy or contract shall be entitled to reimbursement for outpatient services, and inpatient services if requested by the attending physician, performed by a duly qualified psychiatrist or psychologist notwithstanding any provisions of the policy or contract to the contrary.

(b) For purposes of this section, a duly qualified psychologist means, one who is duly licensed or certified at the doctorate level in the state by the licensing board for psychologists of the state where the service is rendered, has had at least two years post-doctoral, clinical experience in a recognized health setting or has met the standards of the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology which require two years post-doctoral, clinical experience.

(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to mandate or require an insurance company to include mental health services in a policy or contract which does not include such services, nor shall it be construed to expand the scope or nature of benefits provided when mental health services are included in a policy or contract.

(d) This section shall become effective immediately upon its passage and approval by the Governor, or upon its otherwise becoming law and shall apply to policies or contracts covered by the section delivered or issued for delivery in this state on and after such effective date and to group and blanket policies and contracts issued prior to the effective date on the next anniversary or renewal date or the expiration of the applicable collective bargaining agreement, if any, whichever date is the later.

(Acts 1982, No. 82-628, p. 1182, §§1, 2, 5.)