(1) The purpose of this section is to effectuate the provisions of section 3, chapter 173, Laws of 1988, by establishing the requirements and exceptions with respect to coverage for the formulas necessary for the treatment of phenylketonuria (PKU), applicable to health care service contractors registered pursuant to RCW 48.44.015
(2) Each contract for health care services which is delivered or issued for delivery or renewed in this state on or after September 1, 1988, shall provide coverage for the formulas necessary for the treatment of phenylketonuria, subject to the following exceptions:
(a) A contract that is subject to chapter 48.66
RCW and provides medicare supplemental insurance need not provide the PKU formula coverage;
(b) A contract that is subject to chapter 48.84
RCW and provides long-term care insurance need not provide the PKU formula coverage;
(c) A contract that provides benefits for hospital services only or for custodial services only may limit the coverage for PKU formulas to a benefit that supplies the formula needed, or pays for the formula used, during time such services are provided.
(d) A contract which provides services or reimbursement exclusively for optometric or vision care services, dental or orthodontic services, podiatric services, ambulance services, mental health services, or chiropractic services need not provide coverage for PKU formula.
(e) A contract that is governed by 5 U.S.C. chapter 89 or 42 U.S.C. section 1395mm need not provide the PKU formula coverage.
(f) In response to the written request of a contractor, other contracts may exclude coverage for the PKU formula with the written consent of the commissioner upon a finding that such coverage would be inappropriate.
(3) Coverage for the formulas necessary for the treatment of phenylketonuria may be limited to the usual and customary charge for such formulas, and may be made subject to deductibles, copayments, coinsurance or other reductions only to the extent that deductibles, copayments, coinsurance or other reductions are applied to general expenses incurred for common sicknesses or disorders under the provisions of the particular contract. (Relating the PKU formula to a special expense benefit, such as a prescription drug benefit, is not acceptable unless it results in the PKU formula benefit being paid at an amount no less than the amount that would be produced by application of the reimbursement formula for medically necessary treatment for common sicknesses or disorders.)
(4) The amount charged by a health care service contractor shall be no greater to a family or individual receiving benefits under the PKU formula coverage, by reason thereof, than to a family or individual under the same contract form or group contract who is not receiving such benefits.
(5) Preexisting condition provisions shall not be used with respect to PKU formula coverage, and no contractor shall cancel or decline to renew any contract, or restrict, modify, exclude, or reduce the amount of benefits payable or type of coverage provided in any contract, because an applicant or covered person has phenylketonuria.
(6) For purposes of section 3, chapter 173, Laws of 1988, and this section, a contract is "renewed" when it is continued beyond the earliest date after September 1, 1988, upon which, at the contractor's sole option:
(a) The contract's termination could have been effectuated, for other than nonpayment of premium; or
(b) The contract could have been amended to add the PKU formula coverage, with, if justified, an appropriate rate increase for any increased cost in providing the PKU formula coverage under the contract.
The failure of the contractor to take any such steps does not prevent the contract from being "renewed." The intent of this subsection is to bring the PKU formula coverage under the maximum number of contracts possible at the earliest possible time, by permitting the contractor to exclude such coverage from only those contracts as to which there exists a right of renewal on the part of a contract holder without any change in any provision of the contract.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 48.02.060
(3)(a), 48.44.050 and 48.46.200. WSR 88-16-065 (Order R 88-7), § 284-44-450, filed 8/1/88.]