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WAC 284-96-020

No agency filings affecting this section since 2003

Temporomandibular joint disordersSpecified offer of coverage requiredTerms of specified offer definedProof of offer must be maintainedDiscrimination prohibitedTerms defined.

(1) Pursuant to RCW 48.21.320, each offer of new or renewal group disability coverage made on or after January 1, 1993, must include one or more offers of optional coverage for the treatment of temporomandibular joint disorders. Group disability insurers are encouraged to exercise broad flexibility in designing benefits for these optional temporomandibular joint disorder coverage offerings. However, compliance with the statute shall be demonstrated only when one of the optional temporomandibular joint disorder coverage offerings provides benefits as follows:
(a) Offers limited to only medical coverage shall provide coverage for medical services related to the treatment of temporomandibular joint disorders in the amount of one thousand dollars per covered individual, after the application of deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments, in any calendar year, and a lifetime benefit of five thousand dollars per covered individual, after the application of deductibles, coinsurance and copayments. Other than the benefit amount, coverage for medical services shall be the same as are generally provided in the policy for other injuries or musculoskeletal disorders. The coverage provisions may require:
(i) That services either be rendered or referred by the covered individual's primary care physician; and
(ii) A second opinion, provided that the covered individual shall not be financially responsible for any costs relating to this second opinion and that such costs shall be in excess of the required benefit levels; and
(iii) Prenotification or preauthorization.
Except
that the coverage provisions shall not require either a second opinion or prenotification or preauthorization for treatment commencing within forty-eight hours, or as soon as is reasonably possible, after the occurrence of an accident or trauma to the temporomandibular joint.
(b) Offers limited to only dental coverage shall provide coverage for dental services related to the treatment of temporomandibular joint disorders in the amount of one thousand dollars per covered individual, after the application of deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments, in any calendar year, and a lifetime benefit of five thousand dollars per covered individual, after the application of deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments. Other than the benefit amount, coverage for dental services shall be the same as are generally provided in the policy for other injuries or dental conditions. The coverage provisions may require:
(i) That services either be rendered or referred by the covered individual's primary care dentist; and
(ii) A second opinion, provided that the covered individual shall not be financially responsible for any costs relating to this second opinion and that such costs shall be in excess of the required benefit levels; and
(iii) Prenotification or preauthorization.
Except
that the coverage provisions shall not require either a second opinion or prenotification or preauthorization for treatment commencing within forty-eight hours, or as soon as is reasonably possible, after the occurrence of an accident or trauma to the temporomandibular joint.
(c) Offers of both medical and dental coverage shall provide coverage for medical and dental services related to the treatment of temporomandibular joint disorders in the amount of one thousand dollars per covered individual, after the application of deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments, in any calendar year and a lifetime benefit of five thousand dollars per covered individual, after the application of deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments. Other than the benefit amount, coverage for medical and dental services shall be the same as are generally provided in the policy for other injuries, musculoskeletal disorders, or dental conditions. The coverage provisions may require:
(i) That services either be rendered or referred by the covered individual's primary care physician or dentist; and
(ii) A second opinion, provided that the covered individual shall not be financially responsible for any costs relating to this second opinion and that such costs shall be in excess of the required benefit levels; and
(iii) Prenotification or preauthorization.
Except
that the coverage provisions shall not require either a second opinion or prenotification or preauthorization for treatment commencing within forty-eight hours or as soon as is reasonably possible, after the occurrence of an accident or trauma to the temporomandibular joint.
(2) Offers of the optional coverage required by subsection (1) of this section shall be included on the group insurer's application form(s) and retained by the insurer for five years or until the completion of the next examination of the insurer by the insurance commissioner, whichever occurs first. In those cases where there is no written application form, the group insurer shall retain other written evidence of the offer of this optional coverage for temporomandibular joint disorders for the same period of time as required for application forms. This subsection applies only in those cases where the offeree has accepted any coverage.
(3) With respect to both medical and dental optional coverage of disorders of the temporomandibular joint, group disability insurers shall not engage in discriminatory practices against persons submitting claims for that coverage, nor shall they engage in discriminatory practices against licensed health care providers providing services within the scope of their licensure, for the treatment of disorders of the temporomandibular joint. This shall not prejudice the ability of the insurer to limit its coverage to its participating providers.
(4) For the purposes of the optional coverage for disorders of the temporomandibular joint required by subsections (1) through (3) of this section, the following definitions shall apply and shall be contained in the coverage contract:
(a) "Temporomandibular joint disorders" shall include those disorders which have one or more of the following characteristics: Pain in the musculature associated with the temporomandibular joint, internal derangements of the temporomandibular joint, arthritic problems with the temporomandibular joint, or an abnormal range of motion or limitation of motion of the temporomandibular joint.
(b) "Medical services" are those which are:
(i) Reasonable and appropriate for the treatment of a disorder of the temporomandibular joint, under all the factual circumstances of the case; and
(ii) Effective for the control or elimination of one or more of the following, caused by a disorder of the temporomandibular joint: Pain, infection, disease, difficulty in speaking, or difficulty in chewing or swallowing food; and
(iii) Recognized as effective, according to the professional standards of good medical practice; and
(iv) Not experimental or primarily for cosmetic purposes.
(c) "Dental services" are those which are:
(i) Reasonable and appropriate for the treatment of a disorder of the temporomandibular joint, under all the factual circumstances of the case; and
(ii) Effective for the control or elimination of one or more of the following, caused by a disorder of the temporomandibular joint: Pain, infection, disease, difficulty in speaking, or difficulty in chewing or swallowing food; and
(iii) Recognized as effective, according to the professional standards of good dental practice; and
(iv) Not experimental or primarily for cosmetic purposes.
(5) The requirements listed in the preceding subparagraphs of this section do not apply to those group disability policies exempted by RCW 48.21.320(3) or 48.21.045, or other applicable law.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 48.21.320(2) and 48.02.060 (3)(a). WSR 92-24-045 (Order R 92-23), § 284-96-020, filed 11/25/92, effective 12/26/92.]