(1) Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, an individual health benefit plan issued pursuant to this chapter that includes coverage for maternity care and pediatric care for newborn infants may not restrict benefits for any length of stay in a hospital in connection with childbirth for a mother or newborn infant covered by the plan to:
(a) Less than 48 hours after a normal vaginal delivery; and
(b) Less than 96 hours after a cesarean section.
If a different length of stay is provided in the guidelines established by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, or its successor organization, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, or its successor organization, the individual health benefit plan may follow such guidelines in lieu of following the length of stay set forth above. The provisions of this subsection do not apply to any individual health benefit plan in any case in which the decision to discharge the mother or newborn infant before the expiration of the minimum length of stay set forth in this subsection is made by the attending physician of the mother or newborn infant.
(2) Nothing in this section requires a mother to:
(a) Deliver her baby in a hospital; or
(b) Stay in a hospital for a fixed period following the birth of her child.
(3) An individual health benefit plan that offers coverage for maternity care and pediatric care of newborn infants may not:
(a) Deny a mother or her newborn infant coverage or continued coverage under the terms of the plan or coverage if the sole purpose of the denial of coverage or continued coverage is to avoid the requirements of this section;
(b) Provide monetary payments or rebates to a mother to encourage her to accept less than the minimum protection available pursuant to this section;
(c) Penalize, or otherwise reduce or limit, the reimbursement of an attending provider of health care because the attending provider of health care provided care to a mother or newborn infant in accordance with the provisions of this section;
(d) Provide incentives of any kind to an attending physician to induce the attending physician to provide care to a mother or newborn infant in a manner that is inconsistent with the provisions of this section; or
(e) Except as otherwise provided in subsection 4, restrict benefits for any portion of a hospital stay required pursuant to the provisions of this section in a manner that is less favorable than the benefits provided for any preceding portion of that stay.
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