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41.05.180  <<  41.05.183 >>   41.05.185

RCW 41.05.183

General anesthesia services for dental procedures — Public employee benefit plans.

(1) Each employee benefit plan offered to public employees that provides coverage for hospital, medical, or ambulatory surgery center services must cover general anesthesia services and related facility charges in conjunction with any dental procedure performed in a hospital or ambulatory surgical center if such anesthesia services and related facility charges are medically necessary because the covered person:

     (a) Is under the age of seven, or physically or developmentally disabled, with a dental condition that cannot be safely and effectively treated in a dental office; or

     (b) Has a medical condition that the person's physician determines would place the person at undue risk if the dental procedure were performed in a dental office. The procedure must be approved by the person's physician.

     (2) Each employee benefit plan offered to public employees that provides coverage for dental services must cover general anesthesia services in conjunction with any covered dental procedure performed in a dental office if the general anesthesia services are medically necessary because the covered person is under the age of seven or physically or developmentally disabled.

     (3) This section does not prohibit an employee benefit plan from:

     (a) Applying cost-sharing requirements, maximum annual benefit limitations, and prior authorization requirements to the services required under this section; or

     (b) Covering only those services performed by a health care provider, or in a health care facility, that is part of its provider network; nor does it limit the authority in negotiating rates and contracts with specific providers.

     (4) This section does not apply to medicare supplement policies, or supplemental contracts covering a specified disease or other limited benefits.

     (5) For the purpose of this section, "general anesthesia services" means services to induce a state of unconsciousness accompanied by a loss of protective reflexes, including the ability to maintain an airway independently and respond purposefully to physical stimulation or verbal command.

     (6) This section applies to employee benefit plans issued or renewed on or after January 1, 2002.

[2001 c 321 § 1.]