Unfair practice relating to health coverage.
(1) It is an unfair practice for any health carrier to restrict, exclude, or reduce coverage or benefits under any health plan on the basis of sex. By way of example, a health plan providing generally comprehensive coverage of prescription drugs and prescription devices restricts, excludes, or reduces coverage or benefits on the basis of sex if it fails to provide prescription contraceptive coverage that complies with this regulation.
An example of a plan that provides generally comprehensive coverage of prescription drugs is a plan that covers prescription drugs but excludes some categories such as weight reduction or smoking cessation.
(2)(a) Health plans providing generally comprehensive coverage of prescription drugs and/or prescription devices shall not exclude prescription contraceptives or cover prescription contraceptives on a less favorable basis than other covered prescription drugs and prescription devices. Coverage of prescription contraceptives includes coverage for medical services associated with the prescribing, dispensing, delivery, distribution, administration and removal of a prescription contraceptive to the same extent, and on the same terms, as other outpatient services.
(b) Health plans may not impose benefit waiting periods, limitations, or restrictions on prescription contraceptives that are not required or imposed on other covered prescription drugs and prescription devices.
(c) Health plans may require cost sharing, such as copayments or deductibles, for prescription contraceptives and for services associated with the prescribing, dispensing, delivery, distribution, administration, and removal of the prescription contraceptives, to the same extent that such cost sharing is required for other covered prescription drugs, devices or services.
(d) Health carriers may use, and health plans may limit coverage to, a closed formulary for prescription contraceptives if they otherwise use a closed formulary, but the formulary shall cover each of the types of prescription contraception as defined in (f) of this subsection.
(e) If a health plan excludes coverage for nonprescription drugs and devices except for those required by law, it may also exclude coverage for nonprescription contraceptive drugs and devices.
(f) For purposes of subsections (1) and (2) of this section, "prescription contraceptives" include United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved contraceptive drugs, devices, and prescription barrier methods, including contraceptive products declared safe and effective for use as emergency contraception by the FDA.
(g) This section applies prospectively to health plans offered, issued, or renewed by a health carrier on or after January 1, 2002.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 48.02.060
, 48.18.480, 48.20.450, 48.20.460, 48.21.045, 48.30.010, 48.30.300, 48.41.110, 48.41.170, 48.42.010, 48.42.040, 48.42.100, 48.43.012, 48.43.025, 48.43.035, 48.43.041, 48.43.115, 48.43.520, 48.44.020, 48.44.023, 48.44.050, 48.44.220, 48.46.060, 48.46.066, 48.46.110, 48.46.200, 49.60.010, 49.60.030, 49.60.120, 49.60.178, 49.60.220. WSR 01-19-001 (Matter No. R 2001-02), § 284-43-822, filed 9/5/01, effective 10/6/01.]