A. Notwithstanding the provisions of § 38.2-3419, each insurer proposing to issue individual or group accident and sickness insurance policies providing hospital, medical and surgical, or major medical coverage on an expense-incurred basis; each corporation providing individual or group accident and sickness subscription contracts; and each health maintenance organization providing a health care plan for health care services shall provide coverage for medically necessary general anesthesia and hospitalization or facility charges of a facility licensed to provide outpatient surgical procedures for dental care provided to a covered person who is determined by a licensed dentist in consultation with the covered person’s treating physician to require general anesthesia and admission to a hospital or outpatient surgery facility to effectively and safely provide dental care and (i) is under the age of five, or (ii) is severely disabled, or (iii) has a medical condition and requires admission to a hospital or outpatient surgery facility and general anesthesia for dental care treatment. For purposes of this section, a determination of medical necessity shall include but not be limited to a consideration of whether the age, physical condition or mental condition of the covered person requires the utilization of general anesthesia and the admission to a hospital or outpatient surgery facility to safely provide the underlying dental care.
B. Such insurer, corporation or health maintenance organization may require prior authorization for general anesthesia and hospitalization or surgical facility charges for dental procedures in the same manner that prior authorization is required for other covered benefits.
C. Such insurer, corporation or health maintenance organization shall restrict coverage for general anesthesia expenses to those health care providers who are licensed to provide anesthesia services and shall restrict coverage for facility charges to facilities licensed to provide surgical services.
F. The provisions of this section shall not apply to short-term travel, accident-only, limited or specified disease policies, nor to policies or contracts designed for issuance to persons eligible for coverage under Title XVIII of the Social Security Act, known as Medicare, or any other similar coverage under state or federal governmental plans.
2000, c. 157.