California Code, Health and Safety Code - HSC § 1374.72

(a) Every health care service plan contract issued, amended, or renewed on or after July 1, 2000, that provides hospital, medical, or surgical coverage shall provide coverage for the diagnosis and medically necessary treatment of severe mental illnesses of a person of any age, and of serious emotional disturbances of a child, as specified in subdivisions (d) and (e), under the same terms and conditions applied to other medical conditions as specified in subdivision (c).

(b) These benefits shall include the following:

(1) Outpatient services.

(2) Inpatient hospital services.

(3) Partial hospital services.

(4) Prescription drugs, if the plan contract includes coverage for prescription drugs.

(c) The terms and conditions applied to the benefits required by this section, that shall be applied equally to all benefits under the plan contract, shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

(1) Maximum lifetime benefits.

(2) Copayments.

(3) Individual and family deductibles.

(d) For the purposes of this section, “severe mental illnesses” shall include:

(1) Schizophrenia.

(2) Schizoaffective disorder.

(3) Bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness).

(4) Major depressive disorders.

(5) Panic disorder.

(6) Obsessive-compulsive disorder.

(7) Pervasive developmental disorder or autism.

(8) Anorexia nervosa.

(9) Bulimia nervosa.

(e) For the purposes of this section, a child suffering from, “serious emotional disturbances of a child” shall be defined as a child who (1) has one or more mental disorders as identified in the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, other than a primary substance use disorder or developmental disorder, that result in behavior inappropriate to the child's age according to expected developmental norms, and (2) who meets the criteria in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 5600.3 of the Welfare and Institutions Code .

(f) This section shall not apply to contracts entered into pursuant to Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 14000) or Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 14200 ) of Division 9 of Part 3 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, between the State Department of Health Services and a health care service plan for enrolled Medi-Cal beneficiaries.

(g)(1) For the purpose of compliance with this section, a plan may provide coverage for all or part of the mental health services required by this section through a separate specialized health care service plan or mental health plan, and shall not be required to obtain an additional or specialized license for this purpose.

(2) A plan shall provide the mental health coverage required by this section in its entire service area and in emergency situations as may be required by applicable laws and regulations.  For purposes of this section, health care service plan contracts that provide benefits to enrollees through preferred provider contracting arrangements are not precluded from requiring enrollees who reside or work in geographic areas served by specialized health care service plans or mental health plans to secure all or part of their mental health services within those geographic areas served by specialized health care service plans or mental health plans.

(3) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in the provision of benefits required by this section, a health care service plan may utilize case management, network providers, utilization review techniques, prior authorization, copayments, or other cost sharing.

(h) Nothing in this section shall be construed to deny or restrict in any way the department's authority to ensure plan compliance with this chapter when a plan provides coverage for prescription drugs.


FindLaw Codes are provided courtesy of Thomson Reuters Westlaw, the industry-leading online legal research system. For more detailed codes research information, including annotations and citations, please visit Westlaw.

FindLaw Codes may not reflect the most recent version of the law in your jurisdiction. Please verify the status of the code you are researching with the state legislature or via Westlaw before relying on it for your legal needs.