Report Title:

Smoking Cessation Program; Mandated Covered Health Benefit

Description:

Requires insurers, hospital and medical services plans, and health maintenance organizations to provide smoking cessation programs to their policyholders, members, and enrollees.

THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

2602

TWENTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2004

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 


 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

relating to health insurance.

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

SECTION 1. The legislature finds that smoking-related diseases claim an estimated 430,700 American lives each year, including those affected indirectly, such as babies born prematurely due to prenatal maternal smoking and some of the victims of "secondhand" exposure to tobacco's carcinogens. Furthermore, smoking costs the United States approximately $97,200,000,000 each year in health care costs and lost productivity. It is directly responsible for eighty-seven per cent of lung cancer cases and causes most cases of emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Smoking is also a major factor in coronary heart disease and stroke. It may be causally related to malignancies in other parts of the body and has been linked to a variety of other conditions and disorders, including slowed healing of wounds, infertility, and peptic ulcer disease. In addition, smoking by parents is also associated with a wide range of adverse effects in their children, including exacerbation of asthma, increased frequency of colds and ear infections, and sudden infant death syndrome. An estimated one hundred fifty thousand to three hundred thousand cases of lower respiratory tract infections in children less than eighteen months of age, resulting in seven thousand five hundred to fifteen thousand annual hospitalizations, are caused by secondhand smoke.

The legislature finds that smoking has been, and remains, a grave public health problem that must be addressed in every possible manner. The purpose of this Act is to require insurers, hospital and medical services plans, and health maintenance organizations to provide smoking cessation programs to their policyholders, members, and enrollees.

SECTION 2. Chapter 431, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to article 10A to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"431:10A-    Smoking cessation program; notice. (a) Any other law to the contrary notwithstanding, each employer group health policy, contract, plan, or agreement issued or renewed in this State after December 31, 2004, shall provide, not as an employer option, a smoking cessation program for the policyholder and individuals covered under the policy, contract, plan, or agreement. The smoking cessation program shall be certified by the board of medical examiners as a health benefit.

(b) Every insurer shall provide notice to its policyholders regarding the coverage required by this section. The notice shall be in writing and prominently positioned in any literature or correspondence sent to policyholders and shall be transmitted to policyholders within calendar year 2004 when annual information is made available to policyholders, or in any other mailing to policyholders, but in no case later than December 31, 2004."

SECTION 3. Chapter 432, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"432-    Smoking cessation program; notice. (a) Any other law to the contrary notwithstanding, each individual and group hospital or medical service plan, policy, contract, or agreement issued or renewed in this State after December 31, 2004, shall provide, not as an employer option, a smoking cessation program for the member and individuals covered under the service plan, policy, contract, or agreement. The smoking cessation program shall be certified by the board of medical examiners as a health benefit.

(b) Every mutual benefit society shall provide notice to its members regarding the coverage required by this section. The notice shall be in writing and prominently positioned in any literature or correspondence sent to members and shall be transmitted to members within calendar year 2004 when annual information is made available to policyholders, or in any other mailing to members, but in no case later than December 31, 2004."

SECTION 4. Section 432D-23, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"432D-23 Required provisions and benefits. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, each policy, contract, plan, or agreement issued in the State after January 1, 1995, by health maintenance organizations pursuant to this chapter, shall include benefits provided in sections 431:10-212, 431:10A-115, 431:10A-115.5, 431:10A-116, 431:10A-116.5, 431:10A-116.6, 431:10A-119, 431:10A-120, [and] 431:10A-121, and 431:10A-   , and chapter 431M."

SECTION 5. The benefit to be provided by health maintenance organizations corresponding to the benefit provided under section 431:10A-   , Hawaii Revised Statutes, as contained in the amendment to section 432D-23, Hawaii Revised Statutes, in section 4 of this Act, shall take effect for all policies, contracts, plans, or agreements issued in the State after December 31, 2004.

SECTION 6. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 7. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

INTRODUCED BY:

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