Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 38.2. Insurance
Chapter 34. Provisions Relating to Accident and Sickness Insurance

§ 38.2-3445. Patient access to emergency services.

A. Notwithstanding any provision of § 38.2-3407.11, 38.2-4312.3, or any other section of this title to the contrary, if a health carrier providing individual or group health insurance coverage provides any benefits with respect to services in an emergency department of a hospital, the health carrier shall provide coverage for emergency services:

1. Without the need for any prior authorization determination, regardless of whether the emergency services are provided on an in-network or out-of-network basis;

2. Without regard to the final diagnosis rendered to the covered person or whether the health care provider furnishing the emergency services is a participating health care provider with respect to such services;

3. If such services are provided out-of-network, without imposing any administrative requirement or limitation on coverage that is more restrictive than the requirements or limitations that apply to such services received from an in-network provider;

4. If such services are provided out-of-network, the health carrier shall pay the out-of-network provider in accordance with § 38.2-3445.01 less any cost-sharing requirement. Any such cost-sharing requirement shall not exceed the cost-sharing requirement that would apply if such services were provided in-network as provided in § 38.2-3445.01; and

5. Without regard to any term or condition of such coverage other than the exclusion of or coordination of benefits or an affiliation or waiting period.

B. Coverage for emergency services that are related to mental health services or substance abuse services, as those terms are defined in § 38.2-3412.1, shall be provided in accordance with the federal Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008, P.L. 110-343, even where those requirements would not otherwise apply directly. Such emergency services may be rendered at a location other than the emergency department of a hospital, such as a behavioral health crisis service provider, as required.

2011, c. 882; 2020, cc. 1080, 1081; 2024, cc. 199, 360.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.