Alaska Employment Law Update – July 2016

Alaska

Mandated Health Benefits – Services Provided By Certified Nurse Midwives/Autism Spectrum Disorders

On July 6, 2016, Alaska Governor Bill Walker signed legislation (S.B. 53) regarding insurance coverage for services provided by nurse midwives and services provided for autism spectrum disorders.

Pursuant to the bill:

  • A health care insurance plan that provides coverage for services performed by physicians to women during pregnancy, childbirth, and periods after childbirth must provide coverage for the same services performed by advanced practice registered nurses if the services performed are within the scope of practice of certified midwives (certified nurse midwives).
  • Except for a fraternal benefit society, a health care insurer that offers, issues for delivery, delivers, or renews a health care insurance plan in Alaska must provide coverage for the costs of the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders.

The law went into effect on July 7, 2016.

Read AK S.B. 53

Mandated Health Benefits – Cancer Medication

On July 7, 2016, Alaska Governor Bill Walker signed legislation (S.B. 142) clarifying that a health care insurer may not offset the cost of compliance by increasing the co-payment, deductible, or co-insurance amount required for anti-cancer medications injected or intravenously self-administered by a patient instead of by a health care provider that are covered under the health insurance plan.

The law applies to health insurance policies offered, issued for delivery, delivered, or renewed on or after January 1, 2017.

Read AK S.B. 142

Mandated Health Benefits – Mental Health Benefits Provided Through Telehealth

On June 13, 2016, Alaska Governor Bill Walker signed legislation (H.B. 234) relating to insurance coverage for mental health benefits provided through telehealth.

Under the law, a health care insurer that offers, issues for delivery, or renews in Alaska a health care insurance plan in the group or individual market that provides mental health benefits must provide coverage for mental health benefits provided through telehealth by a health care provider licensed in Alaska and may not require that prior in-person contact occur between a health care provider and a patient before payment is made for covered services.

The law applies to health insurance policies offered, issued for delivery, delivered, or renewed on or after September 11, 2016.

Read AK H.B. 234