376.781. 1. All group health insurance policies providing coverage on an expense-incurred basis, all group service or indemnity contracts issued by a not-for-profit health service corporation, all self-insured group health benefit plans of any type or description, and all such health plans or policies that are individually underwritten or provide for such coverage for specific individuals and the members of their families as nongroup policies, which provide for hospital treatment, shall offer coverage for the necessary care and treatment of loss or impairment of speech or hearing subject to the same durational limits, dollar limits, deductibles and coinsurance factors as other covered services in such policies or contracts. All Missouri group contracts issued or renewed on or after December 31, 1984, shall be subject to this section. Notwithstanding any construction or relationship of interdependent contracts or plans affecting coverage and payment of reimbursement prerequisites under the policy or contract, coverage required by this section shall be included in the policy or contract and payment provided as for other coverage in the same policy or contract.
2. The offer of benefits under subsection 1 of this section shall be in writing and may be rejected by the individual or group policyholder.
3. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the insurance company or not-for-profit health service corporation from including any coverage for loss or impairment of speech, language or hearing as standard coverage in their policies or contracts, but same shall not contain terms contrary to this section.
4. The phrase "loss or impairment of speech or hearing" shall include those communicative disorders generally treated by a speech pathologist, audiologist or speech/language pathologist licensed by the state board of healing arts or certified by the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association (ASHA), or both, and which fall within the scope of his or her license or certification.
5. Any provision in a health insurance policy contrary to or in conflict with the provisions of this section shall, to the extent of the conflict, be void, but such invalidity shall not offset the validity of the other provisions of such policy.
6. The department of insurance, financial institutions and professional registration may issue rules necessary to carry out the provisions of this section. No rule or portion of a rule promulgated under the authority of this section shall become effective unless it has been promulgated pursuant to the provisions of section 536.024.
(L. 1984 S.B. 522 § 1, A.L. 1995 S.B. 3)
Missouri General Assembly