(a) Nothing in this section shall be construed to require a mother to give birth in a hospital or to stay in a hospital for a fixed period of time following the birth of her child. However, an insurer offering accident and sickness insurance coverage under this article may not restrict benefits for any hospital length of stay in connection with childbirth for the mother or her newborn child to less than forty-eight hours following a normal vaginal delivery, or to less than ninety-six hours following a cesarean section, or require a provider to obtain authorization for such length hospital stays. The mother and her newborn child may be discharged prior to the expiration of the minimum length of stay required under this section only in those cases in which the decision to discharge is made by an attending provider in consultation with the mother.
(b) Coverage for maternity and pediatric care shall be provided in accordance with guidelines established by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Academy of Pediatrics, or other established professional medical associations.
(c) Benefits provided under this section may be subject to deductibles, coinsurance, or other cost-sharing in relation to benefits for hospital stays in connection with childbirth for a mother or newborn child if the coinsurance or other cost-sharing for any portion of the hospital stay required under subsection (a) of this section is no greater than the coinsurance or cost-sharing for any preceding portion of the stay.
(d) Nothing in this section may be construed to prevent an insurer from negotiating the level and type of reimbursement with a provider for the care provided a mother or newborn child in connection with childbirth.
(e) This section shall not apply with respect to any accident and sickness insurance coverage which does not provide benefits for hospital lengths of stay in connection with childbirth for a mother or her newborn child.
(f) This section shall apply to accident and sickness insurance coverage offered, sold, issued, renewed, or in effect in the individual market on or after January 1, 1998.