(a) Nothing in this section shall be construed to require a mother to give birth in a hospital or to stay in the hospital for a fixed period of time following the birth of her child, but if a health benefit plan, for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 1998, provides inpatient benefits in connection with childbirth for a mother or her newborn child:
(1) The plan may not restrict benefits for any hospital stay following a normal vaginal delivery to less than forty-eight hours or following a cesarean section to less than ninety-six hours, or require a provider to obtain authorization for such length hospital stays;
(2) The plan must cover maternity and pediatric care in accordance with guidelines established by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Academy of Pediatrics or other established professional medical association; and
(3) 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) Benefits provided for under this section may be made subject to deductibles, coinsurance or other cost-sharing if such cost-sharing is no greater than cost-sharing for any preceding portion of the mother's or newborn child's hospital stay.
(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent a health insurer from negotiating with a provider the level and type of reimbursement for inpatient maternity or newborn care provided under a health benefit plan.