Maternity Coverage for Employees and Dependent Spouses
In 1978 the federal Civil Rights Act was amended to make it a discriminatory practice for an employer with 15 or more employees that offers a health benefit plan to exclude coverage for maternity benefits for employees and dependent spouses. This amendment to the Civil Rights Act was known as the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, cited as 42 U.S.C. 2000c(k) and also known as Public Law 95-555.
The Idaho Commission on Human Rights Act (Idaho Code Sections 67-5901, et seq.) has as its purpose, "… to provide for execution within the state of the policies embodied in the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended… ." However, Idaho Code § 67-5902(6) goes beyond the federal laws by defining an employer as one with five or more employees. As a result, an Idaho employer with five or more employees that offers a health benefit plan to its employees is required by Idaho's Human Rights Act to include maternity coverage for employees and dependent spouses. However, it is the responsibility of the Human Rights Commission, not the Department of Insurance, to enforce this requirement with respect to employers.
Insurance carriers in Idaho often use policies that offer maternity coverage as an option for employers with five but less than 15 employees. An insurance carrier may inform an employer of the Human Rights Act requirement that employers include maternity coverage. However, an employer may choose to self-fund maternity coverage rather than purchase the coverage from an insurance carrier.
Neither the federal law nor Idaho law requires maternity coverage to be included for dependent children.
Involuntary complications of pregnancy (as defined in Department of Insurance Rule 18.01.31) must be covered the same as for any other illness.