List of exclusions

Some services and supplies are not covered by our plans, and most of these exclusions are listed below in an excerpt from the Providence Columbia contract. The section numbers correspond to that contract. The full list of exclusions for each plan can be found in the 2020 plan contract.

5. EXCLUSIONS

In addition to those Services listed as not covered in section 4, the following are specifically excluded from coverage under this Contract.

General exclusions

We do not cover services and supplies which:

  • Are not provided;
  • Are provided without charge or for which you would not be required to pay if you did not have this coverage;
  • Are received before the Effective Date of Coverage;
  • Are not a Covered Service or relate to complications resulting from a Non-Covered Service, except for Services provided as Emergency Care, as described in section 4.5;
  • Are not furnished by a Qualified Practitioner or Qualified Treatment Facility;
  • Are provided by or payable under any health plan or program established by a domestic or foreign government or political subdivision, unless such exclusion is prohibited by law;
  • Are provided while you are confined in a Hospital or institution owned or operated by the United States Government or any of its agencies, except to the extent provided by 38 U. S. C. § 1729 as it relates to non-military Services provided at a Veterans Administration Hospital or facility;
  • Are provided while you are in the custody of any law enforcement authorities or while incarcerated;
  • Are provided for convenience, educational or vocational purposes including, but not limited to, videos, books and educational programs to which drivers are referred by the judicial system and volunteer mutual support groups;
  • Are provided to yield primarily educational outcomes, except as otherwise covered under the Preventive Services benefit described in section 4.1. An outcome is “primarily educational” if the outcome’s fundamental, first, or principal character is to provide you with enduring knowledge, skill, or competence through a process of repetitive positive reinforcement over an extended length of time. An outcome is “enduring” if long-lasting or permanent; 
  • Are performed in association with a Service that is not covered under this Contract;
  • Are provided for any injury or illness that is sustained by any Member that arises out of, or as the result of, any work for wage or profit when coverage under any Workers' Compensation Act or similar law is required for the Member. This exclusion also applies to injuries and illnesses that are the subject of a disputed claim settlement or claim disposition agreement under a Workers’ Compensation Act or similar law. This exclusion does not apply to Members who are exempt under any Workers' Compensation Act or similar law;
  • Are payable under any automobile medical, personal injury protection (“PIP”), automobile no-fault, homeowner, commercial premises coverage, or similar contract or insurance, when such contract or insurance makes benefits or Services available to you, whether or not you make application for such benefits or Services and whether or not you are refused payment for failure to satisfy any term of such coverage. If such coverage is required by law and you unlawfully fail to obtain it, benefits will be deemed to have been payable to the extent of that requirement. This exclusion also applies to charges applied to the Deductible of such contract or insurance. Any benefits or Services provided under this Contract that are subject to this exclusion are provided solely to assist you and such assistance does not waive our right to reimbursement or subrogation as specified in section 6.3. This exclusion also applies to Services and applies after you have received proceeds from a settlement as specified in section 6.3.3;
  • Are provided in an institution that specializes in treatment of developmental disabilities, except as provided in section 4.10.2; 
  • Are provided for treatment or testing required by a third party or court of law which is not Medically Necessary; 
  • Are Experimental/Investigational;
  • Are determined by us not to be Medically Necessary for diagnosis and treatment of an injury or illness; 
  • Are received by a Member under the Washington Death with Dignity Act;
  • Have not been Prior Authorized as required by this Contract;
  • Relate to any condition determined by us to have been sustained as a result of voluntary participation in a civil revolution or riot; and
  • Relate to any condition determined by us to have been sustained as a result of duty as a member of the armed forces of any state or country, or as a result of war or an act of war which is declared or undeclared. For conditions that are a result of duty as a member of the United States Armed Forces, determination of the cause of the condition must be made by the Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs.

We do not cover:

  • Charges that are in excess of the Usual, Customary and Reasonable (UCR) cost;
  • Custodial Care;
  • Transplants, except as described in the Benefit Summary and in section 4.13;
  • Services for Medical Supplies, Medical Appliances, Prosthetic and Orthotic Devices and Durable Medical Equipment (DME), except as described in section 4.9;
  • Charges for Services that are primarily and customarily used for a non-medical purpose or used for environmental control or enhancement (whether or not prescribed by a physician) including, but not limited to, air conditioners, air purifiers, vacuum cleaners, motorized transportation equipment, escalators, elevators, tanning beds, ramps, waterbeds, hypoallergenic mattresses, cervical pillows, swimming pools, whirlpools, spas, exercise equipment, gravity lumbar reduction chairs, home blood pressure kits, personal computers and related equipment or other similar items or equipment;
  • Physical therapy, rehabilitative and habilitative services, except as provided in sections 4.6.3, 4.6.4, 4.7.2 and 4.7.3;
  • “Telephone visits” by a physician or “environment intervention” or “consultation” by telephone for which a charge is made to the patient, except as provided in section 4.3.2; 
  • “Get acquainted” visits without physical assessment or diagnostic or therapeutic intervention provided and online treatment sessions;
  • Missed appointments;
  • Non-emergency medical transportation;
  • Allergy shots and allergy serums, except as provided in section 4.3.5;
  • All Services and supplies related to the treatment of obesity or morbid obesity, except as provided in section 4.1;
  • Services for dietary therapy including medically supervised formula weight-loss programs, unsupervised self-managed programs and over-the-counter weight loss formulas, except as provided in section 4.1;
  • Transportation or travel time, food, lodging accommodations and communication expenses except as provided in sections 3.7 and 4.13 and with our prior approval;
  • Charges for health clubs or health spas, aerobic and strength conditioning, work-hardening programs, and all related material and products for these programs;
  • Biofeedback, except as provided in section 4.12.10;
  • Thermography;
  • Homeopathic procedures;
  • Comprehensive digestive stool analysis, cytotoxic food allergy test, dark-field examination for toxicity or parasites, EAV and electronic tests for diagnosis and allergy, fecal transient and retention time, Henshaw test, intestinal permeability, Loomis 24-hour urine nutrient/enzyme analysis, melatonin biorhythm challenge, salivary caffeine clearance, sulfate/creatinine ratio, urinary sodium benzoate, urine/saliva pH, tryptophan load test, and zinc tolerance test;
  • Chiropractic manipulation and acupuncture, except as provided in sections 4.12.13 and 4.12.14;
  • Light therapy for seasonal affective disorder, including equipment;
  • Any vitamins, dietary supplements, and other non-prescription supplements, except as required by federal or Washington state law;
  • Services for genetic testing are excluded, except as provided in section 4.12.1. Genetic testing is not covered for screening, to diagnose carrier states, or for informational purposes in the absence of disease;
  • Services to modify the use of tobacco and nicotine, except as provided in section 4.1.9 or when provided as Extra Values or Discounts (see our website at ProvidenceHealthPlan.com), where available;
  • Cosmetic Services including supplies and drugs, except as approved by us and described in section 4;
  • Services, including routine physical examination, immunizations and vaccinations for insurance, employment, licensing purposes, or solely for the purpose of participating in camps, sports activities, recreation programs, college entrance or for the purpose of traveling or obtaining a passport for foreign travel;
  • Non-sterile examination gloves;
  • Sales taxes, handling fees and similar surcharges, as explained in the definition of UCR;
  • Air ambulance transportation for non-emergency situations unless approved by us in advance;
  • Mental disorders not covered by diagnostic categories listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) or the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V); 
  • Services provided under a court order or as a condition of parole or probation or instead of incarceration which are not Medically Necessary; 
  • Personal growth services such as assertiveness training or consciousness raising;
  • School counseling and support services, peer support services, tutor and mentor services, independent living services, household management training and wraparound services that are provided by a school or halfway house and received as part of an education or training program;
  • Recreation services, therapeutic foster care, wraparound Services; emergency aid for household items and expenses; services to improve economic stability and interpretation services;
  • Evaluation or treatment for education, professional training, employment investigations and fitness for duty evaluations;
  • Community care facilities that provide 24-hour non-medical residential care;
  • Speech therapy, physical therapy and occupational therapy services provided in connection with treatment of psychosocial speech delay, learning disorders, including intellectual disability and motor skill disorders, and educational speech delay including delayed language development (except as provided in sections 4.6.3, 4.6.4, 4.7.2 and 4.7.3); 
  • Counseling related to family, marriage, sex and career including, but not limited to, counseling for adoption, custody, family planning or pregnancy, in the absence of a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) or the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) diagnosis;
  • Neurological Services and tests including, but not limited to, EEGs; PET, CT, MRA and MRI imaging Services; and beam scans (except as provided in section 4.4.1);
  • Vocational, pastoral or spiritual counseling;
  • Viscosupplementation (i.e., hyaluronic acid/hyaluronan injection);
  • All Direct-to-Consumer testing products; and
  • Dance, poetry, music or art therapy, except as part of an approved treatment program.

Exclusions that apply to provider services

  • Services of homeopaths; faith healers; or lay, unlicensed direct entry, and certified professional midwives; and
  • Services of any unlicensed providers.

Exclusions that apply to reproductive services

  • All services related to sexual disorders or dysfunctions regardless of gender or cause. This exclusion does not apply to Mental Health Covered Services; 
  • All of the following services:
    • All services related to surrogate parenting, except Maternity Services, as described in section 4.8;
    • All services related to in vitro fertilization, including charges for egg/semen harvesting and storage;
    • All services related to artificial insemination, including charges for semen harvesting and storage;
    • All services and prescription drugs related to fertility preservation;
    • Diagnostic testing and associated office visits to determine the cause of infertility;
    • All of the following services when provided for the sole purpose of diagnosing and treating an infertile state or artificial reproduction:
      • Physical examination;
      • Related laboratory testing;
      • Instruction; 
      • Medical and surgical procedures, such as hysterosalpingogram, laparoscopy, or pelvic ultrasound; and
      • Related supplies and prescriptions.
      For the purpose of this exclusion:
    • Infertility or infertile means the failure to become pregnant after a year of unprotected intercourse or the failure to carry a pregnancy to term as evidenced by three consecutive spontaneous abortions; 
    • Artificial reproduction means the creation of new life other than by the natural means;
  • Reversal of voluntary sterilization;
  • Services provided in a premenstrual syndrome clinic or holistic medicine clinic; and
  • Termination of pregnancy, unless there is a severe threat to the mother, or if the life of the fetus cannot be sustained. Providence has a religious objection to providing this service in other circumstances. However, enrollees in this Plan have coverage for termination of pregnancy services not covered under this Plan through the Washington Department of Health Family Planning Program. For information on how to receive these services, please contact the Department of Health customer service line at 1-800-525-0127. You are not required to notify or interact with Providence Health Plan in any way concerning such non-covered services.

Exclusions that apply to vision services

  • Surgical procedures which alter the refractive character of the eye, including, but not limited to, laser eye surgery, radial keratotomy, myopic keratomileusis and other surgical procedures of the refractive keratoplasty type, the purpose of which is to cure or reduce myopia, hyperopia or astigmatism; 
  • Services for routine eye care and vision care, vision exams/screenings, refractive disorders, eyeglass frames and lenses, contact lenses, except as provided in sections 4.1.1, 4.1.5, 4.5.3, 4.9.2, 4.15 and 4.16; and
  • Orthoptics and vision training.

Exclusions that apply to hearing services

  • Hearing aids, hearing therapies and/or devices, including all services related to the examination and fitting of hearing aids; and
  • Hearing screening/examination services, except as described in section 4.1.1.

Exclusions that apply to dental services

  • Oral surgery (non-dental or dental) or other dental services (all procedures involving the teeth, wisdom teeth, areas surrounding the teeth, and dental implants), except as stated in sections 4.12.6; 
  • Services for Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ) and orthognathic surgery, except as approved by us and described in sections 4.12.7; 
  • Dentures and orthodontia; except as provided in sections 4.12.6; and
  • Services for routine dental care, dental exams/screenings, and repair.

Exclusions that apply to foot care services

  • Routine foot care, such as removal of corns and calluses, except for Members with diabetes; and
  • Services for insoles, orthotics, arch supports, heel wedges, lifts and orthopedic shoes, except as described in section 4.9.2.

Exclusions that apply to prescription drugs, medicines and devices

  • Outpatient prescription drugs, medicines and devices, except as provided in sections 4.2.4, 4.12.9 and 4.14; and
  • Any drug, medicine, or device that does not have the United States Food and Drug Administration formal market approval through a New Drug Application, Pre-market Approval, or 510K.

Exclusions to ABA services

  • Services provided by a person who is a member of your immediate family. “Member of your immediate family” for this purpose means a parent, Spouse, registered Domestic Partner, sibling or child;
  • Services that are custodial in nature, or that constitute marital, family, or training services; 
  • Custodial or respite care, equine assisted therapy, creative arts therapy, wilderness or adventure camps, social counseling, telemedicine, music therapy, neurofeedback, chelation or hyperbaric chambers;
  • Services provided under an individual education plan in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act;
  • Services provided through community or social programs; and
  • Services provided by the Department of Human Services or the Washington State Health Care Authority, other than employee benefit plans offered by the department and the authority.

4.12.6 Restoration of head/facial structures; limited dental services

Covered Services are limited to those Services that are Medically Necessary for the purpose of controlling or eliminating infection, controlling or eliminating pain, or restoring facial configuration or functions such as speech, swallowing or chewing but not including cosmetic services to improve on the normal range of conditions. Medically Necessary Covered Services include restoration and management of head and facial structures, including teeth, dental implants and bridges, that cannot be replaced with living tissue and that are defective because of trauma, disease or birth or developmental deformities, not including overbite, crossbite, malocclusion or similar developmental irregularities of the teeth or jaw.

Benefits are covered as those Services listed in the Benefit Summary based upon the type of Services received.

Exclusions that apply to Covered Services include:

  • Cosmetic Services;
  • Services rendered to improve a condition that falls within the normal range of such conditions;
  • Routine Orthodontia;
  • Services to treat tooth decay, periodontal conditions and deficiencies in dental hygiene;
  • Removal of impacted teeth;
  • The making or repairing of dentures;
  • Orthognathic surgery to treat developmental maxillofacial conditions that result in overbite, crossbite, malocclusion or similar developmental irregularities of the teeth; and
  • Services to treat temporomandibular joint syndrome, including orthognathic surgery, except as specified in section 4.12.7.

Hospitalization and anesthesia for limited dental services

Benefits for inpatient or outpatient surgical facilities and anesthesia for dental Services are covered as those Services listed in the Benefit Summary based upon the type of Services received. Services are limited to Members under the age of seven and to Members with complicating medical conditions. Examples of these conditions include, but are not limited to:

  • Developmental disabilities;
  • Physical disabilities;
  • A combination of medical conditions or disabilities which cannot be managed safely and efficiently in a dental office; or
  • For dental procedures for those who would be at risk if the Service were performed elsewhere and without anesthesia.

Dental Services are excluded.

4.13.6 transplant exclusions

In addition to the exclusions listed in section 5, the following exclusions apply to human organ/tissue transplants:

  • Any transplant procedure performed at a transplant facility that has not been approved by us;
  • Any transplant that is Experimental/Investigational, as determined by us;
  • Services or supplies for any transplant that are not specified as Covered Services in this section 4.13, such as transplantation of animal organs;
  • Services related to organ/tissue donation by a Member if the recipient is not a Member or the Member/recipient is not eligible for transplant benefits under this Contract; and
  • Transplant-related travel expenses for the donor and the donor’s and recipient’s Family Members.

Pediatric vision exclusions

  • Two pairs of glasses instead of bifocals;
  • Replacement of lenses, frames or contacts;
  • Medical or surgical treatment;
  • Orthoptics, vision training or supplemental testing;
  • Contact lens insurance policies and service agreements;
  • Artistically painted or non-prescription contact lenses;
  • Additional office visits for contact lens pathology; and
  • Contact lens modification, polishing or cleaning.