Any policy of insurance described in this article which provides hospital expense and surgical expense insurance and which is issued or subsequently renewed by agreement between the insurer and the policyholder, within this state, or any policy of accident and sickness insurance which provides hospital expense and surgical expense insurance and which is delivered or issued for delivery or subsequently renewed by agreement between the insurer and the policyholder in this state, shall provide, unless specifically refused by the policyholder, benefits for expense of residents of the state covered under any such policy or plan, arising from mental or nervous conditions as described in the standard nomenclature of the American psychiatric association which are at least equal to the following minimum requirements:
(a) In the case of benefits based upon confinement as an inpatient in a mental hospital under the direction and supervision of the department of mental health, or in a private hospital or private mental hospital licensed by the department of mental health or any other duly authorized state agency, the period of confinement for which benefits shall be payable shall be at least forty-five consecutive days in any calendar year.
(b) In the case of benefits based upon confinement as an inpatient in a licensed or accredited general hospital, such benefits shall be no different than for any other illness.
(c) In the case of outpatient benefits, these shall cover fifty percent of eligible expenses up to five hundred dollars over a twelve-month period, services furnished (1) by a comprehensive health service organization, (2) by a licensed or accredited hospital, or (3) subject to the approval of the department of mental health, services furnished by a community mental health center or other mental health clinic or day care center which furnishes mental health services, or (4) consultations or diagnostic or treatment sessions, provided that such services are rendered by a psychotherapist or by a psychologist and do not exceed fifty such sessions over a twelve-month period. For purposes of this article "psychotherapist" means any person employed by the mental health center to provide direct services to clients, such person to serve under the authority and direction of a licensed psychologist, physician, psychiatrist or director of a duly licensed mental health facility.