§431:10A-205  Payment of benefits.  (a)  The benefits payable under any policy or contract of group or blanket disability insurance shall be payable to the insured member of the group or to the beneficiary designated by the insured member, other than the policyholder, subject to provisions of the policy in the event the claimant is insane or otherwise incompetent, or in the event there is no designated beneficiary as to all or any part of any sum payable at the death of the individual insured; provided, that if the entire cost of the insurance has been borne by the employer such benefits may be made payable to the employer.

     (b)  Any group or blanket disability policy may provide that all or any portion of any indemnities provided by the policy on account of hospital, nursing, medical, or surgical services may, at the insurer's option, be paid directly to the hospital or person rendering such services, but the policy may not require that the service be rendered by a particular hospital or person.  Payment so made shall discharge the insurer's obligation with respect to the amount so paid.

     (c)  No group disability income policy shall contain any provision integrating the benefits of the policy with social security benefits whereby the amount of the disability benefit actually being paid to the disabled person under the terms and conditions of the policy will be diminished when there occurs an increase in social security benefits either by operation of amendments to the Social Security Act or by cost of living adjustments which become effective after the first day the disabled person becomes entitled to benefits. [L 1987, c 347, pt of §2]


Case Notes


  Properly licensed HMOs, like plaintiff, were authorized pursuant to §432D-1 to "provide or arrange", at their option, for the closed panel health care services required under the managed care plan program; accident and health insurers were authorized under subsection (b) to arrange for medical services for members using a defined network of providers, i.e., particular "hospitals or persons"; thus, article 431:10A and chapter 432D authorized both accident and health insurers and HMOs, as risk-bearing entities, to provide the closed panel product required by the managed care plan contracts.  126 H. 326, 271 P.3d 621 (2012).