The Court of Appeals, in a full-fledged opinion by Judge Pigott, over a two-judge dissenting opinion, determined Aetna, the health insurance carrier which erroneously paid the injured party's (Herrera's) no-fault benefits, could not recover from Hanover, the no-fault carrier:
The applicable regulation, 11 NYCRR 65.3.11 (a) provides, in relevant part, that “an insurer shall pay benefits for any loss, other than death benefits, directly to the applicant or, . . . upon assignment by the applicant . . .shall pay benefits directly to providers of health care services. . .” … . Aetna concedes that as a health insurer it is not a “provider of health care services” as contemplated by the language of this regulation … . Aetna argues, however, that it stands in Herrera's shoes because Herrera assigned her no-fault rights to it.
This argument fails for two reasons. First, since Herrera's health care providers were able to bill and recoup payment from Aetna, an assignment by Herrera of her no-fault rights had already been made, leaving her with no rights to assign to Aetna. Second, by its very language, the no-fault regulation permits only the insured — or providers of health care services by an assignment from the insured — to receive direct no-fault benefits. Because Aetna does not fall under the term “health care provider,” Herrera could not assign her rights to it. Aetna Health Plans v Hanover Ins. Co., 2016 NY Slip Op 04658, CtApp 6-14-16
INSURANCE LAW (HEALTH INSURANCE CARRIER WHICH ERRONEOUSLY PAID INJURED PARTY'S NO-FAULT BENEFITS CAN NOT RECOVER FROM THE NO-FAULT CARRIER)/NO-FAULT INSURANCE (HEALTH INSURANCE CARRIER WHICH ERRONEOUSLY PAID INJURED PARTY'S NO-FAULT BENEFITS CAN NOT RECOVER FROM THE NO-FAULT CARRIER)