ACCIDENT AND HEALTH INSURANCE
415:6-h Prompt Payment Required.
I. (a) Each insurer that issues or renews any individual policy of accident or health insurance providing benefits for medical or hospital expenses for its insured persons shall pay for services rendered by New Hampshire health care providers within 30 calendar days upon receipt of a clean non-electronic claim or 15 calendar days upon receipt of a clean electronic claim.
(b) When the insurer is denying or pending the claim, the insurer shall have 15 calendar days upon receipt of an electronic claim or 30 days upon receipt of a non-electronic claim to notify the health care provider or certificate holder of the reason for denying or pending the claim and what, if any, additional information is required to adjudicate the claim. Upon the insurer's receipt of the requested additional information, the insurer shall adjudicate the claim within 45 calendar days. If the required notice is not provided, the claim shall be treated as a clean claim and shall be adjudicated pursuant to subparagraph (a).
(c) Payment of a claim shall be considered to be made on the date a check was issued or electronically transferred. The insurer shall mail checks no later than 5 business days after the date a check was issued. Failure to mail a check within 5 business days shall constitute a violation subject to enforcement under RSA 415:20.
(d) The insurer's failure to comply with the time limits in this section shall not have the effect of requiring coverage for an otherwise non-covered claim. This section shall only apply to payments made on a claims basis and shall not apply to capitation or other forms of periodic payment.
II. In this section:
(a) "Clean claim" means a claim for payment of covered health care expenses that is submitted to an insurer on the insurer's standard claim form using the most current published procedural codes, with all the required fields completed with correct and complete information in accordance with the insurer's published filing requirements.
(b) "Electronic claim" means the transmission of data for purposes of payment of covered health care services in an electronic data format specified by the insurer and, if covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), is in such form and substance as to be in compliance with such act.
III. Any initial clean claim submission not paid within the time periods specified in subparagraph I(a) shall be deemed overdue. In that case:
(a) The insurer shall pay the health care provider or the insured person the amount of the overdue claim plus an interest payment of 1.5 percent per month beginning from the date the payment was due; and
(b) The health care provider may recover from the insurer, upon a judicial finding of bad faith, reasonable attorney's fees for advising and representing a health care provider in a successful action against an insurer for payment of the claim.
IV. Exceptions to the requirements of this section are as follows:
(a) No insurer shall be in violation of this section for a claim submitted by a health care provider if:
(1) Failure to comply is caused by a directive from a court or a federal or state agency;
(2) The insurer is in liquidation or rehabilitation or is operating in compliance with a court-ordered plan of rehabilitation; or
(3) The insurer's compliance is rendered impossible due to matters beyond the insurer's control which are not caused by such insurer.
(b) No insurer shall be in violation of this section for any claim submitted more than 90 days after the service was rendered.
(c) No insurer shall be in violation of this section while the claim is pending due to a fraud investigation that has been reported to a state or federal agency, or an internal or external review process.
V. The commissioner may assess an administrative fine against any insurer or may suspend or revoke the license or certificate of authority of any insurer after determining that the insurer has established a pattern of overdue payments and that the contemplated enforcement action would not promote the deterioration of the financial condition of an at-risk insurer. Such fine shall not exceed $300,000 per calendar year examined. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to alter the commissioner's authority to investigate or take action, including, but not limited to, action pursuant to RSA 415:20, in response to individual instances of noncompliance.
Source. 2000, 274:2; 314:2. 2005, 162:1. 2009, 235:3, eff. Sept. 14, 2009.