State Law

New Jersey Statutes-Title 26. Health and Vital Statistics

08/15/2023 New Jersey Section 26:2SS-3

Definitions relative to out-of-network health care charges

OON-Payment Issues

This entire section falls under the category “Out-of-Network Payment Issues.”  See the bold text below to see the section falling under the category “Medical Necessity-Definition.”

As used in this act:

“Carrier” means an entity that contracts or offers to contract to provide, deliver, arrange for, pay for, or reimburse any of the costs of health care services under a health benefits plan, including: an insurance company authorized to issue health benefits plans; a health maintenance organization; a health, hospital, or medical service corporation; a multiple employer welfare arrangement; the State Health Benefits Program and the School Employees’ Health Benefits Program; or any other entity providing a health benefits plan. Except as provided under the provisions of this act, “carrier” shall not include any other entity providing or administering a self-funded health benefits plan.

“Commissioner” means the Commissioner of Banking and Insurance.

“Covered person” means a person on whose behalf a carrier is obligated to pay health care expense benefits or provide health care services.

“Department” means the Department of Banking and Insurance.

“Emergency or urgent basis” means all emergency and urgent care services including, but not limited to, the services required pursuant to N.J.A.C.11:24-5.3.

“Health benefits plan” means a benefits plan which pays or provides hospital and medical expense benefits for covered services, and is delivered or issued for delivery in this State by or through a carrier. For the purposes of this act, “health benefits plan” shall not include the following plans, policies or contracts: Medicaid, Medicare, Medicare Advantage, accident only, credit, disability, long-term care, TRICARE supplement coverage, coverage arising out of a workers’ compensation or similar law, automobile medical payment insurance, personal injury protection insurance issued pursuant to P.L.1972, c.70 (C.39:6A-1 et seq.), a dental plan as defined pursuant to section 1 of P.L.2014, c.70 (C.26:2S-26) and hospital confinement indemnity coverage.

“Health care facility” means a general acute care hospital, satellite emergency department, hospital based off-site ambulatory care facility in which ambulatory surgical cases are performed, or ambulatory surgery facility, licensed pursuant to P.L.1971, c.136 (C.26:2H-1 et seq.).

“Health care professional” means an individual, acting within the scope of his licensure or certification, who provides a covered service defined by the health benefits plan.

“Health care provider” or “provider” means a health care professional or health care facility.

“Inadvertent out-of-network services” means health care services that are: covered under a managed care health benefits plan that provides a network; and provided by an out-of-network health care provider in the event that a covered person utilizes an in-network health care facility for covered health care services and, for any reason, in-network health care services are unavailable in that facility. “Inadvertent out-of-network services” shall include laboratory testing ordered by an in-network health care provider and performed by an out-of-network bio-analytical laboratory.

“Knowingly, voluntarily, and specifically selected an out-of-network provider” means that a covered person chose the services of a specific provider, with full knowledge that the provider is out-of-network with respect to the covered person’s health benefits plan, under circumstances that indicate that covered person had the opportunity to be serviced by an in-network provider, but instead selected the out-of-network provider. Disclosure by a provider of network status shall not render a covered person’s decision to proceed with treatment from that provider a choice made “knowingly” pursuant to this definition.

“Medicaid” means the State Medicaid program established pursuant to P.L.1968, c.413 (C.30:4D-1 et seq.).

Medical Necessity-Definition

“Medical necessity” or “medically necessary” means or describes a health care service that a health care provider, exercising his or her prudent clinical judgment, would provide to a covered person for the purpose of evaluating, diagnosing, or treating an illness, injury, disease, or its symptoms and that is: in accordance with the generally accepted standards of medical practice; clinically appropriate, in terms of type, frequency, extent, site, and duration, and considered effective for the covered person’s illness, injury, or disease; not primarily for the convenience of the covered person or the health care provider; and not more costly than an alternative service or sequence of services at least as likely to produce equivalent therapeutic or diagnostic results as to the diagnosis or treatment of that covered person’s illness, injury, or disease.

“Medicare” means the federal Medicare program established pursuant to Pub.L.89-97 (42 U.S.C. § 1395 et seq.).

“Self-funded health benefits plan” or “self-funded plan” means a self-insured health benefits plan governed by the provisions of the federal “Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974,” 29 U.S.C. § 1001 et seq.