(a) The Plan shall have the right of subrogation upon all of the Plan member‘s right to recover from a liable third party for payment made under the Plan, for all medical expenses, including provider, hospital, surgical, or prescription drug expenses, to the extent those payments are related to an injury caused by a liable third party. The Plan member shall do nothing to prejudice these rights. The Plan has the right to first recovery on any amounts so recovered, whether by the Plan or the Plan member, and whether recovered by litigation, arbitration, mediation, settlement, or otherwise. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the recovery limitation set forth in G.S. 28A-18-2 shall not apply to the Plan’s right of subrogation of Plan members.
Terms Used In North Carolina General Statutes 135-48.37
- Damages: Money paid by defendants to successful plaintiffs in civil cases to compensate the plaintiffs for their injuries.
- Lien: A claim against real or personal property in satisfaction of a debt.
- Litigation: A case, controversy, or lawsuit. Participants (plaintiffs and defendants) in lawsuits are called litigants.
- Member: shall mean any teacher or State employee included in the membership of the System as provided in G. See North Carolina General Statutes 135-1
- Plan: includes all comprehensive health benefit plans offered under the Plan. See North Carolina General Statutes 135-48.1
- Plan member: A subscriber or dependent who is eligible and currently enrolled in the Plan and for whom a premium is paid. See North Carolina General Statutes 135-48.1
- Settlement: Parties to a lawsuit resolve their difference without having a trial. Settlements often involve the payment of compensation by one party in satisfaction of the other party's claims.
(b) If the Plan is precluded from exercising its right of subrogation, it may exercise its rights of recovery? against any third party who was overpaid. If the Plan recovers damages from a liable third party in excess of the claims paid, any excess will be paid to the member, less a proportionate share of the costs of collection.
(c) In the event a Plan member recovers any amounts from a liable third party to which the Plan is entitled under this section, the Plan may recover the amounts directly from the Plan member. The Plan has a lien, for not more than the value of claims paid related to the liability of the third party, on any damages subsequently recovered against the liable third party. If the Plan member fails to pursue the remedy against a liable third party, the Plan is subrogated to the rights of the Plan member and is entitled to enforce liability in the Plan’s own name or in the name of the Plan member for the amount paid by the Plan.
(d) In no event shall the Plan’s lien exceed fifty percent (50%) of the total damages recovered by the Plan member, exclusive of the Plan member’s reasonable costs of collection as determined by the Plan in the Plan’s sole discretion. The decision by the Plan as to the reasonable cost of collection is conclusive and is not a “final agency decision” for purposes of a contested case under Chapter 150B of the General Statutes. Notice of the Plan’s lien or right to recovery shall be presumed when a Plan member is represented by an attorney, and the attorney shall disburse proceeds pursuant to this section. ?(2004-124, s. 31.25; 2006-264, s. 66(a); 2008-168, ss. 1(a), 3(a), (t); 2011-85, ss. 2.6(j), 2.10.)