Title 33, Chapter 24, Section 54
(a) Notwithstanding any provisions of Code Sections 33-1-3, 33-1-5, and 33-24-17 and Chapter 20 of this title or any other provisions of this title which might be construed to the contrary, whenever an accident and sickness insurance policy, subscriber contract, or self-insured health benefit plan, by whatever name called, which is issued or administered by a person licensed under this title provides that any of its benefits are payable to a participating or preferred provider of health care services licensed under the provisions of Chapter 4 of Title 26 or of Chapter 9, 11, 30, 34, 35, or 39 of Title 43 for services rendered, the person licensed under this title shall be required to pay such benefits either directly to any similarly licensed nonparticipating or nonpreferred provider who has rendered such services, has a written assignment of benefits, and has caused written notice of such assignment to be given to the person licensed under this title or jointly to such nonparticipating or nonpreferred provider and to the insured, subscriber, or other covered person; provided, however, that in either case the person licensed under this title shall be required to send such benefit payments directly to the provider who has the written assignment. When payment is made directly to a provider of health care services as authorized by this Code section, the person licensed under this title shall give written notice of such payment to the insured, subscriber, or other covered person.
(b) Nothing contained in this Code section shall be deemed to prohibit the payment of different levels of benefits or from having differences in coinsurance percentages applicable to benefit levels for services provided by participating or preferred providers and nonparticipating or nonpreferred providers as otherwise authorized under the provisions of Code Sections 33-30-20 through 33-30-27.
(c) Payments made by a person licensed under this title under
subsection (a) of this Code section to a nonparticipating or
nonpreferred provider or jointly to the provider and the insured,
subscriber, or other covered person shall discharge such person's
obligation with respect to the amount so paid.
(d) The provisions of this Code section shall not apply to credit
insurance, disability income insurance, or limited accident and
sickness policies such as hospital indemnity policies, specified
disease policies, limited accident policies, or similar limited