Once again, the answer is NO, and it's likely to stay that way indefinitely. On August 24, 2010, the Department released Circular Letter No. 12 (2010). Alike its withdrawn 2009 predecessor, this circular letter again supersedes and withdraws Circular Letter No. 16 (1996) and Supplement No. 1 to Circular Letter No. 16 (1996) and again advises New York no-fault insurers and self-insurers that the Department has "reconsidered its position on this issue."
Quoting a June 16, 2010 opinion of the Department's Office of General Counsel, the circular letter states:
The Legislature clearly intended payment to health providers to be included as part of basic economic loss when it enacted Article 51 of the Insurance Law. There is no similar evidence, however, that the Legislature intended payment of the surcharge to be included as a reimbursable health expense under the no-fault law. To the contrary, when it enacted the law providing for HCRA surcharge, the Legislature did not amend the no-fault law in any manner. Accordingly, the interpretive guidance set forth in Circular Letter No. 16 no longer should be followed, and insurers may not offset the HCRA surcharge against any no-fault benefits to which an injured person is entitled under Insurance Law § 5102(a).
Since there is no effective date to this circular letter, it took effect immediately upon its issuance. No more offsetting HCRA surcharges against aggregate no-fault limits.In light of OGC Opinion No. 10-06-05, insurers and self-insurers may not offset an applicant's aggregate no-fault benefit limit for the payment of a surcharge when the surcharge is paid directly to the DOH's Office of Pool Administration.