(a) An insurance company licensed in this state, or a health care service plan authorized to do business in this state, may either directly or through a subsidiary or affiliate organize and operate a health maintenance organization under the provisions of this chapter. Notwithstanding any other law which may be inconsistent herewith, any two or more such insurance companies, health care service plans, or subsidiaries or affiliates thereof, may jointly organize and operate a health maintenance organization. The business of insurance is deemed to include the providing of health care by a health maintenance organization owned or operated by an insurer or a subsidiary thereof.
(b) Notwithstanding any provision of insurance and health care service plan laws, Title 10, Chapter 4, Article 6 and Title 27, an insurer or a health care service plan may contract with a health maintenance organization to provide insurance or similar protection against the cost of care provided through health maintenance organizations and to provide coverage in the event of the failure of the health maintenance organization to meet its obligations. For such purposes, the enrollees of a health maintenance organization constitute a permissible group under such laws. Among other things, under such contracts, the insurer or health care service plan may make benefit payments to health maintenance organizations for health care services rendered by providers.