Reps. Reichert and Thompson Introduce Bipartisan Medicare Secondary Payer and Workers' Compensation Settlement Agreement Act

May 15, 2013 Issues: Healthcare

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Reps. Dave Reichert (R-WA) and Mike Thompson (D-CA) introduced the Medicare Secondary Payer and Workers’ Compensation Settlement Agreement Act, H.R. 1982 into the House of Representatives. 

The legislation aims to protect injured workers whose workers’ compensation claims overlap with Medicare coverage.  Far too often, these claims are subjected to lengthy and cumbersome reviews by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to determine appropriate set-aside amounts to pay for future medical costs in which Medicare may have an interest.  The delays associated with this review place unfair burdens upon the injured party. 

“This is a common-sense measure to ensure that hard-working Americans are not left in limbo because of inefficient bureaucratic procedures,” said Rep. Reichert.  “Injured workers must have the confidence that their heath care claims will be processed in a fair and timely manner.  By introducing this bill, Rep. Thompson and I aim to do just that: protect our hard-working citizens by making sure our systems serve them and their families.” 

The last thing injured workers should have to worry about is if needless bureaucracy is going to prevent their medical bills from being paid,” said Thompson. “This bill will make sure hard working families’ medical claims are processed efficiently and quickly, it will reduce bureaucratic headaches for businesses, and it will save taxpayers money. I will continue working with Congressman Reichert to get this bipartisan bill signed into law.”

Background

The Medicare Secondary Payer and Workers’ Compensation Settlement Agreements Act establishes clear and consistent standards for an administrative process that provides reasonable protections for injured workers and Medicare.  It would benefit injured workers, employers and insurers by creating a system of certainty, and allows the settlement process to move forward while eliminating millions of dollars in administrative costs that harm workers, employers and insurers.

The legislation has widespread support from groups such as the American Insurance Association, the American Bar Association, the National Council of Self-Insurers, Property Casualty, Insurers Association of America, UWC-Strategic Services and the Workers Injury Law and Advocacy Group (WILG).