By Kerri Poe and Christine Logan, Co-Chairs of the NSSTA Legs & Regs Committee
On June 18, 2018, Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) introduced Senate Bill 3079, Medicare Secondary Payer and Workers’ Compensation Settlement Agreements Act of 2018. The Bill introduces several initiatives aimed at streamlining the CMS Medicare Set-Aside review and appeals process, including an option to allow MSA funds be paid directly to Medicare. The Bill suggests an alternative to self or professional administration of a MSA – optional “direct payment” of the MSA to CMS.
Not only will the “direct payment” option have the potential to significantly reduce the number of MSA annuities used in Workers Compensation and Liability settlements, it will negatively impact injured parties post settlement:
Increased costs since the injured worker will be subject to Medicare co-pays and deductibles.
- Reduced access to care since the injured worker would be restricted to Medicare-approved providers.
- Injured worker will be 100% reliant on government Medicare benefits.
- Potential overpayment to Medicare if the injured worker underspends the MSA funds, removing opportunity for savings or final distribution to a beneficiary.
NSSTA will continue to keep you up to date on this bill and our efforts to remove the “direct payment” option from SB 3079.
To learn more about Medicare Set Asides and structured settlements, please contact a qualified Monarch Structured Settlement Consultant today.