The Federalization of Workers Compensation – Medicare Set-asides
The medicare set-asides rules have been law for quite a few years. I have posted often on this subject lately as I think we are seeing the trees in the forest. I want to try to examine the forest in the Workers Compensation environment on this subject.
The Center for Medicare/Medicaid Services (CMS) and Medicare Set-asides (MSA) are beginning to reach a fever pitch judging from some of the blogs and newsletters that I subscribe to for daily Workers Comp information and news.
The State of Maryland has now made MSA’s mandatory for all Workers Comp claims. I think we will see more of this type of state legislation which is really federal legislation enacted by the states.
Congress is now debating a bill that would remove antitrust status for ALL health insurance carriers. Workers Comp cannot be that far behind. In my opinion, this is a disastrous move that will be borne by taxpayers and premium payers.
Some carriers and TPA’s have already been contacted by CMS contractors (shudder) to make sure their lien is protected. This is very early in the process for contractors to already begin contacting carriers and TPA’s.
We now have many trees in which to make a forest – The Complete Federalization of Workers Compensation. When I advise employers, investment companies, investment advisors, and other firms on Workers Compensation I have always input into the conversation the fact that Workers Compensation is going to be eventually federalized.
Oh, and I almost forgot. The recent financial package passed by Congress ENACTED A FEDERAL INSURANCE OFFICE (FIO). I will post on that soon. We now have two federal bureaus, the CMS and the FIO that have been collecting data from Workers Comp insurance companies payments made on Workers Comp claims. Are you now seeing the forest?
I could take that data and analyze it in so many ways that it would make it much easier to see patterns in the data to possibly make more rules and legislation. Could a federal agency use the data they are collecting for other means? I will leave that one to you and the trees and the forest to answer.