Workers already suffering from injuries are getting another round of punishment heaped upon them. The federal agency that administers Medicare is causing the harm by freezing workers’ compensation payments for months or even years while cases are reviewed.
The problem started about five years ago when the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services decided they were paying for claims they believed private insurers should be picking up.
Because of the reviews, New Jersey, in particular, has the highest number of backlog cases in the country. Most workers there have been waiting more than a year for payouts and with a few hundred unlucky people waiting almost a decade.
At least one lawmaker in Congress is acknowledging the problem, and he’s not even from New Jersey!
U.S. Rep John Tanner (D-Tenn.) has introduced a bill to exempt all settlements under $250,000 from Medicare’s scrutiny and force Medicare to quickly review cases. Representatives from over a dozen states have joined the bill, which awaits action.