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Bill would set Medicare secondary payer standards


WASHINGTON--Bipartisan legislation has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives that would set standards for the interplay of workers compensation insurance and the Medicare program in compensating injured workers.

The Medicare Secondary Payer and Workers' Compensation Settlement Act of 2007--H.R. 2549--would establish consistent standards for settling cases involving, among other things, so-called Medicare set-aside arrangements, which allocate a portion of workers comp settlements for future medical expenses.

Inconsistency in resolving such claims currently results in costly delays in settling workers comp claims, according to supporters of the legislation sponsored by Reps. John Tanner, D-Tenn., and Phil English, R-Pa.

Several insurers, employers and claimants attorneys support the legislation, which was introduced Friday.