AIA Oppose CMS Regulations Under Maryland Law

The American Insurance Association (AIA) is opposing a regulation requiring the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS) to back a set-aside arrangement as a condition for approval of a workers compensation settlement under Maryland law.
The Workers Compensation Commissions proposal requires that emergency rules be converted into permanent rules, subjecting Maryland to an “unwarranted” federal regulatory procedure, according to the AIA.(WCxKit)
According to the AIA, the regulations would increase workers comp costs, increase delays for claims settlement and fail to protect all parties.
For the first time anywhere a states workers compensation agency is about to eliminate its own discretion and authority by effectively giving a federal agency the right to prior approval of a lawful practice under its state law,” Bruce Wood, associate general counsel and director, workers comp for AIA, wrote in a letter to Amy Lackington, administrator for the Workers Compensation Commission.
The commissions proposal is based on “misunderstandings” of the CMS Medicare Set-Aside (MSA) procedures, according to Wood.
He wrote that there is no requirement for CMS approval of a workers comp settlement; the MSA procedures do not prescribe use of a set-aside arrangement; and CMS review of an MSA submission does not fully protect parties who do obtain CMSs approval of a set aside.
Under federal law, Medicare is the secondary payer, thus CMSs interests are secondary to the requirements of the Maryland workers compensation law. It is ironic that the regulation converts a voluntary practice into a state mandate, and Maryland will be the only state to do so,” Wood wrote. (WCxKit)
The elements of those settlements will be subject to CMSs often disparate and shifting practices, as well as CMSs often inflated view of Medicares future interests. In effect, adopting this rule superimposes on the Maryland system the flaws of CMSs administration of the Medicare Secondary Payer Act that all parties to the workers compensation system have endeavored to repair for the past decade and for which legislation has been before the Congress for most of this period,” Wood added.

Author Robert Elliott
, executive vice president, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. See for more information.  Contact: or 860-553-6604.

Workers Comp Resource Center Newsletter

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

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