Medicaid Secondary Payer Changes Are Self-Defeating

Law360, New York (January 7, 2014, 6:02 PM EST) -- On Dec. 26, 2013, President Obama signed into law the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 (H.J. Res. 59), to address the national budget, calm economic worry and avoid another government shutdown. The law, however, contains an obscure change to the Medicaid statute that will profoundly alter the way in which state Medicaid programs are able to recover so-called "secondary payer" or "Medicaid lien" claims from beneficiaries.

As a result of this opaque legislative change, Medicaid programs will, beginning October 2014, be able to recover payments made on behalf of beneficiaries from beneficiary settlements with third parties. The new law, however, vastly...

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