KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Medicare Could Owe Billions To State Medicaid Programs

Governors are pushing the Department of Health and Human Services to reimburse their states money that was spent on providing health care services to people with disabilities who were mistakenly denied Medicare benefits. The error is attributed to the Social Security Administration and cost state Medicaid programs an estimated $4 billion.

The Hill: Governors Say Feds Could Owe States $4B For Medicare Errors
The National Governors Association is requesting that the federal government reimburse states for Medicare errors that might have cost their Medicaid programs more than $4 billion over several decades. For 30 years, states say, many Americans with disabilities were denied the Medicare benefits they were entitled to because of errors by the Social Security Administration. In many cases, state Medicaid programs picked up their care - and their tab (Pecquet, 7/5).

Modern Healthcare: Governors Press HHS For Reimbursement
In a letter from the National Governors Association to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the governors assert that, for decades, states have paid for health care services to persons with disabilities who were mistakenly denied Social Security disability insurance by the Social Security Administration and consequently did not receive Medicare coverage. The Social Security Administration completed a 10-year project called the Special Disability Workload to correct the errors retroactively, the letter said, but there hasn't been an effort to account for Medicare's liability for the services provided and paid for through state Medicaid programs. The governors estimate that more than $4 billion of state funds have been used to cover services that should have been provided through Medicare (Zigmond, 7/5). 

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