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Workers' compensation settlements and Medicare

Whenever injured workers are approved for compensation for their on-the-job illnesses or injuries, the biggest question on their minds is: When will I receive the money? The problem is compounded when workers' compensation insurance refuses to pay for the entire medical bill, or refuses to pay for all of the bill. In these cases, where workers' compensation refuses to pay some or all of a bill, Medicare might offer a conditional payment pending your claim's review.

The problem is, there is a delay when a payment is requested from Medicare. That delay could last 120 days or more. Also, workers should realize that the only medical bills Medicare pays are for "Medicare-covered" health services and expenses.

As an example, let's say a worker starts his or her job with a well-documented back injury. The job duties performed by the worker make his or her back injury worse, but they did not cause the injury in the first place. In this kind of situation, workers' compensation might not pay for all of the medical-related bills because the job itself was not the direct cause of the injury -- but workers' compensation might pay for some. Here, Medicare may step in to cover the rest of the workers' bills.

Receiving medicare payments becomes more complicated in settled workers' compensation claims. Workers who wish to settle their compensation claims will need to contact Medicare and use their settlement money to pay back any amount paid by Medicare. A workers' compensation attorney such as those at Goldstein & Goldstein, LLP, in New Jersey, can help injured workers navigate a workers' compensation settlement and Medicare to ensure they are in perfect compliance with Medicare laws.

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