Frequently Asked Questions
Workers Comp and Medicare Set-asides

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Q2. Low Dollar Threshold for Medicare Beneficiaries

Has Medicare considered a low dollar threshold for review of WCMSA proposals for Medicare beneficiaries?
A2. Effective with the issuance of this memorandum, CMS will no longer review new WCMSA proposals for Medicare beneficiaries where the total settlement amount is less than $25,000. In order to increase efficiencies in our process, and based on available statistics, CMS is instituting this workload review threshold. However, CMS wishes to stress that this is a CMS workload review threshold and not a substantive dollar or "safe harbor" threshold. Medicare beneficiaries must still consider Medicare's interests in all WC cases and ensure that Medicare is secondary to WC in such cases.

Note that the computation of the total settlement amount includes, but is not limited to, wages, attorney fees, all future medical expenses, and repayment of any Medicare conditional payments, and that payout totals for all annuities to fund the above expenses should be used rather than cost or present values of any annuities. Also note that any previously settled portion of the WC claim must be included in computing the total settlement amount. Also note that both the beneficiary and non-beneficiary review thresholds are subject to adjustment. Claimants, employers, carriers, and their representatives should regularly monitor the CMS website at for changes to these thresholds and for other changes in policies and procedures.