If a Medicare conditional payment is made, the following rules apply:
(a) Release of information. The filing of a Medicare claim by on or behalf of the beneficiary constitutes an express authorization for any entity, including State Medicaid and workers' compensation agencies, and data depositories, that possesses information pertinent to the Medicare claim to release that information to CMS. This information will be used only for Medicare claims processing and for coordination of benefits purposes.
(b) Right to initiate recovery. CMS may initiate recovery as soon as it learns that payment has been made or could be made under workers' compensation, any liability or no-fault insurance, or an employer group health plan.
(c) Amount of recovery.
(1) If it is not necessary for CMS to take legal action to recover, CMS recovers the lesser of the following:
(i) The amount of the Medicare primary payment.
(ii) The full primary payment amount that the primary payer is obligated to pay under this part without regard to any payment, other than a full primary payment that the primary payer has paid or will make, or, in the case of a primary payment beneficiary, the amount of the primary payment.
(2) If it is necessary for CMS to take legal action to recover from the primary payer, CMS may recover twice the amount specified in paragraph (c)(1)(i) of this section.
(d) Methods of recovery. CMS may recover by direct collection or by offset against any monies CMS owes the entity responsible for refunding the conditional payment.
(e) Recovery from primary payers. CMS has a direct right of action to recover from any primary payer.
(f) Claims filing requirements.
(1) CMS may recover without regard to any claims filing requirements that the insurance program or plan imposes on the beneficiary or other claimant such as a time limit for filing a claim or a time limit for notifying the plan or program about the need for or receipt of services.
(2) However, CMS will not recover its payment for particular services in the face of a claims filing requirement unless it has filed a claim for recovery by the end of the year following the year in which the Medicare intermediary or carrier that paid the claim has notice that the third party is a primary plan to Medicare for those particular services. (A notice received during the last three months of a year is considered received during the following year.)
(g) Recovery from parties that receive primary payments. CMS has a right of action to recover its payments from any entity, including a beneficiary, provider, supplier, physician, attorney, State agency or private insurer that has received a primary payment.
(h) Reimbursement to Medicare. If the beneficiary or other party receives a primary payment, the beneficiary or other party must reimburse Medicare within 60 days.
(i) Special rules.
(1) In the case of liability insurance settlements and disputed claims under employer group health plans, workers' compensation insurance or plan, and no-fault insurance, the following rule applies: If Medicare is not reimbursed as required by paragraph (h) of this section, the primary payer must reimburse Medicare even though it has already reimbursed the beneficiary or other party.
(2) The provisions of paragraph (i)(1) of this section also apply if a primary payer makes its payment to an entity other than Medicare when it is, or should be, aware that Medicare has made a conditional primary payment.
(3) In situations that involve procurement costs, the rule of § 411.37(b) applies.
(j) Recovery against Medicaid agency. If a primary payment is made to a State Medicaid agency and that agency does not reimburse Medicare, CMS may reduce any Federal funds due the Medicaid agency (under title XIX of the Act) by an amount equal to the Medicare payment or the primary payment, whichever is less.
(k) Recovery against Medicare contractor. If a Medicare contractor, including an intermediary or carrier, also insures, underwrites, or administers as a third party administrator, a program or plan that is primary to Medicare, and does not reimburse Medicare, CMS may offset the amount owed against any funds due the intermediary or carrier under title XVIII of the Act or due the contractor under the contract.
(l) Recovery when there is failure to file a proper claim -
(1) Basic rule. If Medicare makes a conditional payment with respect to services for which the beneficiary or provider or supplier has not filed a proper claim with a primary payer, and Medicare is unable to recover from the primary payer, Medicare may recover from the beneficiary or provider or supplier that was responsible for the failure to file a proper claim.
(i) This rule does not apply in the case of liability insurance nor when failure to file a proper claim is due to mental or physical incapacity of the beneficiary.
(ii) CMS will not recover from providers or suppliers that are in compliance with the requirements of § 489.20 of this chapter and can show that the reason they failed to file a proper claim is that the beneficiary, or someone acting on his or her behalf, failed to give, or gave erroneous, information regarding coverage that is primary to Medicare.
(m) Interest charges.
(1) With respect to recovery of payments for items and services furnished before October 31, 1994, CMS charges interest, exercising common law authority in accordance with 45 CFR 30.13, consistent with the Federal Claims Collection Act (31 U.S.C. 3711).
(2) In addition to its common law authority with respect to recovery of payments for items and services furnished on or after October 31, 1994, CMS charges interest in accordance with section 1862(b)(2)(B)(i) of the Act. Under that provision -
(i) CMS may charge interest if reimbursement is not made to the appropriate trust fund before the expiration of the 60-day period that begins on the date on which notice or other information is received by CMS that payment has been or could be made under a primary plan;
(ii) Interest may accrue from the date when that notice or other information is received by CMS, is charged until reimbursement is made, and is applied for full 30-day periods; and
(iii) The rate of interest is that provided at § 405.378(d) of this chapter.