New Jersey addresses delays in Workers Comp settlements

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According to the Star Ledger’s Dunstan McNichol’s 3/6/08 piece, “At its worst about two years ago, 5,000 New Jersey settlements had been suspended pending Medicare review, with some languishing so long that the intended recipient died before Medicare signed off on a settlement. Last year, after the federal government hired a new firm to manage its reviews, the backlog eased a bit. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services separately said its own decision to stop reviewing settlement cases involving less than $25,000 had helped reduce delays.”

The workers compensation insurance program was set up a century ago to provide injured workers with quick medical treatment and wage replacement while protecting business owners from lawsuits. In New Jersey, insurers collect about $1.6 billion in premiums each year, and handle claims from about 120,000 injured workers annually. Multistate trial lawyer Doug Landau says, “Do the Math. Workers Comp Insurance is BIG BUSINESS.”

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