The National Governors Association (NGA) asks in a letter today to HHS Secretary Sebelius that the federal government reimburse states for Medicare errors that might have cost their Medicaid programs more than $4 billion over several decades. The letter states that many Americans with disabilities were denied the Medicare benefits they were entitled to because of errors by the Social Security Administration, specifically, “services provided to disabled persons who were erroneously denied Social Security Disability Insurance coverage by the Social Security Administration (SSA) and were therefore not provided Medicare coverage.”
When this occurred, many states paid for the cost of these Medicare beneficiary services through the state’s Medicaid program. Therefore, the money should be used to pay back the states’ Medicaid programs. The Social Security Administration has acknowledged the errors and corrected them retroactively, but states weren't paid back."Payment to the states would be in the form of credits to the states to be used as the state share of current Medicaid expenditures," the letter says. "This method of satisfying the federal liability would assure that the federal expenditure for correcting the problem would benefit current Medicaid programs."