Lawsuit blocks CMS repayment campaign

The Medicare and Social Security agencies’ efforts to recoup money erroneously refunded to beneficiaries have been stymied by a new lawsuit.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services (CMS) has temporarily halted its campaign to get back the Part D premiums it mistakenly returned to 230,000 beneficiaries this summer.

The Center for Medicare Advocacy, on behalf of the Gray Panthers and the Pennsylvania-based Action Alliance of Senior Citizens, has initiated a lawsuit to block CMS from reclaiming the money. The group filed the suit on Friday in federal district court in Washington.

The plaintiffs say some beneficiaries are entitled to a “waiver of recovery” exempting them from repayment. CMS did not inform beneficiaries that they might qualify and get to keep the money despite being warned of the threat of a lawsuit, according to the Center for Medicare Advocacy.

CMS maintains that the waiver of recovery policy does not apply in these cases.

Sen. Jay RockefellerJay RockefellerObama to preserve torture report in presidential papers Lobbying world Overnight Tech: Senators place holds on FCC commissioner MORE (D-W.Va.), who has criticized CMS over the refunds, commented, “I hope the agency will move swiftly to notify beneficiaries of their rights under the law.”