The WCB has issued the following statement:
“The Board has been asked about the use of indemnification or hold harmless provisions in Section 32 agreements to protect a carrier or employer from liability of medicare payments related to an established workers’ compensation claim. The Board will not approve agreements containing such indemnification for payments made by Medicare for services provided prior to the Section 32 agreement.”
Workers’ Compensation Law Section 32 (part b1) directs the WCB to disapprove unfair agreements. We expect the WCB to decline to approve Section 32s where there have been conditional payments made by Medicare and the carrier seeks indemnification. (We also think such a disapproval would be appealable under Section 23). Of course, a Section 3 can be ‘silent’ on the conditional payment issues, but we continue to recommend that the payments be addressed at time of settlement.