Recent legislative changes have impacted the settlement of personal injury and workers compensation cases in regards to Medicare and Medicaid. (Medicare is for folks over 65 years old, Medicaid is for folks with low income).
Medicare – Before you can settle a case where Medicare has paid for some or all of the medical bills, you have to obtain a conditional lien letter which gives you an estimate of the amount of bills paid. It can sometimes take months to get this letter. Once the case is settled, you then have to obtain a final lien letter before funds can be disbursed. Therefore, obtaining lien information early in the process is important. In workers compensation cases, you also may have to place money in escrow for future medical bills. This is called an MSA or Medicare Set Aside.
Medicaid – Liens created by bills paid by Medicaid are a little easier to manage. For example, they will generally allow you to deduct one-third of their lien to help defer your attorney fees.
Having an attorney that is knowledgeable in these issues is critical to obtaining a fair resolution of any personal injury or medical negligence claim.
This blog does not create an attorney-client relationship. You should not rely upon this blog for legal advice, but instead should consult an attorney experienced in your area of concern.