How Medicare Can Affect a Personal Injury Settlement
July 27, 2012
Before you settle your personal injury claim, you need to make sure that you address any health liens that may be involved in your claim. Health liens can take many forms. There are ERISA based liens, Medicaid liens, hospital liens, workers compensation liens, Medicare liens, and a variety of other liens that can affect your personal injury settlement. In prior posts we have addressed the importance of ascertaining the amount of these liens and whether or not they are legally valid so please review our other blog posts for information regarding these matters. Today we are focusing on Medicare liens and what it means for your personal injury case.
Through the Medicare Secondary Payer Act, Medicare has an absolute right to recover funds from a personal injury settlement. This means that before you settle your Georgia injury claim, you need to first ascertain whether or not Medicare has paid any of your medical bills. To put it quite frankly, there is no way around paying Medicare’s interest in a claim. Any insurer that is issuing payment to you on your injury claim has to verify whether or not you are a Medicare recipient and report this information to Medicare. Thus, you need to make sure that you address this situation early on.
If you have an Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyer then the amount that you pay Medicare will be reduced by the proportional amount of the attorneys’ fees and expenses that are paid out of your settlement. For example, if your personal injury claim settles and your attorneys’ fees are one third of the net recovery and Medicare’s claimed lien is $3,000.00, Medicare’s lien will automatically be reduced by one third making the lien amount $2,000.00. The rationale behind this is that Medicare is deriving a benefit from the work of your attorney in that they are getting paid back. Because you have to pay the attorney for the work that he or she does, Medicare agrees to “share” in the attorneys fees by reducing the amount that they are owed.
Addressing a Medicare lien can seem like a simple process, but like most things in life, it can get quite complicated. If you are a Medicare recipient and have a personal injury claim, it is likely that you will need an experienced injury lawyer to address this for you. At Henningsen Injury Attorneys, P.C. we have handled countless claims where Medicare is involved and we are happy to assist you with this process. For more information on Medicare Liens, Click Here.