Thomas McCutcheon

We all know that in certain situations Medicare, which is the federal government, can take a person’s home if Medicare provides long term care for a person who owns the house. Any home transferred by a Medicare recipient within 5 years of long term care is subject to a claim by Medicare.

In personal injury cases, if Medicare pays bills for an injury caused by someone’s carelessness and there is a recovery for that injury, the government requires repayment. There are hefty fines and penalties if Medicare pays bills related to an accident and a recovery is made by the injured person without considering Medicare and obtaining their consent. Because every personal injury lawyer and every insurance company is aware of these rules, claims are set up as early as possible so that the amount owed can be determined or disputed as the case requires.

Medicare has a computer portal for access to the amount claimed for those lawyers who regularly handle these claims. This method is absolutely the fastest way to obtain the numbers necessary to begin to settle a case and get a check for your client. Insurance companies will not pay a claim without paying Medicare if Medicare paid bills resulting from the accident. Insurance companies don’t mind a delay. The longer they have the money, the more money they make.

Medicaid is the state equivalent to Medicare. Medicaid pays less and there are other vital differences but it is still governmentally provided coverage. Medicaid also requires repayment if they pay bills caused by an accident. Medicaid will send records upon the request of an attorney or the person injured but will not send the amounts paid. It takes about 90 days to go through their “third party” administration to obtain the amount of money paid. This simply delays their repayment and creates a delay in the resolution of cases.

It is important to notify Medicare or Medicaid at the beginning of a case to be able to get the amount owed so as to be able to resolve the case quickly. If you have an injury and you have coverage, whether it’s Blue Cross Blue Shield, Medicare, Medicaid or any other coverage repayment is required, let your attorney know. The sooner the claim is set up, the sooner a case can be resolved.

Buckle up, drive safely and yes, Pruitt, I write each and every article. As always, your referrals are appreciated! 256-764-0112


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