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MediCare and MediCal and Other Liens

By Aline Miranda on January 9, 2012

Clients are often surprised to hear their Medicare, MediCal, or TriCare benefits come with strings attached. These health insurance programs expect to be reimbursed for the reasonable value of any treatment you receive after an auto accident and you must make sure your attorney is aware of these benefits so that these liens are properly addressed.

You MUST notify Medicare, MediCal, or TriCare of your claim so they can assert a claim for reimbursement for any treatment related to that accident. It is NOT the government’s responsibility to notify you. This is one of the biggest reasons I urge seriously injured victims to hire an attorney and make sure he/she is knowledgeable about government liens. A knowledgeable and experienced attorney will be able to identify possible liens, and notify the appropriate agency. After your claim is settled, whether by settlement or trial, your attorney must resolve the lien and he/she should be knowledgeable about negotiating the lowest possible reimbursement so you keep more of the money you deserve for your injury.

Do not take the advice of an attorney who tells you not to worry about these liens or that the amount is too small for the government to worry about it. Failure to address these liens could have a devastating financial impact on you long after the settlement of your claim. By law, Medicare liens must be paid within 60 days of the final notice of lien and failure to do so can result in interest on the lien amount up to double the lien amount.

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident and received medical treatment through Medicare, MediCal, TriCare — or even private health insurance — don’t wait to protect your rights. Call for a free, confidential, and no obligation consultation to ensure you understand your rights.