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How long does it take to get a letter from Medicare that is needed to end a case? Why can't my lawyer find out where it is?

Mastic, NY |

I'm waiting for a letter from Medicare that my attorney tells me he needs to release funds to me. He tells me that he doesn't know if I will receive it, he will receive it, or when either one of us will receive it so I thought I should seek advice from other lawyers in the meantime. I have been waiting since the end of October when I was told that this letter was needed. I was also told that I do not owe Medicare any money, but I don't know if owing them anything has anything to do with how long this is taking. I also don't understand why my lawyer can not contact anyone to ask them if the letter was even generated yet. Is recieving this kind of important document something that takes months, or years?

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Attorney answers 5

Posted

A Medicare Lien can be a factor in cases where the injured person received medical treatment that was paid by Medicare. The treatment has to be related to the injuries sustained in the accident. Medicare has the right to recover money paid out due to the negligence of another. Your attorney is obligated by both Federal law and the rules of professionalism to make sure the Medicare Lien is adequately dealt with and satisfied. This process can be difficult and very lengthy, especially if your attorney is disputing part of the lien, which is common. Medicare often includes services that were unrelated to the accident. For instance, if you visited a dermatologist during the period you were treating for a neck injury, the dermatology bill might be part of the lien, even though it was unrelated to the accident. Even if you didn't use Medicare benefits to pay for your injury-related treatment, the attorney still has Medicare hoops to jump through if you had Medicare. The process is so arduous that many attorneys hire other law firms to process the liens for them. Having to wait three months is not uncommon. That said, you should certainly feel like you are in the loop and understand what is going on in your case. Find out when your attorney sent out the initial request and what has been done since then. Good luck.

Please note: The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. Visiting this site does not create an attorney client relationship between our firm or any of its lawyers and you. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your particular situation.

Posted

It can take four to six months, and the attorney must have it before he can release funds. Sorry, that's just the way it is.

If you'd like to discuss, please feel free to call. Jeff Gold Gold, Benes, LLP 1854 Bellmore Ave Bellmore, NY 11710 Telephone -516.512.6333 Email - Jgold@goldbenes.com

Posted

With a lawyer hounding them, it can be resolved in 2-3 weeks. If the lawyer is not on top of it, could take many months.

Only 29% Contingency Fee! Phone: 215-510-6755 www.InjuryLawyerPhiladelphia.com

Posted

Even with a lawyer hounding them it can take many months to deal with Medicare liens. The liens attach to a case by statute where the injured person is Medicare eligible WHETHER OR NOT Medicare actually paid any directly accident related bills. The lien is there by statute and needs to be addressed. A big problem is that the federal government used to have regional offices that made it relatively efficient to resolve such issues. Now, there is only one for the entire nation, which makes it take more time.

For actual information on the process, use your favorite search engine and go to the MSPRC website. Their own website will explain what you are up against.

Law Offices of Andrew D. Myers, North Andover, MA & Derry, NH provide answers for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be given by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction, thoroughly familiar with the area of the law in which your concern lies. This creates no attorney-client relationship.

Posted

MSPRC takes a very long time to get their act together, and it often, wrongfully, makes the attorney look bad. However, they have a new system in place if your case settles for $25,000.00 or less. Make sure your attorney knows of this.

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