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Can Medicare lien an auto death benefit that was used to pay medical bills?

Akron, OH |

The auto med pay ($5K) was used to pay most of the medical bills, with the remaining balance (approx $800) billed to Medicare. The auto death benefit has not been paid as they are waiting on a final Medicare lien.

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Attorney answers 5


The short answer is yes. Medicare liens (subrogation) is an incredibly complex and often times unfair part of tort law. If the only recovery is going to be the med-pay money then you have a good chance of having the lien waived or drastically reduced by Medicare. I'm wondering if there are other sources of recovery beyond the med -pay funds. In a wrongful death situation like you've described I strongly suggest you contact an attorney that has experience in these matters. These cases are complicated and often times difficult but the representative of the estate has an obligation to explore ALL potential avenues of recovery. I'd be glad to speak to you about your rights and the options you have.


I absolutely agree with that attorneys opinion. I'm unclear what you mean by a death benefit,but you should contact an attorney and explore all avenues of recovery contact an attorney in your area I am in Lake County

This is a general answer and is not to be considered specific legal advise.


I am not sure what you mean by auto death benefit as I have not heard that particular term. Is that something that your own auto insurance is paying similar to med pay? Regardless, Medicare is likely entitled to their $800 out of that recovery.

If the auto death benefit is from your own auto insurance, do you have a claim against the negligent party? You should contact an experienced personal injury/wrongful death attorney in your area to explore your options. Consultations are generally, if not always, free.

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. The information provided does not form an attorney-client relationship, and should not be relied upon to take or refrain from taking any action.




I agree with the opinions of the other answering attorneys. Medicare has what we refer to as a "super lien." In addition, the process of complying with Medicare subro is complicated and getting worse. Complying with Medicare can slow down or stall even the strongest case. Most insurance companies will insist on putting Medicare on the settlement check or issuing a separate check for Medicare's lien. This can be a major road block to settlement. I also believe that there may be other avenues of recovery in this case but a review of the circumstances and insurance policies is necessary.

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