My guess is that Alabama is similar to California. Here there is a statute that says you must reimburse Medi-Cal (our version of Medicaid) out of any liability insurance settlement (including uninsured motorist). There are limitations on how much they can take, for instance, they can take no more than 1/3 of your settlement and if there is a reason that a further reduction is warranted, your attorney can make the argument to Medicaid so you receive more of the settlement funds.
I agree with my colleague. Same situation in New York and New Jersey. You are responsible to pay back Medicaid. They wont automatically take it out of your settlement. It must be considered when settling. Good luck.
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Medicaid is a Federal benefit. They have very strict rules with respect to repayment of monies expended for billings related to 3rd Party claims. You really should talk with an attorney. If you do not repay Medicaid, you could have some future issues.
Discuss with your car accident attorney whether Medicaid has a lien against the proceeds of any third party negligence claims recovering the medical costs paid by Medicaid. Medicaid can assert a lien or have a lien by statute in some states. This should be a consideration you and your automobile accident lawyer take into accout prior to settlement, not after. Obviously, this affects your net settlement.
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In Alabama yes. They paid your bills, they have a right to get their money back.
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Medicaid does have certain reimbursement or subrogation rights due to its payment of your medical bills. However, they are really very limited under Alabama law. Many attorneys fail to understand these limits and simply accept what the agency tells them it will take in compromise for its claim. In some cases, I have found it better to address the issue with the court. If you are significantly injured and dealing with substantial medical bills, I would urge you to consult an attorney who truly understands the issues involved in a Medicaid lien in Alabama.
The issues surrounding medical liens are complicated. Medicaid, Medicare, and private insurance, all have different legal rights under the law. This is an area where a knowledgeable lawyer can really make a big difference in how much money you are able to keep in a settlement. It is also an area where many lawyers fail to fully maximize their client's recovery.
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Yes, if you are a Medicaid beneficiary, that means your medical treatment gets paid for by Medicaid, a state/federal benefit program. If someone else caused that medical treatment to be necessary, then Medicaid gets to get paid back from that at-fault person. The Medicaid beneficiary is responsible (as well as others) for seeing to it that Medicaid gets paid back, for after all, the beneficiary (here, you) didn't have to pay anything. Generally Medicaid only gets paid back if there is an at-fault party able to pay a settlement or judgment--that is, the at-fault party has insurance or assets. So, be glad you got your bills paid and you're not looking at an unpayable hospital bill, and give unto Medicaid what is Medicaid's!
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