You still have to repay Medicare. The right lawyer will work very hard to help you keep as much of what you win as possible.
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Marc C. Lenahan
Lenahan Law, P.L.L.C.
2655 Villa Creek, Suite 204
Dallas, Texas 75235
Advisory Board Member,
National Crime Victims Bar Association
Brain Injury Association of Texas
I know that you asked an "either or" question, but the answer is both. You have an obligation to address the Medicare lien. That obligation remains with you regardless if you flied on the first day or the last day. This is why your attorney needs to negotiate the highest possible settlement - or hope to get a very high verdict. Medicare's lien is statutory in nature, meaning that the other driver's insurance company has an obligation to address the lien prior to making any payout. Experienced attorneys negotiate such liens and the process should start as early as possible.
The Medicare Secondary Payor Act is intended to reimburse Medicare from tort recoveries. The settling party's insurer will likely insist on withholding money to satisfy Medicare's interest. With a good plaintiff's lawyer, the amount due to Medicare could be reduced or even waived, depending on the facts.
My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice. I give legal advice only in the course of an attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by individual consultation and execution of a written agreement for legal services.
Yes. It is a complicated and time consuming process, but your lawyer will have to work with Medicare to calculate and repay their lien. There is a federal statute which mandates this be done.
By federal law, Medicare has a right to be reimbursed. You should consult an attorney in your area to handle your entire claim/lawsuit.
All responses on this site by this attorney are considered practical & general and does not constitute absolute or final legal advice. It is always best to consult a lawyer in your area on your exact case/claim. Each state has different laws, statutes of limitations and regulations. This lawyer is only licensed in the State of Texas.
Any medical treatment for injuries resulting from the car accident that was paid for by Medicare will have to be reimbursed to Medicare. This is done if there is any settlement or recovery in your case.