Medicare Lien Rights
I’m David Holub, an attorney focusing on personal injury law in northwest Indiana.
Welcome to Personal Injury Primer, where we break down the law into simple terms, provide legal tips, and discuss topics related to personal injury law.
Today’s question comes from a listener who asks “I heard a friend saying that when he settled his injury claim, that Medicare, which had paid most of his treatment bills, had something called a super-lien that it asserted against his settlement, what is a Medicare super-lien?”
Under the statutes governing Medicare, all Medicare payouts are subject to reimbursement from any lawsuit against a third party to recovery for injuries for which Medicare paid the treatment bills.
Put simply, if Medicare pays for medical treatment that you have needed because of an auto accident, if you recover money from the driver of the other vehicle, Medicare has a right to get back some of the money that it has paid for your bills.
It is called a super-lien because Medicare does not have to take steps to perfect its subrogation lien.
What this means is that whenever you make a recovery of damages against a driver of another vehicle, and your bills have been paid by Medicare, Medicare has a right, no matter what, to get back money that it has paid out for your care and treatment.
This can pose a big problem. The type of problem you’ll likely need an attorney to help you with.
Let’s suppose you have been injured in an accident and you have medical bills that are $250,000 and you learn that the other driver has only $100,000 in insurance coverage and you think, well what’s the point of going to an attorney? All that money would just be collected by Medicare.
Well, if that is what you were thinking, think again. There is a point in going to an attorney because there are mechanisms where your attorney can petition on your behalf and negotiate with Medicare so that you can actually get something out of that policy of $100,000 to cover your pain and suffering and other damages.
So, it does make sense to consult an attorney, even though you have to pay back Medicare
I hope you found this information helpful. If you have questions about your legal rights if you get hurt due to the carelessness of another person, or as a result of substandard medical care, or due to a product defect, construction injury, or any other type of personal injury, please give us a call at (219) 736-9700. You can also learn more about us by visiting our website at DavidHolubLaw.com – while there make sure you request a copy of our book “Fighting for Truth”.