Do I have to Repay Medicare if I am Hurt in an Accident and Medicare Pays My Medical Bill?
Having Medicare at a time when you are injured in a car wreck with a drunk driver gives you great peace of mind. It does not have to be a traffic accident with a drunk driver, it could be a highway accident with a semi-tractor trailer, a truck accident with a motorcycle, or any kind of vehicle accident or truck crash. It is unlikely to be a construction accident because most people who are on Medicare are either retired or disabled. As you know Medicare will pay for all types of traumatically caused injuries including spinal cord injuries resulting in paralysis including paraplegia, and quadriplegia, back injury, amputations, brain injury, electrocution, burns, and most serious personal injuries. Medicare will even pay for medical bills incurred if your injuries result in wrongful death.
Medicare, however, does not want to be responsible for the payment of medical bills if your injuries were caused by someone else’s negligence. Medicare wants the negligent person’s car insurance or liability insurance to be responsible for your injuries. After all, it was the person who was negligent that caused your injuries, and that person purchased insurance to cover them if they are negligent, therefore, the negligent person, and their insurance company should be responsible for compensating you. Fortunately, Medicare will pay your bills as they come due. You then, as the Medicare recipient, have certain duties to Medicare to repay Medicare for the amounts they paid for the bills you received because of the injuries caused by the negligent person. This duty is known, in the law, as the duty of SUBROGATION. It is not important to remember the name, but it is important to know that the duty exists, and if you do not repay Medicare at the time of your settlement, Medicare can pursue you later and recover the money they paid.
Smart accident attorneys and smart injury attorneys know the procedure for contacting Medicare to insure your Medicare obligations are met. This procedure starts with you completing a form which appoints your car accident lawyer or truck crash lawyer as your representative to Medicare for the purpose of negotiating your lien. This is handled through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The actual paperwork is processed through the Medicare Secondary Payer Recovery Center (MSPRC). You can learn more about the process at www.msprc.info. The MSPRC requires you or your accident attorney to submit information about your injury, the person who caused it and that person’s insurance company. Medicare will then provide you with the amount of the medical bills they paid for your injury. Once you reach a settlement with the person who caused your injury, this information must be submitted to the MSPRC, and a final payment letter will be issued by them telling you how much you are obligated to repay.
At Young and Young, we have helped many, many clients work their way through the Medicare repayment maze. We are ready willing and able to assist you, and your loved ones and friends, when you are injured by the negligence of others. Please give us a call.