Can Medicare stop services because of a personal injury claim 6 years ago?

1 answer | Last updated: Nov 14, 2016
Nodecafplz asked...

HELP! Medicare is now trying to stop services, and go after any money they have spent from my personal injury 6 years ago. I know this was standard for workman's comp, but this is new. I understand that laws are in flux and it is vague what Medicare can claim from personal injury. Can anyone provide insight on this? My attorney never took Medicare into consideration for the future because it was understood that medicare could not affix to awards.

Expert Answers

Steve Weisman hosts the nationally syndicated radio show A Touch of Grey, heard on more than 50 stations, including WABC in New York City and KRLA in Los Angeles. He is a practicing lawyer specializing in estate planning and is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court. He's a public speaker and commentator who has appeared on many radio and television shows throughout the country, and he's the legal editor of Talkers magazine, the preeminent trade publication of talk radio. His latest book is The Truth About Avoiding Scams.

A key element to answering your question is that of when did the settlement of your personal injury case occur.  Although you indicate that your personal injury occurred six years ago, you do not indicate when the settlement of your case occured.  The laws pertaining to Medicare claims on personal injury have changed much in recent years.  Prior to 2006 Medicare's claim  for reimbursement from personal injury awards and settlements primarily focused on amounts that only related to the cost of physician's care and hospital treatments.  This has been expanded in recent years, but it still does not apply to amounts of the settlement that specifically relate to "pain and suffering."  It should have been your lawyer's responsibility to inquire as to possible Medicare claims for reimbursement from any settlement of your personal injury claim prior to settling the case, determine the appropriate amount of the claim and develop a strategy for possibly negotiating a compromise of those claims.  Consult a lawyer who is well versed in elder law, who can help you put the pieces back together again.