The vast majority of personal injury attorneys are not experts in developing a Medicare set-aside (MSA) arrangement for their clients. Moreover, the requirements set forth by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) vary significantly depending on the type of set-aside you are developing for your client. In this brief article, we will discuss potential, future requirements for liability MSAs (LMSAs). If you anticipate that your client will be awarded a settlement, our settlement experts can assist you with any settlement management services you require including for LMSAs.
Primary Tasks of a Settlement Planner
The three main tasks of a settlement planner are to maximize the settlement amount for your client, to ensure that the client has a long-term financial plan, and to make certain that the client’s future eligibility rights for Medicare are protected. Creating an MSA assists with the final two of those tasks by putting aside funds for the future medical needs of the plaintiff. By developing an MSA, Medicare remains the secondary payer of any medical expenses after the MSA has been exhausted. Although this concept is simple, LMSAs can be more complex considering they are not currently regulated by CMS under the same framework as many other set-asides.
The Complex Nature of LMSAs
In July 2001, CMS established Medicare interests in cases related to workers’ compensation settlements; however, liability MSAs were not included in this legislation. Currently, LMSAs are not required by law; however, CMS is adopting a formal review process for LMSAs. In October 2017, CMS published an article on their website announcing that the organization is “consider(ing) expanding its voluntary Medicare Set-Aside Arrangements (MSA) review process to include liability insurance (including self-insurance) and no-fault insurance MSA amounts.” Currently, CMS is in the process of determining the best way to implement this expanded review process.
Presently, there is no clarity on how or when CMS will implement this ruling, but a voluntary review program for LMSAs is expected some time in the near future. With laws related to LMSAs potentially changing within the next year, this is yet another example of why personal injury lawyers should elect to outsource settlement services to a firm that is a trusted industry leader. Whether it’s determining Medicare eligibility or creating an LMSA, our experts can ensure that your client’s best interests are covered.
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Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.