Tips for Handling Medicare Liens During a Personal Injury Case
Most attorneys understand that Medicare liens are serious business. But did you know that as your client’s representative you must address Medicare’s interest in a timely manner to avoid financial consequences for both you and your client? If you start early, remain organized, and follow the tips in this article, you can prevent Medicare from holding up your client’s settlement check at the end of the case.
Never Ignore a Lien
Medicare liens are considered “Super Liens” which means Medicare recipients are required by law to pay Medicare back from their judgment or settlement. Ignoring Medicare’s interest isn’t an option if you want to ensure that you and your client aren’t sued or your client’s right to future health benefits aren’t jeopardized.
Warn Your Clients
The Medicare process can be long and arduous especially if not handled properly. Mishandling Medicare’s interest will only lead to more difficulties and delays. If your client were to file a claim but not notify Medicare, they will subject themselves to fines and penalties, a longer settlement period, and their settlement funds will not be protected.
Get the Information You Need Promptly
You do not want to be surprised by a huge Medicare lien so prepare to obtain vital information from your client at the beginning of the case. At your initial meeting, be sure to find about any potential liens that could jeopardize their settlement money. Ask them for their Medicare card and any Medicare correspondence (i.e., bills, explanation of benefits) they’ve received.
Contact Medicare Immediately
After obtaining your client’s Medicare information, contact the Benefits Coordination & Recovery Center (BCRC). The BCRC will collect your client’s information and open a file with Medicare Secondary Payer Recovery Center (MSPRC). The BCRC requires:
- Beneficiary information
- Case information
- The attorney’s (or representative’s) information
- Signed Proof of Representation and Consent to Release forms
Let Synergy Help You Help Your Clients
Medicare liens in personal injury cases can be a challenge because of the complex regulations associated with government benefits. Your client needs to know that you not only have an understanding of these regulations but the ability to navigate them quickly to protect their future benefits and settlement money.
If you don’t have a firm grasp on the Medicare procedures, you need to partner with a company that has extensive experience with the process. At Synergy, we stay abreast of Medicare’s requirements and can help you help your client achieve the best outcome for their specific case.
For more information or to schedule a consultation, please submit our contact request form or call (877) 242-0022.
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.