After a car accident, injured motorists need immediate medical treatment.
Broken bones, burns, cuts, and brain injuries require prompt medical intervention so that motorists can make a speedy recovery.
Unsurprisingly, people do not wait for a settlement before getting medical treatment.
Instead, they use their health insurance to cover the costs of care.
If you are on Medicare, you might wonder whether Medicare will pay for your medical treatment.
The good news is that both Medicare and Medicaid pay for car accident injuries. However, they will expect reimbursement—meaning you might need to turn around and write a check to them.
Report Your Case to Medicare
Even if you choose not to pursue a personal injury claim, you need to report your accident to Medicare. Medicare requires that you reimburse them for any money spent to treat your injuries.
Some people wrongly think they can simply choose not to report. However, Medicare will take note of your medical treatment and see that it is for an accidental injury. If you do not report the accident, you can expect Medicare to take the initiative and contact you to ask about it. If you lie, you can get in trouble.
You should stay in contact with a Medicare Coordinator of Benefits (COB) contractor, who will monitor your case. Helpfully, your personal injury attorney can handle these communications for you, freeing you up to focus on healing and making a strong recovery.
Paying Back Medicare
The COB contractor will stay in regular contact with your attorney. Once you reach a settlement with the driver at fault for your accident, you must notify Medicare. Legally, your lawyer cannot disburse any funds to you without first providing this notification.
Of course, you can negotiate with Medicare about how much money you will pay back. Negotiation with the government is difficult, to put it mildly. Medicare typically wants 100% reimbursement for all sums it spent treating your car accident injuries. Your COB contractor should send you an itemized list of all expenses you must reimburse.
If you don’t want to pay that amount, you will need to follow the internal appeals process with Medicare. For example, you might have received treatment for a physical disability that is unrelated to the accident and don’t think you should have to reimburse Medicare for that treatment.
Medicare has a lien over your settlement until you pay back the amount of medical care they covered. A lien is a legal right to payment, so your lawyer cannot disburse your settlement to you until you reach an agreement with Medicare.
This is why you need an experienced attorney by your side. Your lawyer can speed up the process, so you can access your settlement faster. If you have a legitimate reason to appeal, then your lawyer can help with that as well.
Contact Us Today
As your car accident lawyer, Kapuza Lighty will stay in contact with Medicare so that you can receive your funds as soon as possible. Instead of contacting Medicare yourself, let us handle it.
Please contact us to schedule your free initial consultation to discuss your case.