Medicare and Your Accident Claim
After a car accident, you may be asking yourself, “can I file a lawsuit if I am on Medicare?”
The answer is yes, you are on Medicare, can still make an accident claim.
However, if you do decide to file a claim, you will need to know how to put Medicare on notice and pay them back if you win a settlement. In today’s video, New York and Vermont accident lawyer, Drew Palcsik covers the basics of what you need to know if you’ve been in an accident and have coverage under medicare.
Can I file a car accident lawsuit if I’m on Medicare?
Well, the good news is yes, you can bring a claim for personal injury after a car crash, even if you have Medicare. But you have to be careful because, at the end of the case, you’ll have to pay Medicare back.
And this is true, whether you’re in Vermont, New York, or any other state for that matter. No matter what the situation, the most important thing you can do is take care of yourself.
Ensure that you get all of the medical care you need and followthrough with your provider’s recommendations.
Check if you’re covered by no-fault insurance
But paying for medical care can be worrisome. If you live or were injured in New York state, you should have no-fault benefits, which will pay for at least the first $50,000 of what’s called basic economic loss, which means medical expenses and wage loss primarily.
One of the most important things you can do for yourself is to make sure that your medical providers bill your no-fault insurance company and not Medicare. That’s because, under most circumstances, you don’t have to pay back no-fault. You do have to pay back Medicare.
And that can mean a real difference at the end of your case. And sometimes might even be the difference between having a case and not having a case at all.
What happens if I win a settlement and use Medicare?
Now in Vermont, as in many states, if you need medical care after a car accident, it’s up to you to figure out how you’re going to pay for it. And so if you’re on Medicare, that will be who pays for your medical care, but Medicare doesn’t want to pay for your care unless it absolutely has to.
If you get a personal injury settlement or a jury verdict, you’re going to have to pay Medicare back at least some of what it paid for your medical expenses.
When you should alert Medicare about your car accident
If you use Medicare to pay for accident-related healthcare, make sure that you or your lawyer puts Medicare on notice of the claim right away. There’s a whole process set up to do just that.
Medicare will then track what it pays for your injury-related care and keep a running record of how much is spent. When the case is over, you or your lawyer will have to request what’s called a final demand from Medicare, meaning finding out how much it is that they want to be repaid.
Can I reduce the amount I repay to Medicare?
There are really only a handful of ways to reduce the amount that they ask for, but the most important one for you to know about is that you can review each payment and make sure that it was, in fact, related to your injury.
Sometimes Medicare will slip in claims for payments to other providers and then try to recover out of your injury settlement.
Failure to pay Medicare after a personal injury case can be disastrous for you. Medicare can cut off your benefits or use other means of recovery like seizing your bank account or your tax refunds, really bad stuff.
So your takeaways from today’s video are these. You can still have a personal injury claim, even if you have Medicare, but you have to know the rules.
Make sure Medicare knows about your injury case and make sure that you review the claims ledger so that you can challenge unrelated payments.
And finally, make sure that Medicare gets paid at the end of your case, so you don’t run into trouble down the road.
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Thanks for watching. And we’ll see you next time.