As a personal injury attorney, it is a tremendous accomplishment to win an injury case and secure a settlement for your client. However, you do not want that victory to create a loss for your client in another area. We are specifically referring to your clients who are Medicaid recipients. Have you considered how you will help your client preserve their benefits? Protecting Medicaid’s interest and setting up a pooled trust for Medicaid is the best way to do so.
What is Medicaid?
Florida’s Medicaid program provides medical coverage for needy and low-income individuals and families. The program is administered by the Agency for Health Care Administration, and the costs are shared at both the state and federal level. To receive Medicaid benefits, your client has to remain within federal income and asset limits. A settlement award can easily put them above these federal limits and jeopardize their future benefits.
Duty to Pay Back Medicaid
Before your client can even receive their settlement, if Medicaid paid for any of their injury-related medical expenses, state law requires that Medicaid is reimbursed out of the proceeds of your client’s claim. As their attorney, you are required to ensure that your client’s lien is satisfied by engaging with Medicaid, negotiating payments, and completing all the necessary paperwork.
What is a Pooled Trust?
Pooled trusts are administered by a non-profit organization where beneficiaries who meet disability requirements make contributions to the fund trust. The funds an individual contributes is paid back over time. The assets within the pooled trust do not incur a penalty period and are not considered a countable asset. This means that your client will remain Medicaid eligible. Your client can use these funds for their supplemental needs that are not covered by Medicaid. Upon your client’s death, their remaining contribution is either paid Medicare for owed reimbursement, to their beneficiaries, or to the other trust contributors.
Help Your Client Avoid Loss of Benefits
At Synergy, our mission is to help attorneys and their clients address all of their settlement-related matters. We specialize in lien resolution, settlement planning, Medicaid compliance, and more. Let us streamline the pooled trust process for you and your client.
For more information or to schedule a consultation, please submit our contact request form.
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.