Synergy Blog

Ask A Lien Professional – Wrongful Death and Medicare

Question: “I am the executor of estate on behalf of my mother who was a Medicare beneficiary. This is a wrongful death case, so does Medicare have a lien in this situation?” – Florida Resident

Answer: According to the Medicare Secondary Payer Manual (Chapter 50.5.4.1.1), Medicare’s right to recover against a wrongful death claim depends on two things, 1. The beneficiary’s state of residence, and if the state law allows for the recovery of medical expenses in a wrongful death claim, and 2. If the state’s law allows for recovery of medical claims, the amount Medicare is entitled to recover against may vary (full recovery in some states, limited recovery in others). So basically, depending on where the beneficiary lived, there may or may not be an obligation to Medicare. Some states do not allow for the recovery of medical payments, so in those states Medicare cannot assert a claim against the deceased beneficiary or survivors.

I assume that you are in Florida, so I reviewed the Florida Wrongful Death Act (FL §768.14 – 768.26) in this state. In §768.21(6)(b) it states that medical expenses that have been charged to the estate are recoverable, and § 768.21(7) states, “All awards for the decedents estate are subject to claims of creditors who have complied with the requirements of probate law concerning claims”. Therefore, in Florida, Medicare does have a right to recover their claim against the estate of the beneficiary in a wrongful death case. My suggestion is that you discuss this matter with a probate attorney for further clarification on how to proceed in this case. Be advised that this is only a general response to your question, and should not be viewed as specific legal advice, as I am not an attorney. I hope this is helpful to you in your research. Please contact us at Lien Settlement Solutions have any more questions.

Lien Settlement Solutions has professionals that can assist with questions of compliance and lien validity in cases of Wrongful Death, Malpractice, Workers Compensation, and Liability. Feel free to call us with your questions at (877) 907-5436 or email at info@lienss.com!

TESTIMONIALS

"I just want to thank Synergy for their great work in getting a health insurance lien resolved. The health insurance company refused to reduce their lien a penny from a motorcycle accident involving my client who was not wearing a helmet, a fact that would have hurt our award in front of a jury. Synergy put tremendous pressure on this company, and after months of bombarding this insurance company with statutory requests and threats, they were able to get them to give in and reduce the lien significantly. The cost was minimal in relation to the hard work they put in, and the savings my client received. Client was very happy, and it allowed me to close out a case that I had resolved over 6 months before. Keep them in mind if you are dealing with a smug insurance adjuster who felt confident he would not have to reduce a lien, like I was dealing with. Thank you very much Synergy."

Jeffrey A. Adelman, Esq.
Adelman & Adelman, P.A.

"Synergy is an invaluable partner in the mediation process. They have extensive expertise in Medicare, Medicaid and Structured Settlements and the ability to explain the impact of these complex concepts to my clients in simple, clear and understandable language. This allows me to focus on obtaining the best possible result in the settlement process."

Michael J. Winer, Esq.
President Florida Workers Advocates (FWA)

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