Medicare Lien Resolution for Wrongful Death

Wrongful death statutes differ from state to state in regard to claiming death-related expenses. Medicare lien resolution is a complex topic in and of itself and can become even more so in wrongful death cases. Some attorneys choose to outsource and work with professionals who specialize in lien resolution services.

Medicare’s Right to Recover

If a person is awarded a settlement in a personal injury case, Medicare has the right to seek reimbursement in the event they have covered that person’s medical expenses.

When someone has survived an accident and filed a personal injury lawsuit, they are responsible for paying back Medicare with part of their settlement or judgment. As an attorney, you can be held liable in the event that your client does not pay Medicare back.

Wrongful Death Cases

For wrongful death cases, Medicare’s right to recover depends on the following:

  1. Whether the beneficiary’s state of residence allows for the recovery of medical expenses in a wrongful death claim
  2. If so, what amount Medicare is entitled to recover against

Some states allow full recovery, whereas it is limited in others. In Florida, Medicare has the right to recover their claim against the beneficiary’s estate, even if the decedent’s survivors are in no way connected to Medicare.

When someone passes away due to another person’s or institution’s negligence or fault, and the decedent was a recipient of Medicare-subsidized health care related to their cause of death, Medicare may require reimbursement from their estate.

The decedent’s child(ren), spouse, or other loved one typically files the lawsuit. Like many people, they may not be aware of the laws governing lien resolution. Often, survivors of a recent tragedy also feel they should not have to use their settlement to repay Medicare for medical expenses incurred by the decedent’s injury leading up to the wrongful death. Sometimes paying back these expenses would leave them with very little, if anything, to compensate for their loss.

As the survivor’s attorney, you are fighting to ensure they get the settlement they deserve. However, all this could be negated if the Medicare lien resolution is not handled properly.

Medicare Lien Resolution Experts

Synergy’s lien resolution group is a full-service lien resolution and compliance firm providing first-rate lien identification and negotiation services. Our expertise allows us to aggressively negotiate the resolution of healthcare liens and personal injury settlements in a way that meets the needs of all parties.

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.


"I just wanted to say thanks to you and the entire Synergy Settlement Services team for helping us put together a series of structured settlements and special needs trusts in two complex cases involving significant recoveries. As always, your accessibility, guidance and expertise on a whole host of post-settlement issues is very much appreciated and valued, particularly with respect to the often confusing topic of Medicare set asides. I look forward to our continued collaboration on cases in the future and am very appreciate of the first rate service your company continues to provide to our clients."

Stephan Le Clainche
Formerly of Babbitt, Johnson, Osborne & Le Clainche

When we face difficult post resolution issues, we turn to Synergy. They provide us with the necessary expert advice about Medicare compliance, preservation of public benefits, lien resolution and settlement planning. We don’t need to go anywhere else, they are the experts when it comes to the case after the case. All of those sticky issues, they easily navigate and let us focus on other issues.

Andrew Knopf
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