If you experienced a car accident injury through no fault of your own, paying for your treatment may be a significant concern for you. However, if you receive Social Security disability, retirement, or other benefits, your government-subsidized health care benefits may pay out to cover your essential care.
In addition, you may be able to hold the at-fault driver or another party accountable for your personal injuries. You also may be able to recover compensation to pay for your medical care, in addition to monetary damages for lost wages, vehicle repair, pain and suffering, and more.
What Happens When Medicare Pays for Accident-Related Treatment and Care?
If you have Medicare or Medicaid coverage that pays out for the treatment of your personal injury, the program will have a subrogation interest in your claim or lawsuit. This means that any money it paid out must be paid back out of the money you recover.
If the at-fault party’s insurer or the victim does not reimburse Medicare or Medicaid for these benefits, there could be serious consequences. This could include:
- Losing your eligibility for coverage
- Civil liability for the victim, their attorney, and/or the insurer
However, this should not sway you away from using your coverage to pay for your treatment. Just closely document your medical bills and related expenses so that your attorney can seek and secure those funds in settlement negotiations or court. Working with an attorney can help you manage this process.
Also of note, Medicare does have some authority to reduce or waive Medicare liens placed in these cases under certain circumstances. Claimants and their attorneys must ensure those circumstances apply and that they meet all procedural requirements to receive a reduction or waiver.
For a free legal consultation, call 800-537-8185
Getting Coverage through Social Security, Medicaid, or the Affordable Care Act
If you are 65 years old or older, you should qualify for Medicare through Social Security. You may also be eligible if you are getting Social Security disability benefits or if you have certain long-term health conditions. Others may also be eligible to receive coverage.
Some think if they have a job, they will not qualify for Medicaid. However, many low-income families, adults, and children qualify for Medicaid. Each state sets the eligibility requirements. If you are working—or are between jobs—and do not have enough to buy affordable health insurance, you should see if you qualify for Medicaid. It is always best to check Medicaid first before moving on to the next option.
If you qualify for Social Security benefits, or Medicaid or Medicare, you may have health care coverage that will pay out for your accident injuries and treatment. This will cover the costs initially, allowing you to focus on healing.
Getting Coverage Under the Affordable Care Act
The Affordable Care Act (ACA), passed in 2010, provides expanded access to health insurance for many Americans who need it. This law expanded government programs in many states, including Medicaid and Medicare. It also offers access to affordable private plans, subsidizing the cost of monthly premiums for those who meet certain income requirements.
Some states adopted a Medicare expansion proposed as a part of this law, while others did not. For example, according to Kaiser Family Foundation:
- Louisiana (2016) and Arkansas (2014) adopted and implemented the expansion.
- Mississippi and Alabama did not adopt the expansion.
In states that implemented the expansion, it may be easier to qualify for Medicaid and get coverage under that program. If you do not qualify under your state’s rules, you can likely purchase an insurance plan through the health insurance marketplace. You can also apply for and receive a subsidy to help you pay for your coverage.
How Can an Attorney Help with My Case?
If your Medicare or Medicaid paid for your care following your personal injury accident, you will want to act quickly to pursue financial recovery for your losses. This includes the money you may owe the Social Security Administration (SSA) or another agency.
Working with an attorney familiar with this process can ensure you follow the proper procedures, seek appropriate compensation, and meet all applicable deadlines. Your lawyer will also manage your case, so you only have to worry about healing and getting back to your usual activities.
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Speak with an Attorney from Morris Bart, LLC
At the Morris Bart law firm, we provide free consultations for accident victims and represent our clients on contingency. This means we can start working on their cases without an upfront payment from them. We work with Medicare, Medicaid, or private health insurance in these cases.
Our Louisiana personal injury offices are in New Orleans, Shreveport, Baton Rouge, Alexandria, Lake Charles, Monroe, and Lafayette; in Hattiesburg, Pascagoula, and Gulfport, Mississippi; in Mobile, Birmingham, Huntsville, and Montgomery, Alabama; and in Texarkana and Little Rock, Arkansas. Call (800) 537-8185 now to get started and speak to a lawyer.
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