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Medicare paid my accident medical bills. Do I have to reimburse Medicare?

Many clients receive Medicare benefits for everyday medical needs. However, medical charges can arise from an automobile accident or a negligent driver. If Medicare pays medical bills due to the negligence of another party, then federal statutes provide their right to reimbursement. However, Medicare is not entitled to complete and total reimbursement, unless the victim has also been fully and completely compensated, including pain and suffering and medical damages, wage loss and loss of services or the ability to care for oneself.

If you have been involved in an accident and received medical treatment that has been paid for by Medicare, they will typically notify you within thirty to forty-five days of your rights to make a claim or lien. It is then the responsibility of Medicare to pay all of the medical bills associated with your treatment and then give you an itemization of the amount they seek in reimbursement.

If you have hired an attorney you are capable of having the Medicare reimbursement reduced by the amount of attorney fees collected on your behalf. Additionally, you are entitled to have a reduction for hardship or in the event that there is inadequate insurance in accordance with recommendations and regulations of Medicare.

If you have been involved in an accident and Medicare has paid your medical bills ignoring reimbursement can prove hazardous to your case and to your financial well-being. Failure to reimburse Medicare may allow Medicare the justification to discontinue your medical benefits until they have received the equivalent of the amount in reimbursement. This can be very difficult for someone who has significant medical issues.

A competent Orange County accident attorney understands the requirements of Medicare and can negotiate a satisfactory resolution of their lien while still getting you a fair and reasonable settlement. Additionally, the amount reimbursed to Medicare will not incur a fee to you, but instead be paid by Medicare.

Don't delay in contacting a personal injury attorney. Call us if you need help at 1-866-981-5596.

by James E. Ballidis

James Ballidis is the managing attorney for Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie and has been practicing personal injury law for 25 years.

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