Medical liens can cause delays in your receiving your settlement check at the end of negotiations or a trial. This usually happens when you do not have final demand from Medicare when the adjuster is about to issue your settlement check. Extracting information out of Medicare is never easy, but you can remain organized and start early to prevent delays. Here are some steps you can take for handling medical liens effectively.
Review the benefits you receive from Medicare, and focus on the rules regarding the lien. Provide your personal injury lawyer with a copy of your Medicare card and any other information or correspondence you have received from Medicare. The correspondence could include letters from Medicare, medical bills, and statements explaining benefits. Medicare does not provide information quickly, and usually delays the process. Once you have accepted this, you will be less stressed.
Doing What You can Do
Do not delay your initial notification to Medicare’s COBC (Coordination of Benefits Contractor). The COBC will be opening your file with MSPRC (Medicare Secondary Payor Recovery Center). Once your case is opened by COBC, you should be receiving a letter of Rights and Responsibilities from the MSPRC, along with a cover page that has to be used for all future correspondence. This letter will provide an outline of the process.
It is important to send to the MSPRC, Proof of Representation, without which no action will be taken on your case. You can send a copy of the retainer agreement with your lawyer, provided:
- The agreement is on the lawyer’s letterhead or has an attached cover note printed on letter head
- It has your name, Medical Health Insurance claim, and your signature
- The agreement is countersigned or signed by the lawyer and dated
- HICN number should be printed on top of the claim form