Car accidents often leave passengers and drivers with injuries that require medical care. It is not uncommon to encounter car accidents in and around our area. During the latest reporting gear in Texas, there were approximately 250,000 people injured and 3,639 fatalities caused by car accidents, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. One of the most common questions asked following these incidents is whether or not Medicare or Medicaid can be used to pay for medical bills.
In most cases, car accident settlements are handled through the auto insurance carriers of the parties involved in the accident. However, auto insurance carriers can be notoriously difficult to deal with, even if you were not at fault for the car accident. It may take some time for the insurance carrier to make a settlement offer on an insurance claim, and the initial settlement may be entirely too low to accept.
Unfortunately, a delay in a car accident insurance settlement is not going to stop medical bills from coming in. Victims who have been harmed in a car accident need a way to pay for their medical treatment in the interim before a final settlement.
A Medicare recipient should speak to a lawyer to handle all interactions with a Medicare Coordination of Benefits (BOC) contractor. These interactions usually include written correspondence about the accident as well as all the medical care you have received related to the accident injuries. An attorney will ensure that all of this correspondence and communication is conducted in an appropriate manner to ensure you receive the compensation you are entitled to.
After you report your accident to Medicare, they will continue to monitor your case. That is because you will still be likely to receive an insurance settlement for your claim. If you have to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party in the accident, you may receive an out-of-court settlement or a jury verdict for your injuries and other damages.
Medicare will expect reimbursement for what they have already paid you for your accident injuries once you receive a settlement or jury verdict. The COB working with your case will regularly contact you or your attorney for information about the progress of your claim. When your case is settled, your lawyer will need to notify the COB contractor to let them know about the settlement and begin the process of reimbursing Medicare.
Again, you should have a Texas car accident attorney helping you with this because dealing with the COB contractor can be difficult. The COB contractor will usually send a statement detailing all of the medical bills that Medicare has paid when they learn you have received a settlement for your case. Your personal injury lawyer will want to ensure that this information is correct, and they will negotiate with Medicare to ensure that you are not going to reimburse more money than you should.
Medicare will place a lien on your settlement, which means that they have the right to recover the portion of the money that they spent on your medical expenses. If there is a dispute between how much Medicare says they paid and what your records indicate or spent on medical costs, the settlement money could be held until the issue is resolved.