The recovery process after car accidents can be exhausting, and having Medicaid liens attached to the recovery process only adds to the cumbersome process. But what exactly is a Medicaid lien, and how does it work? This article discusses that and more.
What is a Medicaid Lien?
If you are a recipient of Medicaid and sustain an injury from an accident, the Medicaid program may be interested in the settlement you receive. In other words, the Medicaid program has a right to repayment from the proceeds of your injury settlement. In cases where car accidents incur personal injuries, some insurance companies and medical providers may claim some of your settlement money with a lien. This is where a Medicaid lien comes in.
As you may know, Medicaid is government-funded health insurance, majorly for people of low income, and it is a good idea to seek a car accident attorney when Medicaid is involved.
How are Medicaid Liens Established?
If you get injured in an accident and get Medicaid to cover for treatment, Medicaid automatically has a right to receive payment on the settlement you receive for the accident. Under Medicaid, an applicant will have to assign their rights of payments for medical care from a third party or the state. Meanwhile, a Medicaid lien is attached to personal injury proceeds for an injured individual who accepts Medicaid coverage.
Also, if the individual on Medicaid does not claim for settlement after an injury sustained from a car accident, the state can do so. If Medicaid covers the medical bills, the state may need to be paid from the proceeds of the case, which will impose a lien on the settlement. This is what a Medicaid Lien is, and it only applies to Medicaid payments related to the injury.
How Much Can Medicaid Lien Take From Settlement?
In a case where Medicaid is involved, it’s essential to pay the lien amount in 30 days after receiving the judgment proceeds. It’s unlikely for a Medicaid lien to exceed ⅓ of your total settlement, and in many cases, you are not obligated to pay the balance that exceeds ⅓ of the full compensation.
For example, Lara was injured in a car accident and received $5000 worth of medical treatment covered by Medicaid. Lara hires a car accident lawsuit lawyer and gets $9,000 in a settlement. In this case, Medicaid will have a $5,000 lien on Lara’s proceeds, but they can’t receive the full $5000 because of the ⅓ settlement cap. Therefore, Medicaid can receive up to $3000, and Lara doesn’t have to add up to the $2000.
Opposing The Lien
In some situations where you need the settlement to pay for other expenses incurred from the accident, or the hospital did not give you satisfactory treatment, you may want to oppose the Medicaid lien. In this case, you will need the services of a car accident lawsuit lawyer to fight the lien. Also, sometimes, there is no need to pay back Medicaid because the coverage is within the year’s limits.
If Medicaid requires repayments for the cost of treatments during the injury, the lawyer can help you understand the situation. And if Medicaid doesn’t require repayment, a lawyer can help you fight it or explain what to do to get rid of the Medicaid lien.