Friday, March 20, 2009

MMSEA and Notice Agent Reporting Obligation

Posted by Matthew Garretson and Elizabeth Vish Schad

Assume a liability settlement is reached on 1/31/09 with a defendant. The settlement will soon be executed, and proceeds are to be distributed within 60 days by 4/1/09. The settling claimant, who was catastrophically injured in the event giving rise to the claim, has recently qualified for Social Security disability, but will not eligible for Medicare for 24 months and has not received Medicare benefits to date. What, obligation, if any, does the defendant have as a “responsible reporting entity” to “consider Medicare’s interest” in such a settlement and/or to report information in this circumstance if MMSEA’s reporting requirements do not become effective until 7/1/09? Even if there is no reporting obligation, is there any process currently in existence through which an RRE could voluntarily report information?

-Recent Seminar Attendee

The MMSEA adds a notice agent reporting obligation that begins on July 1st, 2009. For reporting obligations, RRE’s will not be required to report anything prior to the July initiation date. Furthermore, Medicare does not have a current system in place that allows reporting prior to date.