Friday, August 21, 2009

Medicare's Interest After Death

Posted by Mary Skinner

If your client dies before Medicare provides their lien amount, does Medicare still have a right to their lien? We have a client who hurt his finger and hip in a fall, we settled the case, but he has died today from unrelated issues. Does Medicare still have a lien?

Arizona Attorney

We are happy to assist you. Yes, Medicare's interest survives the death of your client. Under the MSP Manual - Recovery from Estate of Deceased Beneficiary, "A beneficiary's death does not materially change Medicare's interest in recovering its payments on behalf of the beneficiary while alive. Upon death, the estate of the beneficiary comes into existence by operation of law. An executor or administrator whose sole purpose is to conclude all business and financial matters that still remain at death manages it. Medicare's interest is the outcome of a third party claim and is one of these matters. Therefore, Medicare's claim is properly asserted against the estate."

If we can be of any further assistance please contact me.

Mary Skinner