Posted by John Cattie
I have a client who has received a workers’ compensation settlement with a Medicare Set Aside account. The State of Illinois has submitted a lien for back child support. It is our position that Medicare Set Aside account is not subject to lien but we cannot find any information on point. Do you have any suggestions? The State of Illinois wants documentation from us stating that account is not subject to lien.
The purpose of a Medicare Set Aside is to protect Medicare's future interests by setting aside that portion of a claimant's workers' compensation settlement allocated to future medical expenses which would otherwise be covered by Medicare. Since Medicare is the payer of last resort under the Medicare Secondary Payer Act, the MSA ensures that its interests are being properly protected. The only appropriate use of MSA proceeds is to pay for future injury-related care otherwise covered by Medicare. The claimant is not protecting Medicare's interests if he/she uses MSA proceeds for expenses other than future injury-related care otherwise covered by Medicare. Therefore, it would be inappropriate to pay any lien obligations out of the MSA, including liens for back child support.