Monday, April 18, 2011

Medicare's Part with Social Security Claims

I represent a 55 year old woman who has been receiving Social Security total disability benefits for years.  Her medical problems are prolific.   She has never applied for nor received Medicare benefits.  In January 20008, she fell and broke her wrist and ankle.  This week, at mediation, the Defense offered $45k (a very good settlement under the circumstances) to settle all claims (including a substantial private subrogation claim) contingent upon receiving a release from Medicare.  Both her doctor and the insurance company doctor indicated that she will need no future care for these injuries, and, as indicated above, Medicare has not paid a dime, nor is she currently receiving Medicare benefits.  This is my "introduction" into the potential claims that Medicare may make.  Given the relatively small nature of the settlement, it is hard for me to believe that Medicare would be very interested in this; however, I am not certain as to how to proceed.  Can you provide some guidance and/or cite chapter and verse as to where I should begin looking?  Thank you in advance.

Minnesota Attorney