Thousands of people are injured in Missouri auto accidents every year. Many are covered by Medicare. When Medicare pays the medical bills, many people are worried about what this will mean for their compensation. The good news is, it’s often a good thing when Medicare pays the bills. But having an experienced auto accident lawyer on your side gives you a better chance of securing fair and reasonable compensation. For help with your auto accident, call the Krause and Kinsman Law Firm today.
What is Medicare?
Many confuse Medicare with Medicaid. These are two different programs. Medicaid is a needs-based program, which is controlled and managed at the state level. This helps people with limited financial means maintain health coverage. Medicare, on the other hand, is a federally managed program based on age. To qualify for Medicare, one must be at least 65 years of age or have a permanent disability, as determined by the Social Security Administration.
How Does Medicare Work?
When a person seeks medical care from a health provider who accepts Medicare, the bill is sent to Medicare for payment. In many cases, if the injuries are caused by a car accident, providers may choose not to submit the bills to Medicare, opting instead to attempt to collect more money directly from auto insurance. In other cases, providers may seek payment from Medicare, as it offers a guarantee of payment. However, if Medicare pays the bill, it does so at a reduced rate. For instance, a $1,000 hospital bill may only generate a payment of $200 from Medicare. When this happens, the hospital must accept the reduced contracted rate and not bill the balance to you, the patient. Your only obligation would be your co-pay, if applicable.
Why Do I Reimburse Medicare?
When Medicare pays for an injury that is caused by someone’s negligence, it makes sense that the taxpayers (i.e. Medicare) should not have to be left on the hook for the bill. Instead, Medicare must be reimbursed from the settlement or verdict. This is why it’s so important to keep this in mind when negotiating for a settlement with the insurance company.
Can an Attorney Help With Medicare?
Yes! When you hire an experienced Kansas City auto accident lawyer to help with your case, we will work to resolve Medicare’s right of reimbursement on your behalf. Upon hiring the Krause and Kinsman Law Firm, if you are a Medicare beneficiary, you will sign a proof of representation form, giving our office the ability to deal with Medicare on your behalf. This way, you can rest assured that Medicare will only claim reimbursement for related care. Otherwise, we can work to dispute it on your behalf.
Once your case settles, our firm will help make sure Medicare gets reimbursed the appropriate amount when wrapping up your final payment. If you need help after an accident in Kansas City, call the Krause and Kinsman Law Firm today.
Adam Krause is a personal injury, mass tort, business litigation, and employment discrimination attorney who practices in Kansas City, Missouri. He graduated from the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law and has been practicing law for several years now. Adam Krause has made a career of taking complicated litigation and presenting it in the most elementary terms for a jury of your peers to understand. Learn more about his experience here.