I was in an auto accident. The attorney took out the money but did not pay them. I now have a Medicare lien against me. Any advice?


They are taking it out of my Medicare check. Can I take this off my taxes along with other medical expenses?

Find Care & Housing


Good and clear advice, Igloo.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to GardenArtist

Edith - you had an settlement from the accident, that’s it, correct ?
If so I think this is about Medicare’s Secondary Payor Act requirements. It was (I think) a part of Bush era Deficit Reduction Act 2005, which also required Medicaid to have MERP aka Estate Recovery.

If it’s Medicare 2ndary, what it means that if there was a lawsuit with settlement that pays an individual, and if the individual had their health care costs paid by Medicare then Medicare expects to be reimbursed for health care costs from the settlement. A good atty would have put proceeds in an escrow like account till any secondary claims are negotiated/ paid and after that would you get the balance. 

If Medicare is dunning your SS, it’s to repay what’s owed to Medicare from the settlement. Medicare as it’s federal can attach a portion of your SS check or other civil service type of retirements as well. I’d suggest you contact the attorney to see if they reimbursed Medicare & if not, ask them to negotiate to get a lower amount accepted for reimbursement. They should have known about MedicareSecondary payor requirements.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to igloo572

Edith, can you offer more information? I don't quite understand what the situation is.

Which attorney took funds - yours, or another party to the accident? Who was he supposed to pay, and how did you know the payment wasn't made? Is the Medicare lien for payment for medical treatment for you?

If I can guess, an attorney was supposed to deduct funds from ??? and pay for medical treatment for you arising from the accident. The payment wasn't made, someone sued you and filed for a lien based on the "failure to pay? What Medicare check do you get? To the best of my knowledge, Medicare is deducted from SS.

If you don't get reimbursement for care for yourself, pay for it yourself, then I would think you could deduct is as medical expense. But remember that prior to the recent omnibus tax "reform", you could only take medical expenses as a percentage. I haven't waded through the new act, so you should read the 1040 forms, or the Pub. 17 forms, very carefully.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to GardenArtist