Every senior citizen who is eligible for medicare should know a few facts that I’ve learned, THE HARD WAY!
If you or and elderly person you know is the recipient of medicare and has had medical expenses that an insurance company was liable for, but medicare paid:
Medicare CAN and WILL:
Place a lien on benefits payable to any skilled care facility. They may collect the benefits from the insurance company, your attorney or you. They may also NOT show the payment as taken care of and you will have no clue this has happened since they will not notify you……..until a facility tries to pre-cert you for skilled care.
This recently happened to my Mom. The nursing home said they could not get medicare precertification because of 3 liens, for auto accidents that medicare paid and insurance was liable for. When I got on the phone with them, medicare could not give me an answer on why this happened. They gave me a number of a third party collections department for medicare. They said yes, an insurance company was liable, they paid and until they receive the money, mother gets no skilled care. My brother and I brainstormed and remembered something about money that her attorney had in trust to pay medicare on an accident she had in 2001. I called the attorney and he said he remembered it well and was able to tell me that he sent a check to medicare in 2004. He fax over the paperwork he had as well as copy of the check that medicare had cashed. Another two wrecks in 2003 the insurance paid nothing on medical, therefore she owes nothing on that.
All sounds ducky huh? NOT HARDLY. I fax this information to the medicare collections department. They are VERY behind and it will take up to 60 days to get the information into the system. Great! No there is nothing they can do to expedite the process.
I called the state representatives office and they agree to intervene, but state they are only doing this as a service to the people they serve and it still takes up to 60 days to process. I fax them all the information also, for what I am still clueless.
I was looking on the internet this morning hoping that I could find something to give us some recourse. I came up with this site: http://www.tlie.org/riskmgmt/news/2000isu1.htm It appears that the attorney took care of the matter as they should. This one that says they can do it: http://www.thecentersforlienresolution.com/medicaresetaside.html. Where in the hell is one that says what to do when the bastards don’t take it off the books when it is paid??? Wonderful – I found this site for lien resolution and it only cost $1,800. to do what I’ve already done. http://www.thecentersforlienresolution.com/lienresolution.html Kiss my ass!
You may ask why I’m making such a big deal of this. Before we could get Mom into the nursing home we had to pay one month in advance…$4,976.58. That does not include therapy she must have for her leg or her medication. Three months minimum in the nursing home….do the math.
If you have family members that are enrolled in medicare call this number to see if there are any liens on their medicare. 1-866-677-7220 and have their medicare number and birthday handy as you must have that information to access their account.
The Bastard Jr. says this is just one more reason to keep the flat shovel handy.