This may seem like a boring topic, but the short take-away is: If you have a significant injury that might require future medical treatments and you settle your injury case today, if you need future medical care as a result of that injury, Medicare may not pay for your future medical care when you’re over 65.
Huh? Isn’t that what I spent my adult life paying into? Why wouldn’t Medicare take care of me medically when I need it?
As Medicare costs increase, Congress has attempted to find countermeasures to protect the solvency of Medicare. One way, in their estimation, is to hold injured people responsible for their own future medical care costs.
The Medicare Secondary Payer Act “suggests”, it is not legally required, that you take some of any current financial settlement and put it in storage for future medical care – a so-called “Medicare Set-Aside”. This way, if that bad ankle injury you sustained at age 60 continues to haunt you beyond age 65, you have your own funds saved for such future medical care in case Medicare flagged your case.
It has become a mine-field for lawyers and consumers: Should I set-aside some funds if I’m young, have a mild neck sprain and a very modest settlement when I won’t be Medicare eligible for decades to come? Maybe not. Should I have a MSA (Medicare Set-Aside) if I’m close to Medicare age with a significant injury that will require future care? Yes, most likely.
The only way to tell “To MSA or not to MSA?” is to talk to your attorney before the conclusion If you have a current injury case pending, it is an essential conversation.
Picture Credit: Claimaccident