Over the past several months, plaintiff attorneys and the settlement planning community have anticipated that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) would be publishing some sort of guidance regarding Liability Medicare Set Aside Accounts (LMSAs) and No-Fault Medicare Set Aside Accounts (NFMSAs).
Earlier this year, February 21, 2017, CMS set a target date of October 1, 2017 to have Medicare’s internal computer systems programmed and ready to begin processing payments for LMSAs and NFMSAs. That date came and went without any new guidance.
CMS’ most recent guidance, as of October 26, 2017, is that it will continue to consider expanding the MSA review process to include LMSAs and NFMSAs, but will work with the stakeholder community (plaintiffs, defendants, settlement planners, etc.) to determine how to best proceed. In essence, nothing has changed.
So, what does this mean for plaintiff attorneys? It means that the uncertainty regarding whether to establish an MSA in a liability case is still there – but that may well be better than what many commentators expected was coming.
Attorneys representing plaintiffs still need to evaluate Medicare’s future interests in each settlement on a case by case basis to determine the best path forward to preserve their client’s Medicare benefits and protect themselves against potential liability.
Please call us to help you evaluate your options the next time you’re settling a case for a Medicare beneficiary or a client that will likely soon be eligible for Medicare.