When to Inquire About Liens with Insurance Companies | Best Practices Series

November 18th, 2021

By: Yeganeh Gibson, Esq. CMSP | Lead Lien Attorney, Precision Resolution, LLC

Q: At what point during a case can you inquire about liens with the client’s medical insurance companies?

A: We advise all of our attorney clients to put private and government medical insurance providers on notice of the liability action as early as possible. Whether you outsource lien reporting to an agency like Precision or handle it internally, it is imperative that you know who paid for your client’s treatment and whether or not they are asserting a lien early in the case.

Further, we recommend you request updated lien amounts from these agencies every 90 days, at a minimum, for the life of the case. Then, at the time of settlement, report the gross settlement and other figures to these agencies so that you know the final payoff number and can accurately compile your settlement statement for your client to sign off on.

The only gray area here relates to New York Medicaid.

In New York, if Medicaid asserts a lien against a personal injury claim, it must also comply with the provision of the New York State Social Services Law §104-b,which includes proper written notice to the Medicaid beneficiary. However, 104-b also states that the injured party must serve “notice of the commencement of a [personal injury action] upon the public welfare district that has provided or is providing such assistance and care, or upon the department of health. ”It is a bit of a chicken and the egg scenario and is best assessed on a case-specific basis.

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