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The average age of a person diagnosed with Mesothelioma is estimated at between 78-80 years old. Accordingly, the vast majority of those diagnosed are receiving Medicare medical benefits.
Without the assistance of a private third- party insurance and/or supplement medical benefits, Medicare benefits are of the upmost importance to ensure proper medical care and treatment.
A great source of worry and anxiety over pursing an asbestos-related legal matter for those newly diagnosed relates to whether or not Medicare benefits will be lost and/or compromised as a result of a lawsuit.
Medicare's general policy as it relates to asbestos-related lawsuits is as follows:
- Medicare does not assert a lien for repayment of medical expenses based on claims where the date of exposure to asbestos occurred before 12/5/1980;
- Medicare focuses on the last date of exposure to asbestos for purposes of determine whether the exposure to asbestos occurred on or after 12/5/1980.
Medicare will not assert a lien for recovery of payment, therefore, when the date of exposure to asbestos occurred before 12/5/1980. For exposure post-1980, Medicare does have the right to assert a lien for recovery of medical bills against any/all recovery in an asbestos-related lawsuit.
- The diagnosed retired from work as an automobile mechanic on 12/1/1980. There are no additional known exposure to asbestos after the date of retirement. No Medicare lien.
- The diagnosed retired from work as an automobile mechanic on 12/1/1980. On or about Jan. 1981, the diagnosed did certain home construction projects which required the removal of asbestos materials in the home. Medicare may assert a lien.
Where Medicare does assert a lien, however, certain measures may be taken by the attorney representing the diagnosed to compromise the amount of the lien repayment.
For questions or concerns about Medicare, please contact Attorney Jennifer Lucarelli at Early, Lucarelli, Sweeney & Meisenkothen. Attorney Lucarelli can be reached toll-free at 800-336-0086.