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Mother-in-law was hit when crossing the street in crosswalk with 'walk' signal. Long story short, it was going to be somewhat straightforward to have the insurance pay out policy limit. So we (the family) did it ourselves and got the policy limit. Based on advice from lawyers (none retained, just consultations) they were pretty unanimous in stating the policy limit was about as good as we could do given likely lack of assets from the elderly driver.

OK, got the settlement check. Now Medicare wants their piece (as expected). We have a couple more weeks to respond to the demand letter. Even though we didn't have legal counsel/fees, it wasn't "free" for us to get this settlement. I spent a great deal of hours researching, writing a demand letter, talking with insurance company, etc. So, that was a cost to our family. Is there a preferred/persuasive way to document this to count it in our procurement costs? Right now in the demand letter the procurement costs are "$0" since we didn't have counsel/fees.

My approach is going to be to document the hours I and my wife spent procuring the settlement and then consider some reasonable hourly rate for that effort. We obviously didn't "charge" my mother-in-law, but we also didn't spend all that time to save the 33% legal fees to just turn it over to Medicare. There are many costs not covered by Medicare that we are still dealing with that we'd like to keep that money for (in-home care, therapies, etc.).

Any advice appreciated. Happy to provide more info as appropriate/necessary. I know that advice on here is just advice, so want to combine what I can learn here with other sources, so every little bit probably helps.

  • For reference, one of the more relevant CFRs: ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/… – Joey Apr 25 at 22:08
  • You can't claim procurement costs by charging yourself for your own time. You chose not to spend the money on legal assistance - that's the repayment you get. – Nij Apr 26 at 0:04
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My approach is going to be to document the hours I and my wife spent procuring the settlement and then consider some reasonable hourly rate for that effort.

What you did was probably the unauthorized practice of law and certainly would be the unauthorized practice of law (and hence illegal to pay for) if you charged for it. You might be able to get credit for out of pocket costs (e.g. photocopying and postage charges) and for consult fees with lawyers (if any).

The issue of the Medicare/Medicaid lien on the proceeds is a complicated one that even lawyers who could handle the underlying personal injury lawsuit might outsource to specialists.

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