Yes, a person who had part or all of their medical care covered under California MediCal has to pay back MediCal at the time of settlement from the settlement funds.  If not, then MediCal can go after the person legally to pursue those funds.  MediCal can also go after the attorney handling the injured party's person injury case is this is not done!  In fact, it is said the injury attorney has constructive notice (means he or she "should have known") of the California MediCal potential lien interest if his or her client was simply a California MediCal lien recipient!

Also, a defense lawyer will argue that a jury only gets to see the medical bills that were actually paid out by MediCal (which is always a lower amount) as opposed to the jury seeing the actual, or true, medical bills (which is always a higher amount). This impacts a person's personal injury case, if part or all medical bills were covered under MediCal because the defense lawyer is trying to lower the chances of what a jury would give that injured person in pain and suffering damages if they see a lower amount of medical bills (what California MediCal paid out). Make sense?  So a good injury lawyer is needed on these cases to fight this aspect.  Here is the law on this: 

In the California court case called Hanif v. Housing Authority, 200 Cal.App.3d 635 (1988) The Court held that where there was a Medi-Cal lien, the recovery was limited to the amount which Medi-Cal actually paid or for which the plaintiff incurred liability.

Also, remember, a good injury lawyer not only has to fight the above issues, but he or she has got to know how to reduce MediCal's lien interest when a settlement or verdict is received (Also known as a "Ahlborn Reduction")!  Just another reason why good California personal injury lawyers are needed to help those injured!  For more information, you can call me directly at (619) 813-7955.



Mark Blane
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San Diego Personal Injury Lawyer | California Car Accident Attorney