Just had a great straight forward question about the interaction of Medicaid Liens, Attorney Fees, and medical provider liens pursuant to NCGS 44-49-50.
QUESTION: Is Medicaid's lien capped at one third of liability proceeds received or half of what is left over after attorney's fees? In other words, if I am pro-rating a Medicaid lien with 44-49 liens and my fee is 25%, are they still sharing a third or are they sharing 37.5%?
ANSWER: Medicaid gets no more than 1/3 of the total settlement. Your attorney fees are irrelevant to Medicaid's share. The most Medicaid can get is 1/3 of the settlement, even if you charge only 1 dollar as a fee.
Medicaid will prorate with NCGS 44-49/50 liens within their 1/3 share. But remember that paying the parorata share of the 44-49/50 liens does not extinguish the balance of the medical bill. The client still owes the balance after the prorata share unless you negotiate a "final payment" compromise with the mediacl provider. 44-49/50 simply act as as a way to get the lawyer out of the middle and get the provider some money before they have to turn to a collection action to get it.
The 1/3 (or Medicaid's portion thereof) DOES take care of Medicaid, in full.