You were driving home toward Southern Pines when someone hits you out of nowhere. Thankfully, the military covers your recovery costs, and you’re hopeful for your injury settlement. But the money you get there may not be yours to keep.
This could be because of a TRICARE lien. TRICARE is the health care system set up for uniformed service members, retirees and their families. If you get help from the system after an accident and later resolve a personal injury suit, TRICARE could be entitled to some of that money.
The moment you get treatment with assistance from TRICARE, The Federal Medical Care Recovery Act (FMCRA) grants the right to pursue repayment from the liable third party. This is usually done by piggybacking your injury suit and relying on you to secure payment on their behalf.
You can speak with a representative about the amount of your lien, and what expenses it includes. There are no caps on what TRICARE can seek in return for coverage, and they’re generally near the front of the line when it comes time to collect from your settlement.
Take extra care
FMCRA does allow the program to accept less than the full amount owed to avoid hitting you with difficulties that they might consider unjust. There’s a chance you can negotiate with TRICARE if you make a case that you need the settlement for a few reasons:
- Compensation for ongoing pain and suffering
- Covering the costs of future treatments
- Paying bills if you are unable to work
Correcting the lien
Make sure you know the process when it comes to TRICARE getting reimbursement. Knowing how to argue unrelated charges or making a case for a reduced collection could mean more money in your pocket.