Justia Florida Supreme Court Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Public Benefits
Giraldo v. Agency for Health Care Administration
Under federal law, the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) may only reach the past medical expenses portion - and not the future medical expenses portion - of a Medicaid recipient’s tort recovery to satisfy its Medicaid lien.Florida’s Medicaid program, administered by AHCA, paid $322,222 for Juan Villa’s medical care after Villa was injured in an accident. Villa settled with an alleged tortfeasor for $1 million. AHCA calculated the presumptively appropriate amount of its lien at $321,720 and asserted a lien in that amount against Villa’s settlement. An administrative law judge affirmed AHCA’s lien amount. The First District Court of Appeal affirmed, concluding that both Florida law and the federal Medicaid Act allow AHCA to secure reimbursement for its Medicaid expenses from the portions of Villa’s third-party settlement recovery allocated to both past and future expenses. The Supreme Court quashed the decision below, holding that the federal Medicaid Act prohibits AHCA from placing a lien on the future medical expenses portions of a Medicaid beneficiary’s third-party tort recovery to satisfy its Medicaid lien. View "Giraldo v. Agency for Health Care Administration" on Justia Law
Joerg v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co.
Luke Joerg (“Luke”) was a developmentally disabled adult who had lived with his parents his entire life and had never worked. Luke was struck by a car in 2007. John Joerg (“Joerg”), Luke’s father, filed an action against State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, Joerg’s uninsured motorist carrier. Joerg filed a motion in limine to exclude evidence of any collateral source benefits to which Luke was entitled, including discounted benefits under Medicare and Medicaid. The trial court precluded State Farm from introducing evidence of Luke’s future Medicare or Medicaid benefits. The jury awarded a total of $1,491,875 in damages, including $469,076 for future medical expenses. The Second District Court of Appeal reversed the award for future damages, concluding that Luke’s Medicare benefits should not have been excluded by the collateral source rule. The Supreme Court quashed the decision below, holding that the trial court properly excluded evidence of Luke’s eligibility for future benefits from Medicare, Medicaid, and other social legislation as collateral sources. View "Joerg v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co." on Justia Law
Geico Gen. Ins. Co. v. Virtual Imaging Servs., Inc.
After Insured sustained injuries in a car accident he sought MRIs from Virtual Imaging Services. Virtual Imaging obtained an assignment of personal injury protection (PIP) benefits under Insured's policy with GEICO and billed GEICO $3600 for the MRIs. GEICO paid the bill but limited its reimbursement to eighty percent of 200 percent of the applicable Medicare fee schedule in accordance with the formula described in Fla. Stat. 627.736(5)(a). This statutory provision became effective on January 1, 2008 as part of Florida's PIP statute. Virtual Imaging subsequently sued GEICO, alleging that GEICO's reimbursement was insufficient. The county court granted Virtual Imaging's motion for summary judgment. The court of appeal affirmed then certified a question of law to the Supreme Court, which answered by holding that GEICO was required to give notice to Insured by electing the permissive Medicare fee schedules in its policy before taking advantage of the Medicare fee schedule to limit reimbursements. View "Geico Gen. Ins. Co. v. Virtual Imaging Servs., Inc." on Justia Law