As a Jacksonville, FL Military Personal Injury Attorney, I receive calls frequently from Tricare recipients who have received a DD Form 2527 Statement of Personal Injury – Possible Third Party Liability in the mail. Tricare is great health insurance, and most recipients think that they are covered by Tricare for all of their medical needs without any financial implications. They don’t understand why they received a DD Form 2527 and how it can impact them financially.
Why did I receive a DD Form 2527?
Even if you never formally reported to the military or Tricare that you were injured by the possible negligence of others, the Tricare Management Activity may have indications that you were suffered an injury that may have been caused by the negligence of someone else because of the billing codes entered by medical providers. Most commonly, Tricare will receive billing statements for emergency room visits that indicate treatment was provided for a car accident, slip and fall, or dog bite. When they receive these billing statements with coding that indicates that another party may be liable for the injury, Tricare Management Activity will send out a DD Form 2527 to the Tricare recipient.
Why does Tricare send a DD Form 2527?
It’s all about money. Tricare is no different than any other health insurance company – if they can find someone else to pay the bill, they will pursue such payment. For example, Florida is a no-fault car accident state and most individuals injured in a Florida car accident are covered by Personal Injury Protection (PIP) as part of a car insurance policy; PIP covers the first $10000 in medical bills for the PIP beneficiary. Even if treatment is received by a Tricare recipient at military treatment facility like a military hospital or branch health clinic, Tricare Management Activity may pursue recovery of the cost of providing the treatment through an insurance company or an at fault party.
Will Tricare refuse to pay for my medical treatment if I do not complete a DD Form 2527?
Yes. If you recieve a DD Form 2527 in the mail, you are required to return it. Payment of your claims is normally suspended if you don’t return the form within 35 days. Claims will also be denied, and your medical providers will not be paid.
Can I be held personally liable for payment of my medical bills?
Yes, you can be held personally liable for your medical bills if Tricare denies payment, especially to civilian medical providers. You may also be held personally liable to reimburse Tricare if you settle a claim without considering the United States Government’s claim for reimbursement of medical expenses.
What is Tricare’s authority for making me complete a DD Form 2527?
It’s federal law. The Medical Care Recovery Act and Third Party Payers Act provide the United States Government is entitled to recover the reasonable value of medical care provided by or through the United States Government for injures caused by someone else.
Do I need an attorney to deal with the United States Government’s claim for reimbursement of medical costs?
It’s highly advisable, especially if you are going to negotiate a settlement with the at-fault party. If you negotiate a settlement with the at-fault party and do not account for the government’s claim for reimbursement of medical expenses, you may be held personally liable to repay the government.
In the military, each armed force has a medical care recovery unit. The sole purpose of these specialized, highly trained legal units is to pursue recovery of monies under the Medical Care Recovery Act and Third Party Payers Act from Tricare recipients.
Attorney Patrick Korody is a former Navy Judge Advocate (JAG). He handles military personal injury cases throughout Florida. His office is conveniently located in Jacksonville, FL, an area with a significant military presence. He provides a free case evaluation and represents clients in personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. He can be reached at 904-383-7261.