Speaking of Settlements has focused for the month on how plaintiffs’ attorneys deal with government benefit packages, and in particular, dealing with Medicare set-asides. Settlement Professionals Inc. of Portland, Oregon has been a pioneer in the MSA field. In this report, Mark Wahlstrom of Wahlstrom & Associates interviews Jack Meligan, Chairman of Settlement Professionals Inc., discussing what lawyers need to know about MSAs and what SPI can do to help.
Melligan explains that SPI has partnered with MSA Administrators to develop a full service approach for plaintiffs’ lawyers. SPI has an initial consultation with a plaintiff’s attorney to assess a settlement. If it is decided that an MSA cannot be avoided, the matter is taken up by MSA Administrators for the creation and construction of an allocation study by RNs with MSCC credentials. Once the study is completed, SPI personnel will work with the plaintiff’s attorney on a funding analysis to develop the best and most economical funding of the MSA.
Meligan explains that he has put together a presentation on MSAs by starting with the amendments in 1965 the “grafted Medicare onto the Social Security system.” He then worked his way forward, studying every change in the law and every memorandum ever written about the subject. Once he had mastered all the materials, Meligan took the Medicare Set-aside Certified Consultant (MSCC) course and the Certified Medicare Secondary Payer Professional (CSMP) training. In the process of getting the training, Meligan had a chance to meet and talk with many excellent lawyers working with MSAs. As a result of the training and the discussions with attorneys, Meligan started the MSA services just for plaintiffs’ attorneys.
Meligan has created a presentation for trial lawyers distilling his extensive research down to basic and understandable education. The presentation covers the timeline of 1965 to the present and uses multimedia tools, including videos, to show lawyers what they need to know about MSAs and how to protect their clients. Lawyers learn that, if they voluntarily create an MSA, they need to do strategic planning so as to include only necessary funding. The programming qualifies for continuing legal education credits. Lawyer associations or law firms are welcome to contact SPI to book a date. Meligan points out that part of the value of his presentation is that it shows plaintiffs’ lawyers how to take control of the process and prevent defense attorneys from abusing their clients who are going through a settlement with Medicare issues.
Jack Meligan is the Chairman and founder of Settlement Professionals Inc., Portland, Oregon, a company created to work with personal injury victims in structured settlements. He is a widely recognized settlement industry authority. He helped develop the curriculum for the nation’s only professional Registered Settlement Planner designation, a designation he has held since 2009. For more than 29 years, SPI has forged new paths, developing comprehensive, innovative solutions to protect victims and attorneys all over the U.S. The Settlement Channel is a featured network of Sequence Media Group.