Attitudes Towards Structured Settlements

Medicare Set-Aside Blog on June 13, 2008
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AIG American General recently sponsored an interesting survey about attitudes toward structured settlements. The survey was conducted by and polled 1,000 individuals. 80% of those polled had no direct connection to a personal injury case with the remainder reporting direct or tangential involvement.

The survey posed two hypothetical scenarios involving a car accident and an on-the-job fatality. After being advised of the scenarios, 35% and 73% of respondents, respectively, chose to have their award paid as a structured settlement.  Interestingly, only 7% of people actually invloved in a personal injury situation made the same decision. What’s truly shocking is that 64% of attorneys representing the injured parties did not even inform them that a structured settlement was an option.

AIG American General’s message is that many more claimants would accept a structured settlement if it were presented to them. Our message is that, in situations involving Medicare Set-Aside allocations, neglecting to inform a client about how a structured settlement can be used to comply with the Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) statute and put more of the  settlement proceeds into their pocket is a potential source of legal liability. From an Medicare Set-Aside perspective, structured settlements are the best way to ensure Medicare’s interests are protected while maximizing the claimant’s recovery. 

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