Ever since Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States in January of 2017, there has been a great deal of talk about making changes to healthcare—particularly as it relates to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that was implemented by President Barack Obama and Congress in 2010. And while only time will tell exactly what will happen to the ACA, Medicaid, Medicare, and other insurance programs during Trump’s presidency, experts are anticipating that there will be a direct impact on medical care planning settlements.
Understanding Medical Trusts and Planning Settlements
More than ever, those who have suffered in personal injury claims and their lawyers will do well to seek out medical trusts as part of their planning settlements. After all, these medical trusts may prove effective in protecting individuals from potentially detrimental changes to the Affordable Care Act and other aspects of health care that could affect these settlements directly.
So, what is a medical trust and how does it come into play in a medical care planning settlement? These trusts, much like other types of medical trusts (such as special needs trusts and preservation trusts) are designed to provide stability in changing times. Essentially, a medical trust has two important components:
- an asset management component
- a fund distribution component.
Medical Trusts’ Role in Today’s Changing Healthcare Landscape
One of the best aspects of a medical trust, especially in today’s changing insurance landscape, is the flexibility that comes with such a trust. With help from a settlement trust lawyer or similar expert, it is possible to make changes in the trust to ensure that the client’s needs and best interests remain well represented as time wears on. For example, should any future changes in the ACA lead a settlement recipient to be ineligible for health care benefits, the trust can be changed or set up around these changes so that the recipient can use funds necessary to purchase private insurance or otherwise continue receiving the necessary care.
Furthermore, a medical trust can be converted into a special needs trust or other type of trust if needed at any time. Many people are under the mistaken assumption that once these trusts are implemented, they’re set in stone. However, this is far from the case. The key is having an experienced settlement lawyer on your side to keep watch over your trust and make sure that your needs are being taken care of at all times. This is especially true in today’s healthcare environment, where changes to the existing ACA could affect you at any time and with little to no warning.
The Bottom Line
There is no predicting exactly what will end up happening with the Affordable Care Act under Trump and a Republican Congress. However, it is likely that significant changes to the ACA, Medicare, Medicaid, and other programs are coming within the next few years—and those receiving medical settlements should take the time to make sure they’re protected.
If you’re in the middle of a personal injury case and are seeking a medical settlement or if you are already receiving a settlement, now is a great time to make sure you’re being well represented. To find out more about how the right legal team could benefit you and protect your interests in these uncertain times, be sure to contact our team at Guajardo & Marks LLP today.