Can a Medical Facility and/or HMO assert a lien pursuant to MGL 111, section 70A on a claim for uninsured/underinsured benefits?

ANSWER:      NO.

MGL 111, section 70A, provides that any Medical Facility and/or HMO which furnished medical services or health benefits shall have a lien on any sum of money payable to the injured party from the other party causing the injury as damages on account of such injuries. The Court found that “Damages” are the monies payable by a tortfeasor (wrongdoer) who is liable for injuries caused by his tortious act (wrongdoings). The word “damages” in MGL 111 s70A does not include uninsured/underinsurance benefits within the scope of the lien. Uninsured/Underinsurance benefits aren’t considered damages because they are not “legal liabilities,” but are contractual liabilities for which the insured paid premiums. As a result, benefits received from an uninsured/underinsurance policy are not subject to a lien pursuant to Massachusetts General Law 111 s70A. (Meyers v. Bay State Health, 610 N.E.2d 303; 414 Mass. 727 (1993))