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WEST VIRGINIA CODE
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WVC 5 - 16 B- 10 §5-16B-10. Assignment of rights; right of subrogation by children's health insurance agency to the rights of recipients of medical assistance; rules as to effect of subrogation.
(a) Submission of an application to the children's health insurance agency for medical assistance is, as a matter of law, an assignment of the right of the applicant or legal representative thereof, to recovery from personal insurance or other sources, including, but not limited to, liable third parties, to the extent of the cost of children's health insurance agency services paid for by the children's health insurance agency program. This assignment of rights does not extend to medicare benefits. At the time the application is made, the children's health insurance agency shall include a statement along with the application that explains that the applicant has assigned his or her rights and the legal implications of making an assignment as provided in this section.

If medical assistance is paid or will be paid to a provider of medical care on behalf of a recipient of medical assistance because of any sickness, injury, disease or disability, and another person is legally liable for the expense, either pursuant to contract, negligence or otherwise, the children's health insurance agency shall have a right to recover full reimbursement from any award or settlement for the medical assistance from the other person, or from the recipient of the assistance if he or she has been reimbursed by the other person. The children's health insurance agency shall be legally assigned the rights of the recipient against the person so liable, but only to the extent of the reasonable value of the medical assistance paid and attributable to the sickness, injury, disease or disability for which the recipient has received damages. When an action or claim is brought by a medical assistance recipient or by someone on his or her behalf against a third party who may be liable for the injury, disease, disability or death of a medical assistance recipient, any settlement, judgment or award obtained is subject to the claim of the children's health insurance agency for reimbursement of an amount sufficient to reimburse the children's health insurance agency the full amount of benefits paid on behalf of the recipient under the medical assistance program for the injury, disease, disability or death of the medical assistance recipient. The claim of the children's health insurance agency assigned by the recipient may not exceed the amount of medical expenses for the injury, disease, disability or death of the recipient paid by the children's health insurance agency on behalf of the recipient. The right of subrogation created in this section includes all portions of the cause of action, by either settlement, compromise, judgment or award, notwithstanding any settlement allocation or apportionment that purports to dispose of portions of the cause of action not subject to the subrogation. Any settlement, compromise, judgment or award that excludes or limits the cost of medical services or care does not preclude the children's health insurance agency from enforcing its rights under this section. The children's health insurance agency may compromise, settle and execute a release of any claim, in whole or in part.

(b) Nothing in this section shall be construed so as to prevent the recipient of medical assistance from maintaining an action for injuries received by them against any other person and from including therein, as part of the compensatory damages sought to be recovered, the amount or amounts of his or her medical expenses, even though the person received medical assistance in the payment of the medical expenses, in whole or in part.

If the action be tried by a jury, the jury is not to be informed as to the interest of the children's health insurance agency, if any, and the fact is not to be disclosed to the jury at any time. The trial judge shall, upon the entry of judgment on the verdict, direct that an amount equal to the amount of medical assistance given be withheld and paid over to the children's health insurance agency. Irrespective of whether the case be terminated by judgment or by settlement without trial, from the amount required to be paid to the children's health insurance agency there shall be deducted the attorney fees attributable to the amount in accordance with and in proportion to the fee arrangement made between the recipient and his or her attorney of record so that the children's health insurance agency shall bear the pro rata portion of the attorney fees. Nothing in this section shall preclude any person who has received medical assistance from settling any cause of action which he or she may have against another person and delivering to the children's health insurance agency, from the proceeds of the settlement, the sums received by him or her from the children's health insurance agency or paid by the children's health insurance agency for his or her medical assistance. If the other person is aware of or has been informed of the interest of the children's health insurance agency in the matter, it shall be the duty of the person to whose benefit the release inures to withhold so much of the settlement as may be necessary to reimburse the children's health insurance agency to the extent of its interest in the settlement. No judgment, award of or settlement in any action or claim by a medical assistance recipient to recover damages for injuries, disease or disability, in which the children's health insurance agency has interest, shall be satisfied without first giving the children's health insurance agency notice and reasonable opportunity to establish its interest. The children's health insurance agency shall have sixty days from receipt of written notice to advise the recipient or his or her representative in writing of the children's health insurance agency's desire to establish its interest through the assignment. If no written intent is received within the sixty-day period, then the recipient may proceed and in the event of full recovery forward to the children's health insurance agency the portion of the recovery proceeds less the children's health insurance agency's share of attorney's fees and costs expended in the matter. In the event of less than full recovery the recipient and the children's health insurance agency shall agree as to the amount to be paid to the children's health insurance agency for its claim. If there is no recovery, the children's health insurance agency shall under no circumstances be liable for any costs or attorney's fees expended in the matter. If, after being notified in writing of a subrogation claim and possible liability of the recipient, guardian, attorney or personal representative for failure to subrogate the children's health insurance agency, a recipient, his or her guardian, attorney or personal representative disposes of the funds representing the judgment, settlement or award, without the written approval of the children's health insurance agency, that person shall be liable to the children's health insurance agency for any amount that, as a result of the disposition of the funds, is not recoverable by the children's health insurance agency. In the event that a controversy arises concerning the subrogation claims by the children's health insurance agency, an attorney shall interplead, pursuant to rule twenty-two of the rules of civil procedure, the portion of the recipient's settlement that will satisfy the children's health insurance agency exclusive of attorney's fees and costs regardless of any contractual arrangement between the client and the attorney.

(c) Nothing contained herein shall authorize the children's health insurance agency to institute a class action or multiple plaintiff action against any manufacturer, distributor or vendor of any product to recover children's health insurance agency care expenditures paid for by the children's health insurance agency program.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2013 1st Special Session
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