Eleventh Circuit Finds the MSPA Does not Preempt Insurer’s Claim Filing Deadline
In a recent case, MSP Recovery Claims, Series LLC v. United Auto. Ins. Co., the United States Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals addressed two issues concerning the Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) Act: (1) whether the Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) statute preempted the claims-filing requirement in an insurer's general liability policy, and (2) whether the MSP preempted Florida's no-fault pre-suit demand requirement, allowing the assignee of a Medicare Advantage Plan to claim "double damages" under the MSP's private cause of action statute.
The Eleventh Circuit found that the MSP did not preempt either requirement and ruled in favor of the insurers. The plaintiff, as an assignee of a Medicare Advantage Plan, had filed separate lawsuits against carriers seeking "double damages" for failing to reimburse the MAP for claim-related treatment. One suit involved a liability claim, and the other involved a no-fault action. Both carriers challenged the plaintiff's actions and claimed they were not liable based on procedural requirements. The plaintiff argued that the MSP preempted both requirements.
The court's rationale can be summarized as follows:
The Act does not Preempt the Claims-Filing Deadline: The court rejected plaintiff’s argument that the MSP Act's three-year claims-filing period preempts the one-year claims-filing deadline in the insurer's policy. The court clarified that the Act's claims filing provision applies only to actions by the "United States" and does not encompass insurance policies such as no-fault or general liability.
The Act does not Preempt Florida's Pre-Suit Demand Requirements: The court disagreed with plaintiff’s contention that the Act preempted Florida's statutory notice requirement. The court found no basis to apply the doctrine of preemption here, as Congress's purpose in enacting the Act did not show express or implied preemption, and the state's statutory notice requirement did not conflict with the Act's implementation.
This ruling could impact future MAP recovery claims in the Eleventh Circuit, as it allows insurers to defend against such claims based on procedural non-compliance. The Court emphasized that proper pleading and compliance with contractual requirements are crucial in such cases.