Cattie & Gonzalez, PLLC , Partner
Rafael has over 35 years of experience in the auto, liability, no-fault, and workers’ compensation insurance industries. He has written extensively on liability, workers’ compensation, social security, and Medicare/Medicaid issues. He has also taught these subject matters at several law schools and medical schools in Florida. He lectures throughout the country on all aspects of Medicare and Medicaid compliance, including Mandatory Insurer Reporting, Conditional Payment Resolution, Medicare Set Asides, MSA Post Settlement Administration, Medicaid Third Party Lien Reimbursement, and Special Needs Trusts.
Over the last 30 years, Rafael has been recognized by City of Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio and Hillsborough County Commissioner Ronda Storm for his work on behalf of the Hispanic community in Tampa and Hillsborough County. He was awarded the Governors Appreciation Award by Governors Bob Martinez and Jeb Bush for his work in improving Florida’s workers compensation system. He was awarded the Governors Leadership Award by Governor Charlie Crist for his work in improving Florida’s Medicaid system. He was awarded Florida’s Distinguished Service Award by US Senator Mel Martinez for his work and advocacy to improve the US Social Security disability system. He has also been awarded the Presidential National Service Award by President George W. Bush for his work on improving the Medicare Secondary Payer system through the addition of the Mandatory Insurer Reporting process, and by President Back Obama for his work and support of the Affordable Care Act.
Recently, WorkCompCentral CEO Kristen Chavez presented Rafael with the Magna Comp Laude Award with Great Honor for his willingness to share his knowledge, experience, and scholastic work with the country’s workers compensation community. Also RISE CEO Ellen Wofford honored Rafael with the RISE Distinguished Service Award for his many years of leadership, scholarship, and professionalism in educating the thousands of professionals who have attended his numerous Medicare and Medicaid programs. And International Association of Industrial Accidents Boards and Commissions President Evelyn McGill awarded Rafael its President’s Award for his leadership and service to the international workers compensation community.
Rafael is active on social media. He is owner and manager of several LinkedIn groups, including Medicare and Medicaid Compliance (8,500 members), Medicare Mandatory Reporting, Medicare Conditional Payments, Medicare Set Aside Allocations, Medicare Set Aside Administration (3,500 members), Florida Workers Compensation (2,500 members), Social Security Benefits (1,500 members), Hispanic Issues and Demographics (500 members), and Affordable Care Act Compliance (250 members). Rafael is also active on Twitter with 2,000 followers and Facebook with 2,000 friends.
Born in Havana, Cuba, Rafael and his family escaped communism to Madrid, Spain, and ultimate immigrated to the US. He owes everything he has achieved to his mother, Miriam Lera. Her love and sacrifice have allowed him to live in freedom, succeed and prosper. Rafael graduated from Miami Senior High School, received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Florida and his Jurisprudence Doctorate degree from the Florida State University. He lives in Lithia, Florida with the love of his life, his wife Lisa, and his greatest pride, his two sons, Alex and Andres.