Close close icon

What is Medicare Assignment & What Doctors Accept It


Once you have Original Medicare, ask your doctor if they accept Medicare assignment before receiving services. However, with over 800,000 doctors taking Medicare, you have the largest provider network. Whether you want to see the best doctor in New York or Dr. Smith down the road chances are they’re in-network. Medicare assignment is a fee schedule agreement between Medicare and a doctor. Accepting assignment means your doctor agrees to the payment terms of Medicare. Over 93% of all doctors in America accept Medicare assignment. Before Medicare eligibility, most people use networks and referrals.

What are the Categories for Medicare Assignment?

Doctors who accept assignment are either a participating doctor, non-participating doctor, or they opt-out.

  1. Participating doctors accept Medicare assignment; the doctor accepts Medicare and only charges up to the amount that Medicare allows
  2. Non-Participating Doctors choose to accept or not accept Medicare; the doctor takes Medicare but can choose to charge an excess charge
  3. Doctors that have Opted out of Medicare are the minority. These doctors don’t accept Medicare and you pay 100%

When you go on Medicare you get a lot more freedom when it comes to choosing your doctor; this is because most doctors accept Medicare assignment.

What is Medicare Assignment of Benefits?

The assignment of benefits is when the insured authorizes Medicare to reimburse the provider directly. In return, the provider agrees to accept the Medicare charge as the full charge for services. Non participating providers can accept assignments on an individual claims basis. On item 27 of the CMS-1500 claim form non participating doctors need to check “yes” when they agree to accept Medicare assignment for the full charge on the claim.

What Doctors Accept Medicare Assignment?

Before you assume that every doctor accepts assignment, you should know that not all of them agree to the terms. When it comes to Medicare assignments, doctors can choose to opt-out or not participate. Doctors that accept Medicare will accept Medigap coverage. Not all doctors that accept Medicare will accept a Medicare Advantage plan.

Doctors Near Me That Accept Medicare

You can easily compare doctors now with the Care Compare Tool. The tool allows you to personalize results for doctors and hospitals in your area. Also, the tool is available on smartphones and tablets. The Care Compare Tool can give you things like contact information, quality ratings, and directions to healthcare facilities. Further, this tool can give you information on nursing homes, hospice, dialysis centers, rehab care, and Long-Term care facilities.

Do All Doctor Accept Medicare Supplement Plans?

Having a Medicare Supplement plan gives you access to every doctor in America that accepts Medicare. You may occasionally get someone behind the desk that tries to tell you they don’t take your plan; however, this is because they have network lists regarding Medicare Advantage Plans. Simply ask if they accept Medicare and if they do they must accept the supplement plan.

Do Most Doctors Accept Medicare Advantage?

Unlike a Medicare Supplement, a Medicare Advantage Plan replaces your Original Medicare. Your health coverage is the insurance company and you don’t have the freedom to simply go to any doctor. Advantage plans are subject to plan networks and rules for services. In most cases, if you go to a doctor that takes Medicare but doesn’t take your Medicare Advantage Plan you must pay 100% out of pocket. Some Medicare Advantage Plans do have Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) allowing you to go out of network; but, you’ll pay a much higher rate.

Does Having Medicaid Impact Your Doctor Network?

This can be a more complicated situation. If you’re on Medicare and Medicaid you can always go to any doctor that accepts Original Medicare. The best practice when dealing with Medicare and Medicaid is to make sure the provider takes both Medicare and Medicaid. This way the Medicaid plan will pay your portion of the bill.

What are Medicare Assignment Codes?

This code shows that Medicare has agreed to be to represent you and cover your medical bills. This allows for easy communication between health providers and Medicare when taking care of your medical needs.

What is Medicare Assignment for Part B?

Medicare Assignment Part B determines if the doctor accepts Medicare for outpatient services. The providers participating type will determine how much you pay for Part B services. For example, fully participating doctors accept Medicare rates for services; this means you only pay 20% of the bill with Original Medicare. However, if a provider is not participating, you could be responsible for an excess charge of 15% Some providers refuse to accept Medicare payment altogether; if this is the situation, you’re responsible for 100% of the costs.

What Happens if a Doctor Doesn’t Accept Medicare Assignment?

Not all doctors accept assignment, this means you pay for services out of pocket. You could pay 100% out of pocket, then wait for Medicare reimbursement. Please keep in mind, there’s no reimbursement guarantee. Then there are doctors who opt out of Medicare charges. This means you pay 100%. Unlike doctors that accept assignment, these doctors don’t set their fees to Medicare standards. This is why you should always confirm first whether your doctor accepts the assignment or not.

After you receive services from a doctor who doesn’t accept the assignment but is still part of the Medicare program, you can receive reimbursement. You must file a claim to Medicare asking for reimbursement.

You should fill the CMS-1490S form to ask for payment. The service provider will likely process the claim. They deal with Medicare so that you get a reimbursement; but if they don’t, then you can.

What is a Medicare Opt-Out Private Contract?

Sometimes your doctor may ask you to sign a private contract. This usually happens with doctors who do not have an agreement with Medicare. A Medicare private contract is for doctors that opt-out of Medicare payment terms. Once you sign a contract, it means that you accept the full amount on your own, and Medicare can’t reimburse you. Signing such a contract is giving up your right to use Medicare for your health purposes.

Before you sign a private contract, you should know the following:

  • Medicare can’t reimburse you
  • Medicare can’t pay for services
  • You can pay for services whenever you want, without signing a contract
  • The service provider sets prices

How to Lower Costs With Medicare Assignment

You’ll have lower costs by seeing a doctor that accepts Medicare assignment. Beneficiaries with Medigap coverage pay less out of pocket. Medigap beneficiaries save money on copayment, coinsurance, and deductibles. However, Medigap Premiums are higher than most Medicare Advantage premiums. To save the most on Medicare Supplement coverage call us at the number above. If you prefer, fill out an online rate form and discover the best rates in your area.

Enter Zipcode

Enter your zip code to pull plan options available in your area.

Compare Plans

Select which Medicare plans you would like to compare in your area.

Get Quote

Compare rates side by side with plans & carriers available in your area.

Lindsay Engle

Lindsay Engle is the Medicare expert for MedicareFAQ. She has been working in the Medicare industry since 2017. She is featured in many publications as well as writes regularly for other expert columns regarding Medicare. You can also find her over on our Medicare Channel on YouTube as well as contributing to our Medicare Community on Facebook.

2 thoughts on “What is Medicare Assignment & What Doctors Accept It

  1. Hello Lindsay. My doctors office says they accept medicaid. Does that mean they accept medicare? I have plan N with Cigna.

    1. Hi Thomas! Medicare & Medicaid are two different types of health coverage. However, I would imagine if your doctor accepts Medicaid, they probably accept Medicare. I would just give them a call to verify.

Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *