Medicare with assignment can help protect you from paying excess costs above Medicare’s approved rate. In order to participate, you need to be sure to ask your doctor whether he accepts Medicare assignment. If he does, having him take Medicare with assignment can save you money on your share of the doctor’s bill.
Doctors who accept Medicare with assignment cannot bill you for the amount that is over Medicare’s approved rate for the service received. Here’s an example: You go to the doctor and his fee is $150 but Medicare’s approved rate is only $125. Medicare pays 80% of the approved rate, or $100. Without Medicare assignment, your share of the bill would be $50. However, if your doctor accepts assignment, he cannot charge you for the amount over the Medicare approved rate. Therefore, you can only be billed for $25, and the doctor must write off the $25 that was over the approved rate for Medicare.
If you want to be sure your doctor will accept Medicare with assignment, look for a participating provider. Participating providers are doctors who have agreed to use Medicare assignment for all of the Medicare patients. Health care providers who are not considered participating providers have the option of accepting Medicare assignment on a case-by-case basis, but are not required to do so.
If your doctor does not accept Medicare assignment, you will be required to pay for medical services in advance out of pocket. Then you will need to request reimbursement from Medicare. This can cause cash flow issues for many Medicare recipients, which is another good reason to look for a provider who accepts Medicare with assignment.