Before Medicare, many of us felt comfortable staying within the networks of doctors we were dealt with and worked around the stipulations of having to obtain referrals when additional care was needed. Do all doctors accept medicare? Almost! Now over 93%, of all doctors in America accept Medicare, meaning you get a lot more freedom when choosing a doctor.
If you participate in Original Medicare coverage, you have the largest network of providers available to you. So, if you want to see the best cardiologist, or utilize the services of the best hospital, chances are they are in-network.
Though not all doctors accept Medicare, it’s an insignificant probability you will encounter it on your day to day medical visits. Despite this, be sure to find out if:
Medicare practitioners break down into one of three categories:
Possessing a Medicare Supplement plan will not impact your Network of doctors.
Unlike a Medicare Supplement, a Medicare Advantage Plan replaces your Original Medicare, as it’s taken over entirely by an insurance company. Because of this, you do not have the freedom to book just any doctor that accepts Medicare. With a Medicare Advantage Plan, you are subject to specific networks within your plan, along with rules for referrals or additional medical services.
Some Medicare Advantage Plans offer Preferred Provider (PPO) Networks for purchase. These allow you to visit doctors out of your Network. They do not have to abide by your plan’s rates, and will likely be subjected to out-of-pocket costs.
This, along with co-pays, co-insurance, deductibles, and maximum out-of-pocket costs are significantly higher when you use out-of-network benefits.
On the Medicare.gov site, you can find many tools to help you find a doctor that accepts Medicare assignments. The easiest way to find out which practitioner participates in Medicare is to check their Physician Compare tool.
You can also call a licensed Medicare at 1-866-219-8235. A customer representative will help you locate a doctor who accepts Medicare near you!