Even if you enroll in Medicare, there is still a chance that your primary care doctor won’t accept it. If that’s the case, you have a few different options on what you can do. Before you make any sudden decisions, though, find out if your doctor does accept Medicare by calling them and asking. If they say no, then this means they are an opt-out provider. They may not accept Medicare, but they can still see Medicare-covered patients.
The biggest question, then, is if they say no, then what are you supposed to do?
Here are some options:
If your primary care doctor doesn’t accept Medicare, you can still find a new doctor within your plan’s network, but this means you’ll be switching primary care providers and dropping your current doctor. You could even ask your doctor to give you a referral for a doctor who does accept Medicare. Some urgent care centers and walk-in clinics can also be used for emergency services or offer patients primary care services, with a majority of them accepting Medicare.
If you’re not interested in finding a new doctor within the Medicare network, you can choose to stick with your current doctor IF they still agree to see Medicare patients, but none of the coverage from your Medicare plan(s) will apply to any of the services you receive unless your doctor accepts the assignment for individual patients. If you choose to go this route, just know that you can be charged up to 15% over the official Medicare reimbursement amount. However, if you have a Medicare Advantage plan (Medicare Part C), then you may be required by your plan to only choose doctors within the plan’s network. If you don’t agree with the requirements listed by the plan, you have the option to drop it and switch to another that you feel offers more leniency, but you can only do so during the Open Enrollment period.
The Open Enrollment period, also known as the Annual Election Period, starts on October 15 and lasts through December 7. During this time, you have the option to drop Original Medicare and switch to a Medicare Advantage plan, or drop a Medicare Advantage plan and switch to another that fits you best. However, you have to make sure that the Medicare Advantage plan you want to switch to is offered in your area. You can also enroll for Medicare Part D during this time.
By speaking with an insurance professional at Reichardt Insurance, we can help you decide on the Medicare plan that’s right for you. Give us a call at (870) 698-2928 and receive a quote today.