Assignment – An agreement entered into by health care providers, doctors, hospitals, and suppliers in which they accept to be paid directly by Medicare and to accept the amount paid by Medicare as full payment with the exception of deductibles and coinsurance.
Prior to receiving services from a health care provider, it is crucial that you know if that provider accepts assignment.
To find out if your providers accept assignment or participate in Medicare, you can visit Medicare.gov/physician or Medicare.gov/supplier. You can also call Medicare at 1-800-633-4227. Asking your doctor, provider or supplier is another option.
If your doctor, provider, or supplier accepts assignment you may obtain services from them knowing that your out of pocket costs will be less. The only amount they can charge you is the deductible and/or coinsurance. It is also the responsibility of the provider to submit claims directly to Medicare for services and supplies rendered.
If a provider has not signed an assignment agreement, that provider is not required by law to provide services to you. If he does, it will be your obligation to pay for those services. Providers who have not signed an agreement are known as “non-participating” providers. Those providers do not have to accept the amounts paid by Medicare and may charge you more than the Medicare-approved amount. If you obtained services from a non-participating provider and feel that you were over charged, you may contact Medicare at 1-800-633-4227 to find out if you were charged the right amount. Medicare has a limit on what providers can charge for certain services. This limit is called “the limiting charge.”