Many people have Medicare, yet some are not aware that they could be hit with excess charges even for covered services. Even more surprisingly, excess charges can be levied against people with Medicare Supplement plans. To learn how you can avoid or minimize excess charges, continue reading.
What are Medicare Excess Charges?
If you have Original Medicare as your major health insurance plan, you may be subject to costs that are beyond what is traditionally covered by your policy. In many cases, you are responsible for paying these costs, which are known as excess charges, out of pocket. Excess charges are legal and occur because under Original Medicare, some providers are permitted to charge amounts that are greater than the amount approved by Medicare.
Why do Excess Charges Happen?
Excess charges typically happen because you sought care with providers who are not participating in Medicare but still administered service. For example, if you have an MRI through a non-participating provider, you could be charged $1500. Medicare may only approve a $500 cost for MRIs from Medicare participating providers, so you are responsible for any excess fees that exceed what Medicare deems reasonable for that service.
How to Avoid Medicare Excess Charges
Many people put up with excess charges because they have a healthcare provider they are familiar with and comfortable with, but that provider has stopped accepting Medicare assignments. They continue seeking care from those providers and are hit with excess charges for any costs that exceed Medicare’s approved limits. In some cases, patients may even be unaware that this is happening.
To avoid excess charges, you should speak with a Medicare specialist about Medicare Supplement plans and other solutions. To get started with a free consultation, contact The Benefit Link at 972-236-3348.