Finding a doctor you’re comfortable with can make office visits more pleasant, but it can also encourage patients to address health concerns early, when detection and treatment can lead to the most positive outcomes. Trust takes time to build, though, and once you find a physician you like, you might hate the idea of losing that connection when you change insurance.
When you sign up for Medicare, one of your first concerns about getting new coverage may involve the doctors you’ll be able to see. Let’s take a look at your Medicare options and find out if you can keep seeing your current physicians.
What doctors can I see with Original Medicare?
If you choose to get your Part A and Part B benefits through Original Medicare, you will be able to see any doctor or specialist who accepts assignment. When a doctor accepts assignment, they agree to accept the Medicare-approved amount as full payment for covered services. Check with your current physicians to see if they accept Medicare assignment. If they do, you can continue seeing them.
What doctors can I see with a Medicare Advantage plan?
As an alternative to Original Medicare, you can choose to get your Part A and Part B benefits through a Medicare Advantage plan. MA plans are offered by private insurance companies who work with Medicare, and although they are required to include the same coverage as Original Medicare, most plans include additional benefits.
Depending on the type of Medicare Advantage plan you choose to enroll in, you may have more flexibility in regards to what doctors you can see. If you enroll in an HMO (Health Maintenance Organization), you will likely have to use doctors within the plan’s network. If you go outside the network, you may be responsible for the costs of your services 100% out-of-pocket. If you enroll in a PPO (Preferred Provider Organization), you may be able to see physicians outside of your plan’s network for a higher cost.
Compare MA plans available in your area. Because they’re offered by private insurance carriers, costs, coverage and networks vary. Before enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan, check with your doctor’s office to confirm they participate in the plan you’re considering if it’s important to you.