|Question and Answer
Can my doctor make me sign a form agreeing to pay for all of my care?
My doctor had me sign a form agreeing to pay the full cost of care. What should I do?
It depends on what form you signed. There are two types:
- Some doctors have you sign an Advance Beneficiary Notice (ABN), before you receive a service, that they know or have reason to believe Medicare will not pay for. If you sign this form, you are agreeing to pay for the full cost of the service if Medicare does not pay. In this case, you should ask your doctor to submit a claim to Medicare, which she must do.
- If your doctor has opted out of Medicare, meaning she officially informed Medicare she is not part of the program, you may have signed a private contract with her. By signing this contract, you acknowledge that you are fully responsible for any service you receive. Medicare will not pay for services you receive from doctors who have opted out of Medicare except in emergency or urgent care situations. To avoid paying for the full cost of care, you should look for a doctor who accepts Medicare assignment.
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